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(Vers. * Indicated Required Field See our Privacy Policy. Sameness of interests.2. Though a man say he hath faith, and have not works. Spiritual happiness here is the great evidence of personal Christianity. Can God have a friend? The Lord is a Friend who can never know a limit in blessing His friends. (8) More than that, the Lord kept His friendship to Abraham by favouring his posterity. (5) Since Abraham was God's friend, God accepted his pleadings, and was moved by his influence. (Luke 13:7).(T. Constancy is also seen on the human side of this renowned friendship: Abraham did not turn aside to worship any false God. (3) Because it wanteth the effect of life, which is operation; all life is the beginning of operation, tendeth to operation, and is increased by operation; so faith is dead, like a root of a tree in the ground, when it cannot produce the ordinary effects and fruits of faith. How quickly their perception changes! "Why cumbereth it the ground?" Available for Purchase James Study Guide: James Bible Study James 1:1-4 James 1:5 James 1:6-8 James 1:9-11 James 1:12-15 James 1:16-18 James 1:19-21 James 1:22-25 James 1:26-27 James 2:1-7 James 2:8-13 James 2:14-26 James 3:1-5 James 3:6-12 James 3:13-18 James 4:1-10 James 4:11-17 James … (2)Of a great sound and noise; can talk of grace, boast of knowledge, glory in their faith. We also may be called friends of God. He was his shield, and his exceeding great reward, and the Lord Himself delighted to commune with Abraham. From that "O vain or empty man." IV. Have you seen Miss America walking down the runway, tears streaming down her face? unmute . (8) More than that, the Lord kept His friendship to Abraham by favouring his posterity. To Abraham through-the grace of his Divine Friend difficulties were blessings, trials were blessings, and the sharpest test of all was the most ennobling blessing. If we have got as far as that, then the next thing will surely follow — there must be a continual intercourse. Luther. Most deliberately, heartily, resolutely, undividedly, you must choose God to be your God and your Friend. Abraham was the Friend of God in a truthful sense. In this particular instance it is intended that we should know that while God was Abraham's Friend, this was not all; but Abraham was God's friend. When we say of two men that they are friends, we put them down in the same list; but what condescension on the Lord's part to be on terms of friendship with a man! Do you wish to be a friend of God?1. Friends ever have an ear for friends. The knowledge of God supplies to the devout mind topics on which it loves to dwell, and which call forth into active exercise its purest and best emotions.3. The sap which flows from the root does not expend itself wholly in leaves — there is the bud, the blossom, and the ripened cluster. Again, I say, no nobility is comparable to this. No such necessity can be supposed of the All-sufficient God. Plummer, . A. Bengel.Our natural disposition with regard to spiritual exercises is a compound of indolence, coldness, and faint-heartedness; therefore we need continually to be stirred up, chafed, and animated by the Word of God and by prayer. He had a great love for Alexander as a man, whereas others only cared for him as a conqueror and a monarch; and Alexander, perceiving this, placed great reliance upon Parmenio. That faith is not a mere credence of Divine facts.3. 1. That faith is not a mere belief in Divine predictions. He did not what others would have done, because he feared the Lord. and just as the household of Abimelech had been healed in answer to Abraham's supplication. The knowledge of God supplies to the devout mind topics on which it loves to dwell, and which call forth into active exercise its purest and best emotions.3. H. (2) In consequence of these visits of friendship paid to Abraham, secrets were disclosed (Genesis 15:13-16; Genesis 17:16-21; Genesis 18:17-19). Spiritual.2. None of us will be content with a scanty measure of grace, when we may have life more abundantly. that works. See the possibility that lies within your reach — make it a reality at once.2. A man is known through his friends: you cannot help judging a person by his companions. Was it not a great venture for God to call any man His friend? At this present moment, among the Arabs and other Mahommedans, the name of Abraham is not often mentioned, but they speak of him as Khalil Allah, or the "Friend of God," or more briefly as of Khalil, "the Friend." "(2) Because it receiveth not the quickening influences of the Spirit. We also may be called friends of God. (Dean Plumptre.)Empty-headedA. Having cleared our way thus far, we are in a position to do two things, viz. A faith that is tested has the opportunity to grow stronger, to a place where it "works." Though there still be latent spiritual life, its glow is only kept up by active stirring. It was well that they landed at all; but when it is my lot again to cross to France, I trust I shall put my foot on shore in a better plight than that. That the