“Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”
Being a friend of God and being a child of God are two different relationships. You can be a child of God and not be the friend of God. You cannot be a friend of God and not be a child of God. For instance, there are many children who hate their parents, but they are still the children of their parents. I know children who despise their parents, but that does not mean that their parents stop being their parents. On the other hand, I know children who not only accept the fact that they are the child of their parents, but they and their parents have become good friends.
Being a child of God means that you have accepted Christ as your personal Saviour. Being a child of God means that you have been saved. Once you become a child of God, you will never lose that relationship. God guarantees in His Word that once a person becomes a child of God that they will always be His child. However, being the friend of God is much different. In John 15, there are five critical words that show the believer how to become the friend of God. The verse above confirms this truth when it says, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” Notice the biggest little word in this verse is, “…if…” In other words, you are not the friend of God if you don’t do what He commands. Yes, you will still be a child of God, but you won’t be a friend of God. Let me point out the five critical words it takes to become God’s friend.
The first critical word to becoming God’s friend is, “…clean…” Verse 3 says, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” In other words, if you want to become God’s friend, you are going to have to clean your life from sin. You cannot be the friend of God and be a friend of the world at the same time. You must choose whose friend you want to be.
The second critical word to becoming God’s friend is, “…abide…” Several times in this chapter God uses this word. To abide in Christ is to spend time in prayer with Him. You cannot become the friend of God without walking with Him in prayer. The reason Abraham became a friend of God was because He spent much time with God in prayer. If your prayer life is anemic, your friendship with God is weak and your Spiritual testimony will be ineffective.
The third critical word to becoming God’s friend is, “…fruit…” God talks about the believer bearing “much fruit.” You will find it is much easier to be fruitful in the Christian walk when you abide with Christ in prayer. Moreover, you will find that if you stop bearing fruit that you will also stop abiding in prayer. Spending time in prayer and bearing fruit for Christ cannot be separated. You show me how much fruit you are bearing and I can show you how much time you spend in prayer.
The fourth critical word to becoming God’s friend is, “…love…” The fruit-bearing believer will always be the most loving believer. You cannot love people without being a fruit-bearing Christian. The more fruit you bear for Christ, the more you will find yourself loving people. Those who love people the most are those who reach the most for Christ.
The fifth critical word to becoming God’s friend is, “…joy…” The joy of the LORD will be a part of your life when your life’s purpose is to love people. You will only have the joy of the LORD by bearing fruit and loving people.