Day 12 ~ The Purpose Driven Life ~ Developing Your Friendship with God.
Does your life display the Law of Christ written on your heart?
Where does our friendship with Christ start? It is never to be forgotten that he is God incarnate. Although by grace we can be friends with God our natural state is one of the subordinate being. The words of acclamation which we use to describe God are infinitely inadequate. No matter what superlatives we use they will fail to accurately reflect the full immensity of God. Despite this, as pointed out by Rick Warren, he wants to befriend us. But we must not forget that he is God.
As stated in one of my previous blogs there would be no greater acclamation that anyone can say about me than “He was a friend of God”. Note I do not think saying “He was God’s friend” would be correct. It is I going to God and me being his friend, God is my Father and although that implies friendship saying “He was God’s friend” is disrespectful.
Rick in his book “The Purpose Driven Life” in today’s reading Day 12 writes;
“I must choose to obey God in faith. Every time you trust God’s wisdom and do whatever he says, even when you don’t understand it, you deepen your friendship with God. We don’t normally think of obedience as a characteristic of friendship; that’s reserved for relationships with a parent or the boss or a superior officer, not a friend. However, Jesus made it clear that obedience is a condition of intimacy with God. He said, “You are my friends if you do what I command.” (PDL – Rick ©)
From John 15 Jesus gives us direction of how to measure our friendship with him;
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because everything I have learned from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will remain—so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. This is My command to you: Love one another.” John 15:12-17 (BSB)
One of the first things that happen when we are born of the Spirit is the fact that the Bible becomes the absolute unrefutable truth of God. The Law of Christ and the Mosaic law are not merely guidelines but they are the litmus test of our lives. The application of the Mosaic law is distilled by the Law of Christ. Christ’s law is love your God above all else and love your neighbour as yourself. Christ elaborates on interpretations of the law when he delivers the sermon on the Mount. The bar of the application of the Mosaic law is lifted to a completely new level.
In the passage from John 15 I highlighted “You are My friends if you do what I command you.” John15:14 because it can be easily misread. Doing the commands does not befriend you to Jesus. You can systematically and religiously follow every single one of the commands, or at least try to, but if you do not love your God above all else it will get you nowhere. We are saved by grace and grace alone. The whole of Romans is an exposition of this. Paul in just about every chapter wrote, and made it very clear, to us that our righteousness is a gift of grace.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24 (BSB)
“For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 (BSB)
Christianity is the only religion wherein there are no works required for your salvation.
Now at this point I don’t fully agree with Rick Warren’s statement that he had in his book as previously quoted above, “I must choose to obey God in faith” when you have experienced the rebirth keeping the laws of Christ becomes a completely natural phenomena for the individual concerned.
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance as our way of life.” Ephesians 2:10 (BSB)
By simple implication you are God’s workmanship. In you he has written his law on your heart and keeping the law, Christ’s law, is a joy and requires no work from us if we abide in Him.
“This is the covenant I will make with them after those days, says the Lord. I will put My Laws in their hearts and inscribe them on their minds.” Hebrews 10:16 (BSB)
Which was predicted in Jeremiah 31:33b “I will put My law within them, and on their hearts will I write it; and I will be their God, and they will be My people.” (AMP)
You are heirs to this through your salvation by grace. You are covenanted to God. Therefore if your life does not display you keeping the commands of Christ how can you possibly call yourself Christian?
Now going back to John 15:14 “You are My friends if you keep on doing the things which I command you to do.” (NASB) the condition of this “if “ is not you doing the work to be Gods friend but “if “ you do the work (bear the fruit of his work in you) you will be displaying that you are a friend of Jesus Christ. Jesus did the work so that you could become his friend.
Maybe asking some friends who know you would help you understand whether your life displays the Law of Christ? Dare to ask?