January 30, 2022

You are destined: Friendship

You Are Destined: Friendship (Pr. 13:20)

I. Avoid Friendship (Jas. 4:1-5)

II.  Strive for Friendship

A. Friendship with God (Jas. 2:21-22)

B. Friendship in the Church (Philem. 4-5)

C. Friendship in the family (Gen. 2:18)

D. Friendship in difficulties (1 Sam. 23:15-18)

In 1951, psychologist Dr. Solomon Asch conducted an interesting experiment on college students J (now you know who to experiment on). He presented them with a photo with lines of different lengths. And they had to choose lines of the same length from the options presented; it was obvious. But he made it so that in several groups there was only one person who did not know of the real reason for the experiment… all the students but one were warned in advance that this test was not a test on vision, but the psychology of influence of the majority. And all but one were asked to respond to on one of the questions with a wrong answer. Those who did not know this answered last. Dr. Asch got some interesting results: 32% of the answer followed the majority, although there was clearly not the right answer! The main reason: those who gave the wrong answer, and flowed the crowd, did so in order not to stand out from the crowd!

        Conclusion: a person tends to follow the crowd. It is a matter of influence! In this experiment, when only one correct answer was added to the group, while all the others were wrong, the one who participated for real, almost always went with the correct answer. We are for each other that one student with the right answer. A friend is someone who has a positive influence on us. A good friend will give correct answer and we will be at ease in the midst of lies.

        Today, we will talk about friends and influence in the life of a Christian. We must tear apart in each other’s lives the lies that the world imposes on us through so many different channels.

        Marriam-Webster: defines friend this way: “a person who you like and enjoy being with; a person who helps or supports someone or something.”

        C.S. Lewis: “Friendship must be about something, even if it were only an enthusiasm for dominoes or white mice. Those who have nothing can share nothing; those who are going nowhere can have no fellow-travelers.”

        In other words, friends must have some common idea or direction. The worlds has one direction, the believer another.

        (Pr. 13:20)

Today we will talk about friendship from two sides. One is to be avoided and the other to be pursued. There is a war for influence. Who influences whom? The real battle is being played out – and the life a Christians is a battlefield!

I. Avoid Friendship (Jas. 4:1-5)

        The fact is that the world around us recognizes that we live during an epidemic of loneliness. People may be on social media, but they are lonely. This is a real problem. People do not want to be alone, they are looking for solutions in friendship, on relationships… But there is one “But”! Friendship, no matter how good, cannot satisfy the thirst of the soul.

        (Jer. 2:13) – the problem that people had was in the fact that they were looking for the solution, but in the wrong place. Human friendship cannot solve the main need of the soul – joy and satisfaction. The soul needs something more than human friendship – it needs God!

        (Jas. 4:1-5)

        Very often people present this text as something radical, and a believer, reading these statements, reassures himself – this is not me. I am not a friend with the world.

        But, let’s test it… This paragraph talks about several important elements of friendship that  you need to run away from. Friendship is influence. The world influences through friendship in following ways:

  • Not just enmity, but life by desires or passions (v. 1)
    • Saul – conflict with David, Jonathan, people… why? Passions
  • Not just empty life, but an absence of prayer (v. 2)
    • (Acts 9:11) – only now Saul is praying?!
  • Not just formal prayer, but self-centeredness (v. 3)
    • Israel in the OT – come with sacrifices and prayers…
  • Not just neutrality, but neglect of the Word (v. 5)
    • They say, “well, yes, the Word says this, but it is not practical (2 Chr. 16:7-12) – he relied on the army, and the doctors…
    • The Bible does not forbid doctors – there is even a command to use medicine, but the problem is where a person puts his hope in and hopes on!!!!

In such position, one can easily identify whether someone is friends with the world, and is under the influence of this world. This man has followed the majority.

        We need to be very careful in choosing close friends, as friendship does affects us (Pr. 12:26; 13:20).

        So, friendship is a war for influence. Who influences whom? Are you influencing the world, or the world took control over you? If sin is no longer sin for you, and Christ is not Lord over your life, then most likely the world influences you, and not the other way around.

II.  Strive for Friendship (1 Sam. 23:15-18)

A. Friendship with God (Jas. 2:21-22) – living by faith! (v. 21 – loved God more than a son!) (Phil. 3:7-8). To know Christ as Savior and Lord for Paul meant that his soul, created by God and for God, finally found that happiness and satisfaction. Anyone would want to be friends with such a person!

B. Friendship in the Church. Spurgeon once said: “Be friendly to everyone; but don’t make anyone your friends until they get to know you and you them. Many a friendship born in the darkness of ignorance hath died suddenly in the light of a better acquaintances with each other.”

        (Acts 13:1-3) – Paul and Barnabas (but this is not the first time they are serving together… there is a good context; but many others were with them).

        By the way, this is the first and the main condition for true friendship – constant openness and friendliness to all, so that sooner or later it will be noticed.

(Philem. 4-5) The love of Philemon for all the saints is foundational for the specific relationship with one person. In crisis, that person will doubt your loyalty. Like in the parable of the prodigal son – the love and care of the father even toward the servants, gave confidence to his younger son to come back!

C. Friendship in the family (Gen. 2:18) – God gives the first solution to loneliness – the family! Friends, even if you don’t have a close friend but have a husband or wife, you have a very close friend. The fact is that looking at this text, we are obliged to conclude that a husband and wife are the first friends in the Bible, and the best! Appreciate these relationships, and develop them!

D. Friendship in difficulties (1 Sam. 23:15-18)

        How many times it has been proven that when you have the means, the fame, the money, you will be surrounded by friends. But the moment  all of that is gone, most of your friends are gone as well. We need each other because we are channels of God’s grace. But our help to each other will be effective as long as we point each other to depend on God!

It is self-denial

        The very fact that Jonathan came and strengthened David implies that David will overcome difficult times and become the king, and not Jonathan, who has all the rights to the throne. Jonathan made it clear that he was giving up the throne.

        After this short meeting, Jonathan and David will not see each other again… Jonathan goes into the shadow and dies in the war… He simply fulfilled his very important role as a friend!

It is the Gospel!

        Strengthening can be done many different ways! But, because Jonathan loved God, he will talk about God in the most difficult moment s of his life! In crises, the true heart emerges!

        Jonathan is just an illustration of the best friends of sinners! Jesus Christ left a place of comfort and glory and came into this world to die as sacrifice in our place!

        (John 15:11-15) – it is power for the change; it is influence!

More Sermons