propagation of this faith is entrusted to human instrumentality.3. If we are to be the friends of God we must be co-partners with Him. Hath God spoken, and shall He not perform? In order to attain it, there must be —I. A PRACTICAL ILLUSTRATION OF THE EVIL. Luther. Sameness of interests.2. Yes; and, though a man with like passions with us, and subject to weaknesses which the Holy Spirit has not hesitated to record, yet Abraham was a singularly admirable character. (1) The Lord often visited Abraham (Genesis 15:11 17:1; 18:1, etc.). Love must be created in your heart; gratitude must beget attachment, and attachment must cause delight. Luther. "Christ and Him crucified" were thrust into a corner. Just as clearly as Paul said we weren't saved by works, he immediately adds that we are created in Christ to do good works, work that God had long ago planned for us to be about. When Abraham pleaded with God for Sodom, the Lord patiently hearkened to his renewed pleadings. The spring time came, summer and autumn followed with more than wonted splendour, and again it was winter, when, while Sir Noel was looking for something else, his eyes fell upon the small tin box. Share: There's no quick fix, no fad that will instantly take you to a level of mature Christianity, but there is a plan that will work, as long as we put it into action. The Lord styled Israel, even rebellious Israel, "The seed of Abraham My friend" (Isaiah 41:8).II. "If ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins. Oh, that we may get to ourselves this good degree, this diploma, as "Friend of God"! To remove certain practical errors, and —2. Let us enjoy heaven on the road to heaven. The other day there lauded on the shores of France a boatful of people sodden with rain and salt-water; they had lost all their luggage, and had nothing but what they stood upright in: they were glad, indeed, to have been saved from a wreck. Be loyal to Christ.2. The friend of God must not spend a day without God, and he must undertake no work apart from his God.5. A vain faith and a vain man are oft suited and matched.3. They must —1. Oh, happy man, that dwelt on high while men were grovelling at his feet! As Satan stands in the solemn temple of history, he trembles under the remorseless tyranny of self-condemnation!III. Temporaries are but vain men; like empty vessels, full of wind, and make the greatest sound; they are full of windy presumptions and boasting professions. False and mistaken faith is usually a brat of darkness: either men do not understand what faith is, or do not consider what they do.2. The Lord is a Friend who can never know a limit in blessing His friends. He was suddenly aroused by shouts, and the roar of cannon an d of musketry, that were to him the certain signs of a midnight assault, He hastened from his tent, he cast his eyes around him, and at once discovering by the burning houses, by the quarters of the attack, by the skill with which it was planned, by the energy with which it was executed, the genius of his only rival, he turned to his staff and said, "Conde is come." Parmenio was a great general, but all his fame in that direction is forgotten in the fact that he was known as the friend of Alexander. THE FRIENDSHIP OF GOD ASSURES US THAT ALL THE OCCURRENCES OF LIFE, HOWEVER VARIED AND PERPLEXING, SHALL CONTRIBUTE TO AN ULTIMATE WELFARE. When a hungry soul has found this food, the aching void is filled; "Lord, evermore give me this bread." Having loved His own He loves them to the end. Can two walk together except they be agreed? By His care.II. (Dean Plumptre.)Empty-headedA. How could he have been God's friend had not grace wrought wonderfully in him? Among the Jewish people Abraham was frequently spoken of as "the Friend of Goal." THOSE WHO WOULD HAVE ABRAHAM'S PRIVILEGES JUST LOOK TO IT THAT THEY HAVE ABRAHAM'S FAITH. 5.) The impotent man had laid many a weary year by the pool of Bethesda. It took Saul three years of intensive study and reflection to rethink his theology (Galatians 1:15-18). Can two walk together except they be agreed? NKJV New King James Version. The friend of God must not spend a day without God, and he must undertake no work apart from his God. )The highest friendshipHomilist.The only true friendship is that spoken of here. Sir Noel Paton received a chrysalis as a specimen to paint in a picture. JAS 2:20-22 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 16, no. (5) Since Abraham was God's friend, God accepted his pleadings, and was moved by his influence. Love must be created in your heart; gratitude must beget attachment, and attachment must cause delight. (4) This friendship resulted in the bestowal of innumerable benefits. But you have not gone far enough yet.3. They are like a neap-tide as you have seen it rolling in from the sea. (Vers. BELIEVERS MUST SEE THAT THEY HONOUR AND JUSTIFY THEIR FAITH BY WORKS. And what is this? He did not want that a petty princeling, or indeed anybody, should boast of enriching Abraham: he trusted solely in his God, and though he had a perfect right to have taken the spoils of war which were his by capture, yet he would not touch them lest the name of his God should be in the least dishonoured (Genesis 14:22-24).5. Abraham, on his part, had no secrets, but laid bare his heart to the inspection of his Divine Friend. Oh! The friend of God must not spend a day without God, and he must undertake no work apart from his God.5. Manton.1. The title only declares a fact. (1) The Lord often visited Abraham (Genesis 15:11 17:1; 18:1, etc.). (see R. V.): — Faith is the mother who gives birth to the virtues as her children.