What a Friend We Have in Jesus

Scripture:  John 15:12-17 - This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 17 These things I command you, that you love one another.

Those who are true friends of the Lord Jesus are to also be friends with one another, and
that friendship is to be based on the spiritual capacity to love that we have received from
Christ Himself.     He speaks to His 12 disciples about His commitment to those who are
His friends, but He also teaches them, as well as us, that to be Jesus’ friend carries with it a
great responsibility because of who He is and what He has made those that He chosen to
be His friends.  For Jesus to have us as His friends, He had to show the greatest act of love
toward us by sacrificing His life for us by dying on the cross for our sins.

He did it not only to save us so that we who believe can be forgiven for our sins, but He
revealed the example that is expected from us who are His friends toward one another
when required.   This is also the teaching that is given to us in (I John 3:16), “By this we
know love, because He laid down His life for us.  And we also ought to lay down our lives
for our brothers and sisters in Christ also.”   But the active experience of our friendship
with Jesus and one another is called fellowship with Him and one another.  It is
characterized by our sharing of His life together and by love that shows itself in sharing
and receiving as we walk together with Jesus and one another (I John 1:3).

The first expectation He reveals to His friends is that we are to obey what He
commands (14).  It reminds us that though Jesus calls us into this friendship and does not
call us His servants, does not mean that He relinquishes His positon of authority in our
lives.  In sacrificing His life so that we could be His friends, He assumes personal possession
 of all those whom the Father has given Him (John 10:29, 17:24), and personal ownership
of all who believe on Him (Acts 20:28, Ephesians 1:14).  True friends of Jesus are mindful
that He expects obedience from us.  Being our friend does not mean Jesus is less “LORD”.  
       
The second great truth about being a friend of Jesus is that He chose us first (16).  His choice of us was not because of any merit on our part, but it was for His purposes in the world.   We read that these choices were determined in eternity past (Eph. 1:4) and were solely based on His grace and mercy toward us.  True friends of the Lord Jesus have been appointed for the purpose of bearing fruit in this world (16b),   Jesus came into the world that the Father would be glorified through the fruit of the Son, and when the Son left, it became the responsibility of Jesus’ friends to carry on the works of Jesus to bring glory to the Father through the Son by means of the Holy Spirit’s power.    “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Mathew 5:14-16).   The call and appointment of Jesus’ friends in the world is to bear much fruit (John 15:8);  the fruit of sowing seeds of evangelism to lead souls to Jesus Christ (Romans 1:13-16); the fruit of godly character (Galatians 5:22, 23); the fruit of praise from our lips (Hebrews 13:5); and the fruit of righteous behavior (Philippians 1:11) and all are proofs of a successful friendship and partnership with Jesus Christ in this world.    
The third and final expectation that Jesus has for His friends is that we pray to the
Father in His name.  We like Jesus should pray to have worshipful communion with the
Father and to ask for things in our lives that bring glory to God.  Prayer is our admission of
dependence upon the Father for His sufficiency to live a fruitful life.  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Prayer:  Father in heaven, thank You for saving us through faith in Your Son the Lord Jesus Christ and giving us to Him to have, to hold, and share His life with Him.  Grant us greater revelation that we may know You and Him so much better as we live for You in this world, in Jesus name Amen.
(by Pastor Wayne Cockrell)

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