Jesus came to make you the friend of God
My name is Allen. I'm the lead pastor at Stedman PHC.
I love cool music and one of my favorite pop/rock songs is a hit from the 70s by the Doobie Brother entitled Jesus is Just Alright. If you know the song, you know the Doobie version has a seriously killer, slow-jam bridge with the main lyric repeating that memorable line: 'Jesus, He's my friend'. Super cool!
One of the more popular hymns of the Christian faith in the twentieth century was the song What a Friend We Have in Jesus. And in the early twenty-first century, another song that has enjoyed worldwide popularity in churches has been the song (I Am a) Friend of God.
You probably noticed all three songs emphasize the same thing: humanity and divinity can be friends, thanks to Jesus Christ. No wonder all three have resonated with millions of people (and still do).
If Jesus were on Instagram His bio would be: "Making humanity the friend of God"
Jesus coming to earth 2,000 years ago to make it possible for people to become friends with God is what the Bible often calls 'the Gospel' or 'the Good News'.
God sent his only-begotten Son, Jesus, from heaven to die on a Roman cross to become your friend, to save you from the sin that separates you from friendship with Him (cf. John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
Think of it like this, if Jesus were on Instagram His bio would be: "Making humanity the friend of God.”
God paid the ultimate price for you to be his friend
God paid the ultimate price for you to be His friend. The price was the death of His sinless, only-begotten Son, Jesus, on the cross at the hands of an evil humanity. The great news is God raised Jesus from the dead on the third day, on Easter Sunday, to show humanity that the price Jesus paid, the blood that He shed, was enough to remove all the sin that separates us from God.,
No wonder the hymn writer wrote, What a Friend We Have in Jesus!
So, the Good News is—the Gospel is—that God has stepped toward us, in the person of Jesus Christ, and offered us His eternal friendship.
But there is a crucial caveat to actualizing the friendship.
We must accept God's offer of friendship.
To accept God's offer of friendship you must take a step back toward Him by faith
As you’ve just read, God paid the ultimate price, and has taken the ultimate step toward you, through Jesus Christ. However, this doesn't mean you and God are all of the sudden, best buds. Instead, it is a potential friendship that still needs to be actualized. Just as in the same way you can offer to be someone’s friend and that person refuse your offer, so too, you can refuse God’s offer to be friends.
To refuse God's offer of friendship is the ultimate slap in the face, of course. Imagine, slapping the face of God (as if you could, literally), and saying, 'No thank you, God, I don't want to be your friend'! Imagine, slapping the face of Jesus Christ and saying, 'You can keep your salvation, Jesus. I don't care if you died on the cross for my sins or not'!
That's what we do when we learn of God's offer of friendship yet still continue to refuse it. We're slapping the face of Jesus.
The bottom line is, to actualize friendship with God, to show God that you are thankful for Him sending His Son, Jesus, you must take a step back toward Him by faith. Said differently, friendship with God doesn't happen just because you have been born. You also have to be ‘born again' by faith, as Jesus told Nicodemus (cf. John 3:3; Ephesians 2:8-10).
Being 'born again' by God does a million awesome things. For starters, it makes you an adopted child of God. And what happens when a child is adopted? They get to live in the family home. Being a child of God grants you entrance into His very real home, heaven. Heaven is that very real place where God's throne now sits. Heaven is that very real place where all of God's 'born-again', adopted children--all of God's friends--who have received Jesus Christ as their Savior and their Lord will one day live together. Heaven is also that very real place which will one day be permanently and visibly relocated to earth for us to enjoy forever (cf. Revelation 21:1-4; Ephesians 1:5).
The Good News is God has offered you His friendship. God has offered to adopt you as His child. God has offered you a place in His heaven. And God has offered you all of these things and more, and wrapped them up in Jesus Christ, God's gift of love to you (cf. Romans 6:23).
As with any gift, of course, you can receive or reject Jesus. But why would you want to?
On the one hand, to reject the gift of Jesus Christ as your Savior is to foolishly remain an enemy of God. To reject the gift of God is to reject His offer of adoption. To reject the gift of Jesus Christ is to forfeit ever living in the awesome heaven He is preparing for you. To reject the gift of Jesus Christ is to insure eternal separation from God. On the other hand, to receive the gift of Jesus Christ as your Savior, and to become one of His billions of followers, is to wisely remove all enmity between you and God (cf. Romans 6:23; John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 2:9).
It's tempting to think we haven't done anything to separate ourselves from God
It's tempting to think we haven't done anything to separate ourselves from God. It's easy to think, 'I haven't done anything to God, why do I need to ask for His forgiveness and receive the gift of Jesus Christ as my Savior'? Good question. The answer is, every human being who has ever lived (aside from Jesus Christ) has sinned against God and against others, and deep down we all know it, don't we? So, the reason forgiveness of sin is absolutely necessary is because it is our sin that has separated us from friendship with God in the first place (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 3:23).
The Good News, once again, is Jesus Christ is God's total gift package to you. By sacrificing Himself on the cross, Jesus Christ has offered you all the forgiveness required to become the friend of God. So, the only thing left to do right now is receive the forgiveness Jesus offers by faith.
Why not become the friend of God right now? It's as 'easy as ABC'.
Become the friend of God right now, it's as 'Easy as ABC'
A. ADMIT You Have Sinned against God
If we admit our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 ESV)
B. BELIEVE that God Raised Jesus Christ from the Dead
Believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead and you will be saved.
(Romans 10:9 ESV)
C. CONFESS Jesus as the Lord of Your Life
Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and you will be saved. (Romans 10:9 ESV)
Pray this simple prayer
If you are unsure whether you are in right standing with God or you know in fact that you are not following Jesus Christ, you can choose to start following Him right now and become the friend of God by praying this prayer:
Heavenly Father, I ADMIT that I am a sinner and I turn from my sin, and ask for Your forgiveness. I BELIEVE that You love me and that Your Son, Jesus, died on the Cross for my sins and that You raised Him from the dead to prove that love for me. I CONFESS today that Jesus Christ is Lord of my life.
Jesus, thank You for making me a friend of God. I now ask You to give me Holy Spirit boldness to show my family and friends how they too can become a friend of God. I pray this prayer in Your name, Jesus. Amen.
Congratulations! If you sincerely prayed this prayer with a surrendered heart to Jesus, your sins have been removed and you are now the friend of God! Please let us know if you’ve just made a commitment to become a lifelong, fully-devoted follower of Jesus Christ by clicking the big, blue button below.