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Christian Friends
Bible study on Christian friends.

I watched some of our young folks play Guitar Hero the other day, and it reminded me how important it is to have Christian friends.

Christians are Friends
The word "friend" describes the relationship Christians have with each other. It's used by John in his epistle to Gaius.

  • "Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends by name" (3 Jn. 1:15).

It stands to reason that Christians are friends, because we all have one friend in common, Jesus.

Jesus demonstrated his friendship toward us by dying on the cross.

  • "'Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends'" (Jn. 15:13).

And as His disciples, we demonstrate our friendship toward Him by obeying.

  • "'You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends . . . (Jn. 15:14-15).

Christians Love Each Other
Christians are friends because we love each other.

  • "A friend loves at all times . . ." (Pr. 17:17).

The Greek word for "friend" is philos, primarily an adjective denoting loved, dear, or friendly that became used as a noun (Vine's).

Although the word "friend " is used a number of ways, Christians are friends because we're attached to one another by affection (King James Dictionary).

  • "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor" (Rom. 12:10).
  • "For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another" (Gal. 5:13).
  • "Let love of the brethren continue" (Heb. 13:10).
  • "Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart" (1 Pet. 1:22).
  • "Honor all people, love the brotherhood . . ." (1 Pet. 2:17).

Christians Are Friends Because We Love God
As Christians, we love God and obey Him (1 Jn. 5:3).

Because we love God, we love our brethren.

  • "'This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you'" (Jn. 15:12).
  • "Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another" (1 Th. 4:9).

Therefore our relationship with God is shown by our love for our brethren.

  • "By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother" (1 Jn. 3:10).

As Christians, we love God. And because we love God, we love each other, and we're friends.

Friends Give of Themselves
As friends, we give of ourselves to help each other.

Jesus gave us an example by lovingly giving of Himself on the cross.

  • "'Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends'" (Jn. 15:13).

Paul's friends also gave of themselves to help him.

  • "Then he gave orders to the centurion for him to be kept in custody and yet have some freedom, and not to prevent any of his friends from ministering to him" (Acts 24:23).

Likewise, as friends in Christ, we are called by God to give of ourselves to help each another.

  • "We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren" (1 Jn. 3:16).

Individual Responsibility
Developing and maintaining friendships is an individual responsibility.

We must be proactive in our approach to making friends with God's children.

We can't idly wait, hoping others will approach us as a friend. We must approach them.

If we don't call and visit brethren, we can't complain when others don't visit us. Everyone has the same responsibility.

Parental Responsibility
God created us as affectionate people who naturally need friends. Therefore our children need friends.

As parents, we are responsible for giving our children opportunities to have Christian companions. If we don't, we risk losing them to the world (1 Cor. 15:33).

In some geographic areas, this is harder than others.

Some couples have moved to different cities, so their children can live among Christian piers.

Other parents send their children to schools and camps operated by Christians, and make arrangements for them to visit friends throughout the year.

There are different ways of exposing our children to Christian friends, but it's our job as parents to provide the opportunity.

Christians are friends, but friendship takes work.

Let's make sure we're doing our part to be friends, because we love each other as God's children.