Sermons

Summary: This sermon was done on Friend Day, with the hope and encouragement that we can all be friedly to one another as Christ is the exampel for us to follow.

Friends John 15:12-17

Introduction:

We all need friends, but few understand the basics about forming quality friendships. A true friend is someone whom we enjoy mutual affection, interests and respect for. The best friends are those who are helpers in times of trouble. Those who are our advocates when we find ourselves in need are the kind of friends that are worth their weight in gold. Solomon once wrote, "A brother is born for times of adversity, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother - that is God our closest companion."

Jeremy Taylor writes the following;

By friendship you mean the greatest love, the greatest usefulness, the most open communication, the noblest sufferings, the severest truth, the heartiest counsel, and the greatest union of minds of which brave men and women are capable.

(Intro by Paul Fritz: www.seromncentral.com “The facts about friendships”)

Webster’s says this about friends;

1. A person one knows well and is fond of; intimate associate; close acquaintance.

2. A person on the same side in a struggle; one who is not a foe or enemy.

3. Someone that is a supporter or sympathizer.

1. The Lord is Our Source for Building Present Friendships and for Reaching New Friends.

A. God desires us to be a friend to others.

1. I have heard some say, "But I am not a people person!"

2. That may be true, but it isn’t a valid excuse.

3. One of the great things about being a child of God is that He can change us!

4. Consider for a moment all of the changes that He has made in our lives,

*now can He change us in the area of making friends?

5. Of course He can!

B. He is our Strength and our Supply.

1. We cannot change ourselves, but God can enable us and bring about the changes necessary in our lives*if we will let Him.

2. The beginning of change comes when I realize that I need to change!

2 Corinthians 5:17 says

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

3. This verse doesn’t end with salvation, it continues on throughout our lives as God shapes us and conforms us to the image of Christ.

II. Guidelines from Scripture on Friends and Friendship.

A. Make sure of your friends and covet their friendship.

Proverbs 6:3 says

“Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend.”

1. What is the biggest problem in building and maintaining friendships?

2. Our selfish pride!

3. Humility acknowledges that we need friends, and there is an emptiness in our lives without them.

B. Understand that a friend’s love is a very real strength in our hour of adversity.

Proverbs 17:17 says

“A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

1. God never intended for us to have to go it alone.

2. We need each other and others need us.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says

“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. {10} For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.”

3. I believe that Mary and Martha felt much better about their brother’s death with Jesus standing with them.

C. Sacrifices are willingly made by friends for their friends.

1. The Lord is our supreme illustration of this truth.

John 15:13 says

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

2. That was the ultimate sacrifice for His friends, but there are many sacrifices made in a relationship.

3. That is the nature of friendship*it isn’t self-centered, but always looks to others.

4. Someone has said that ’Friendship doubles our joy and divides our grief.’

5. Pray that God would make us friendly.

Proverbs 18:24 says

"A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother."

**Do we want to influence people with the message of Christ?

**Are we willing to be a true friend?

**What is the condition of our present friendships?

**Are we actively looking to build new bridges that God might use us?

James. 4:17 says

“To him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”

(Points 1&2 are from Pastor Robby Coggins Welcome Hill M.B. Church Lemont, Ill.)

Closing:

William Burkitt’s notes on the New Testament says this on John 15:13 “friends”

Here our Saviour gives his disciples an evidence of the greatness of his love unto them; namely, in his readiness to lay down his life for them, which is the highest expression of love to our dearest friends, because life is the greatest earthly blessing.

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