Abraham, Friend of God
Abraham was called a friend of God, 2,000 years before the Messiah died on the cross and rose again. How did Abraham become a friend of God? What does it take to become a friend of God and what does the gospel have to do with it?
…the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called a friend of God.
Friend of God - Willing to Do His Will
The Creator found in Abraham, a man who was willing to do His will. We know Abraham had a willing heart because he knew it was God when he heard that voice speaking clearly to his heart. He believed Him.
If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.
Someone who is willing to do God’s will, who is not full of their own ideas of what they should do for God, will know when the call (teaching or gospel) is from God. They will not be taken in by something that is just of man, and if they are, they will realize it soon enough. They will recognize the voice of the good shepherd.
… the sheep follow him because they know his voice. However, a stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.
Friend of God - Not a Friend of This World
The command Abraham heard from God in Gen 12:1-2 would not have been “good news” to him if he had been a friend of the world. He was called to leave his country and relatives; the places and people he was most familiar with.
It is not that he didn’t love people. Many accounts in the scriptures prove Abraham to be a very warm, kind, hospitable and generous man. It is the society of the world and the things of the world that he did not love. 1 Jn 2:15-17 explains this very well, as does Jms 4:4.
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God continues to live forever.
1 Jn 2:15-17
You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
To be a friend of God is to love Him as Deut 6:5 and Mk 12:29-311 and Prov 17:172 If you devote your life to loving Him with ALL your heart, soul and strength, ALL the time, there is nothing left for any other loves such as this world so proudly advertises and promotes (even in so called Christian circles).
Friend of God - Obedience to His Instruction
A friend of God is obedient to everything He says. Not out of compulsion, because one ‘has to’; nor out of fear of punishment, but because one actually loves Him and desires to please Him.
When you love someone, you want to please them and make them happy. You want to do what they say because you like what they say and how they think and what they do. Even if you like how they are, however, you are not really a friend to them if you never take on and do the things they tell you. To a friend, “Your wish is my command.”
Abraham, the friend of God, obeyed God when he heard His call – without hesitation.3 He immediately left the land of his fathers, and (at 75 years old!) embarked upon a long and difficult journey, without even knowing where he was going to end up. Abraham’s obedient response to God’s call became the foundation for all thereafter who would desire to follow their Creator.
By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he left, not knowing where he was going.
…not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.
Abraham’s obedience would not fail. His response remained the same, even after going through many hardships and waiting and stumbling; he was finally given the son God promised him. Then God called Abraham to put his cherished, long-awaited, promised-by-God son on the alter. Abraham’s determined obedience to his Friend did not fail, for he loved his Friend at all times. Abraham loved God more than his own life, even more than his own son.
…show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to acknowledge, you foolish person, that faith without works is useless? Was our father Abraham not justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called a friend of God.
Friends of God in the 1st Century
If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
You are My friends if you do what I command you.
In Acts 2:44-457 and 4:328 the friends of God were together, living a life of loving and serving one another every day, just as their master and friend Yahshua9 had taught and commanded them. Only 30 – 40 years later, although the apostles had been warning and exhorting them, obedience to their friend’s instruction was waning and the the love of God which once burned hot and bright, was growing cold.
If someone says, “I love God,” and yet he hates his brother or sister, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother and sister whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.
I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore, remember from where you have fallen, and repent, and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and I will remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.
Friends of God in the 21st Century
Another 2,000 years later, the same call is going out as the end of the age draws near. Who will be a friend of God? Will there be friends of God on the earth once again, evidenced by their life of loving and serving one another daily, just as their Friend instructed them?
Yes! There are such friends! There are friends of God and friends of one another – people who want to be your friends too! Come and see!
…we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
2 Cor 5:20
The gospel is an appeal from the friends of God to all humanity: “Come! Be friends of God!” Messiah brought about the fullness of that reality, becoming the sacrifice for our sins in his death, so that we could be completely cleansed and brought back into unity with our Creator – the best of friends. Messiah made the way, and made it very clear what we had to do to enter into that right relationship. Surrender all…
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