Sermon

THE FRIENDS OF GOD (GENESIS 18:1-33; JOHN 3:16-36)

Introduction

God gave Abraham an amazing promise. “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen.12:2-3).

God honours Abraham by calling him His friend (2 Chro.20:7; Is.41:8; Jas.2:23). As a result of that title, God visits him and informs him of His intentions both for himself (vv9-15) and also His plan for the world (vv20-21).

Are you a friend of God?

1st Lesson (Gen.18:1-33)

This story of Abraham teaches us under what conditions we also can enjoy the same intimacy between God and Abraham:

  • Obedience to the word of the Lord is the key which opens our heart to Him (John 14:15; 23).
  • Fear of God which reveals His secrets (Ps.25:14; Amos 3:7)
  • Hospitality to which every Christian is called to do without grumbling (1 Peter 4:9; Rom. 12:13; Heb. 13:2).
  • Interceding for others is good and acceptable in the sight of God (1 Tim.2:1-4).

Reward

  • The announcement of the forthcoming birth of their much-desired heir (v13-14)
  • Sarah laughed, but the Lord makes us to understand that there is nothing too hard for Him.
  • God promised not to hide anything from Abraham (v17).
  • Abraham’s intercession saved Lot and his family.

2nd Lesson (John 3:16-36)

In Gen. 18:20-21, God reveals His plan for Sodom and Gomorrah (the world). In the 2nd lesson God shows us that the world will not be judged without first having been loved.

The promise of God to Abraham to bless and save the world is fulfilled in Jesus (John 3:16-17).

Jesus is the Christ.

  • John testifies that Jesus is the Christ (v28)
  • John rejoices greatly because he is a friend of the bridegroom (v29)
  • John says “He must increase, but I must decrease (v30).
  • John exalts Jesus: “He is above all men”, because He comes from above (v31).

Friendship with God is not a privilege just for Abraham; it belongs to all who follow Jesus.

“This is my commandment, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.Ye are my friends, if ye do the things which I command you. No longer do I call you servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I heard from my Father, I have made known unto you (John 15:12–17).

  • If we trust in Christ, we are His friends. 
  • The longer we walk with Him, the more we know His thoughts deeply.
  • If you are in Christ, God is your friend, and, like any friend, He desires fellowship with you.
  • And if ye are Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, heirs according to promise (Gal.3:29).

Conclusion

This is the conclusion of the matter: The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life; but he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him (John 3:35-36).

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