From Fruit to Friends

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“Peace be with you.”
John 15:12–17 NASB95
12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 13 “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. 14 “You are My friends if you do what I command you. 15 “No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have 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 would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. 17 “This I command you, that you love one another.
Let’s Pray:
Father may your will be done. Jesus may your word be proclaimed. Spirit may your work be accomplished in us we pray. Amen.

I. Introduction: Best Friends

I have a best friend named Eddie. We grew up in youth group together, we attended college together, and for the most part we have journey through life together though we live in different states. A Best friend, as you all may know, is a special relationship. It is not like any other relationship. For starters, your Best Friend isn’t forced on you. They are not like a family member where you were born into that relationship. a friend is a chosen relationship that you choose to be in and you get to choose who your Best friend is. In addition, a best friend never sees the relationship as work or community service. Everything about having a best friend makes even the hardest or most boring tasks enjoyable. A best friend turns a long drive into a “road trip”, they turn the average trip to the store into a night to remember. Anything you do turns into the most epic situation when you are with your best friend. But the most astonishing thing about a best friend aren’t the road trips and the epic stories. It is the deep conversations, inside secrets that you keep together, the “special knowledge” you share that makes the relationship so special. Best friends share with each other things that they don’t share with anyone else. As Best friends you come to know someone at a very deep level. It is because you know so much, that your best friend is the one who you take counsel with when things get hard. Best friends come to each other’s aid when they are in trouble or experiencing their worse moment, not because of obligation or some bro code, but because a best friend knows that you and has your best interest at heart, because you know you will listen when they speak, because whatever happens to you happens to them because of the common bond you share with each other. They are your ride or die.
What it means to be a friend is one thing. What it means to be a friend of God is something even more special!

II. Consider God.

Friendship with God is a privileged position. There is no one greater to be friends with than God himself because no one is greater than God. The fact that we can enter into such a relationship with the divine is mind-blowing. God is supreme, He is above us, beyond us, and over us. He created us and we were created to bear his image and glorify Him. He is the object of our affections, the aim of our lives, the one who deserves all worship and praise. He is God alone. There is only one, true, and living God. Who rules and reigns over us. We tremble in the presence of His Holiness, We marvel at his glorious riches. He is an all-consuming fire. He is all powerful, all knowing, all present. He is infinite and we are finite. The thought of being friends with God causes one to say, “And can it be that I should gain, an interest in the savior’s blood?” or say what is Man that God is mindful of Him?
Consider these scriptures about the Greatness and Grandeur of God:
Job 33:12 (NASB95)
12 “God is greater than man.”
Isaiah 55:8–9 NASB95
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Psalm 113:4–6 NASB95
4 The Lord is high above all nations; His glory is above the heavens. 5 Who is like the Lord our God, Who is enthroned on high, 6 Who humbles Himself to behold The things that are in heaven and in the earth?
Psalm 147:5 NASB95
5 Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.
Psalm 8:3–4 NASB95
3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; 4 What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?
Deuteronomy 10:17 NASB95
17 “For the Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe.
Philippians 2:6 NASB95
6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
God is God and we are not. And yet to be considered a friend of the most High God is a great privilege. It speaks to the kind of God we worship, and the kind of relationship He desires for us to have with Him.

III. From Fruit to Friends.

In this passage Jesus is addressing his disciples, and after using the metaphor of the vineyard that tells them that their relationship to Jesus is the only way to be fruitful in life, he now turns toward defining that relationship in terms of friendship. Jesus moves from fruit to friends.
Jesus defines for us what friendship is and who He considers to be His friends.

Friendship is…

…A mutual relationship of Love. (v.12, 13)

1. A mutual love that Jesus tells us to mimmick. (v.12) Jesus doesn’t ask of us anything he hasn’t already done.

2. A mutual love that requires sacrifice. (v.13)

Hebrews 12:2 NASB95
2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Romans 5:8 NASB95
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
John 3:16 NASB95
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
1 John 3:16 NASB95
16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
Because Jesus has done what he asks us to do, we have the confidence that we will never be alone.

…Acts of joyful submission not forced service. (v. 14, 15)

Love first: is friendship, willing submission, joyful.
Obedience first: is slavery, Forced submission, joyless.

…Sharing Special Knowledge . (v.15)

…Having access to their resources. (v.16)

…doing what they ask. (v.17)

Abraham and Moses:
James 2:23 NASB95
23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God.
Exodus 33:11 NASB95
11 Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.
Story of Abraham being treated as a friend by God. Genesis 18.

IV. Closing: The Test of being the friendliest of friends of God.

1. Jesus has died for his Friends. Have you died with Jesus?

Those who have been buried with Christ through baptism into death are friends of God.
Romans 6:4 NASB95
4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

2. Jesus didn’t come to be serve but to serve his friends. Do you serve others like Jesus?

Matthew 20:28 NASB95
28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

3. Jesus has given us special knowledge.

Hebrews 1:1–2 NASB95
1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.
Do you know God’s word? Do you abide by it? Then you are considered his friend.

4. Are you doing what Jesus has asked you to do?

John 15:14 NASB95
14 “You are My friends if you do what I command you.
Are you a friend of God?
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