(M. Improved them with much fidelity.II. He did not what others would have done, because he feared the Lord. Let me now, in the third place, turn your attention briefly to this remark which follows from the former, that the hopes of salvation through faith, which are founded on a faith without works, are of necessity therefore false, and being false are therefore fatal. Our lives must, in the main, run in parallel lines with the life of the gracious, holy, and loving God, or else we shall be walking contrary to Him, and He will walk contrary to us.4. THE FRIENDSHIP OF GOD INVOLVES THE ASSURANCE OF SUCCOUR IN-SEASONS OF PERPLEXITY AND DANGER. Thus Hezekiah was tried to see whether natural vainglory would overcome humble gratitude for God's mercy. THE FRIENDSHIP OF GOD INVOLVES THE ASSURANCE OF SUCCOUR IN-SEASONS OF PERPLEXITY AND DANGER. II. As to a matter of importance, and worthy of attention and regard; being an instance of the divine conduct towards the poor, and carries in it a strong argument against respect of persons: hath not God chosen the poor of this world? . Faith links us to Omnipotence. 2. By zeal and obedience.(G. Parker, D. D.(1 Peter 1:8): — Why believing should in one case produce "joy unspeakable," and in another convulse the spirit with paroxysms of agony.I. Yes; and, though a man with like passions with us, and subject to weaknesses which the Holy Spirit has not hesitated to record, yet Abraham was a singularly admirable character. God has given you wings! They are like a neap-tide as you have seen it rolling in from the sea. IN BOTH CASES THERE IS A BELIEF IN DIVINE FAITHFULNESS. Next, here is solemn thought for those who would be friends of God. First, then, we call your attention to the infallible proofs by which we evince THE EXISTENCE OF GOD. (3) Because it wanteth the effect of life, which is operation; all life is the beginning of operation, tendeth to operation, and is increased by operation; so faith is dead, like a root of a tree in the ground, when it cannot produce the ordinary effects and fruits of faith. Abraham loved God for God's sake, and followed Him fully, and so the Lord made him His confidant, and found pleasure in manifesting Himself to him, and in trusting to him His sacred oracles. Manton. MAKE PRACTICAL USE OF THIS DOCTRINE. Founded on faith.III. To remove certain practical errors, and —2. 1.) Study James 2 with ... Chester McCalley . Without this faith it is impossible to please God: when it is exercised and we come, and ally ourselves with our blessed, pardoning, life-giving Saviour, He, too, beholds the happy result of His work and is satisfied. In this particular instance it is intended that we should know that while God was Abraham's Friend, this was not all; but Abraham was God's friend. On certain grand occasions we read: "The Lord made a covenant with Abram." The faith which produces joy is the trust and confidence of the heart in the atonement and righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ! A little word from a friend will pain you much more than a fierce slander from an enemy.(C. They must —1. Friendship creates a measure of equality between the persons concerned. Let us enjoy heaven on the road to heaven. He had a great love for Alexander as a man, whereas others only cared for him as a conqueror and a monarch; and Alexander, perceiving this, placed great reliance upon Parmenio. It must be with a faith which unites the soul to Christ in holy bonds, which makes us one with Him and Him with us, which causes us daily to feed on Him in our hearts, and to hold sacred fellowship with Him as our Guide, Redeemer, and Friend. Sooner or later, if you're really going to have a diet that works, you'll have to give up the belt-driven fat massagers, the deep-fried banana sandwiches, and just do a little education. Christians, while contemplating God, grow glad in His presence; their faith rises into rapture, "joy unspeakable and full of glory." It has passed away like a vapour. If we are to be the friends of God, there must be a conformity of heart, and will, and design, and character to God. Manton, D. D.)Faith perfected by worksJ. THE OBJECT OF FAITH IS THE SAME IN BOTH CASES. )The highest friendshipHomilist.The only true friendship is that spoken of here. At this present moment, among the Arabs and other Mahommedans, the name of Abraham is not often mentioned, but they speak of him as Khalil Allah, or the "Friend of God," or more briefly as of Khalil, "the Friend." He did not cast him off in old age. 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