What a Friend We Have In Jesus

John 15:12-17

12 This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.

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

 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

  • The Bible teaches the beauty, the value and nature of good friendship.

So what is a nature of a friend?  

  • Someone you have things in common with:
    • Sports, music, hiking, biking, watching TV, and most important texting.....
    • Now for the older generation: golfing, listening to the Oakridge Boys, walking the pooch, cards, shuffle board (maybe?), BINGO and most importantly traveling because you can. (this applies to the young folk as well, if you can afford it)
  • Or just someone you’re comfortable around and enjoy their presence…. I like that idea

“Someone who's presence you enjoy”…  

  • But loving a friend is more than words, moreover it’s an action. So just enjoying someone’s presence is not necessarily a true friendship. A deeper presence is needed:
  • A friend is one who “REVERE’s” you; basically is someone who honors you.
  • Jesus was speaking of a friend that would love each other as He loved and this is where we have to challenge ourselves to understand if we are following him?

 Let’s pray for the Holy Spirit’s presence!

“Oikos”:

  • I don’t mean Oikos the yogurt… but a Greek word that means:
  • “Household”, those that are so close to you that they come and go from your household (extended family). The spread of the gospel works best in this environment.
  • Acts 10:22-24 - Lights up this meaning best

22 And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.
23 Then called he them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him.

24 And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends.

  • So how is your household? Is it healthy like Cornelius’s?
  • We understand that Cornelius feared God and was visited by a holy angel and he called together his relatives and near friends to hear God’s word and that Word is Jesus? He VALUED his Oikos and wanted the best for them.
  • I pray that our Household is one that is OPEN and people can clearly see Jesus in it! And we VALUE their lives to the extent that we want them to hear the Good News about a free pardon of sin through a relationship with CHRIST…
  • Which brings us to the next subject:

 Influence of a good friend:

  • Have you ever had a friend that could simply finish your thoughts? So close that they are part of your spirit? Jonathan and David are an excellent example of “TRUE FRIENDSHIP

1And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
2 And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father's house.
3 Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. (1 Samuel 18:1-3) 

  • Their relationship was so tight that Jonathan would do anything for his friend:

 4 Then said Jonathan unto David, Whatsoever thy soul desireth, I will even do it for thee. (1 Samuel 20:4)

  • One can see that when your spirit is knit to Spirit there is a direct influence, an aching to follow the Authority of His leading.
  • A good friend will influence you in a direction that is most beneficial for your well-being. And same is the purpose of the Holy spirit. He is an aching in our hearts to follow Jesus’ commandments.

 The Beauty of a friend:

  • The beauty of a friend is found in the richness of how you cherish the friendship. It starts with you. According to Proverbs 18:24 you must be friendly first:

 24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)

 Loves you in spite of your faults:

 John 8:3-11
3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. 

A True friend is one that will lay down his life for you!

  • Has anyone here experienced someone laying their precious life down for you, raise of hands?

 Romans 5:7-11
7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 
10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.