Archive of Pastor Darby's Sermon Notes, transcribed from his original typewritten documents

James 2:23

HOW TO BE A FRIEND OF GOD

Jan 9, 1972 am


MANY TIMES IN THE MIDST OF A GREAT DOCTIRNAL DISCOURSE WE FIND PRECIOUS JEWELS OF TENDER LOVE

  • Men have debated James and Paul regarding their words on faith for centuries - Luthor/James.
  • Paul deals with the doctrine, while James deals with the ethical results in man - faith perfected.
  • But look carefully and you will find a rare jewel, and if you want to really appreciate life, especially new life...

...you must learn to appreciate the beauty of this precious gem.

THE GREAT ARGUMENT - JAMES 2:14 - FAITH VS. WORKS

When giants fight, the earth trembles.  When elephants battle, the grass get bent - so look out!

JAMES WAS CONCERNED ABOUT THOSE WHO "SAID" THEY HAD FAITH, WHEN IN REALITY THEY HAD NONE!

  • "What profit ... if a man say..."  James does not say, and scriptures do not say that man has faith!
  • James presents an abstract idea, making it tangible by a hypothetical illustration - If - v.16-17
  • "Yea, another man may say..." - v.18 when one word against another - action makes the difference.

PAUL WROTE OF FAITH FROM A DIFFERENT DIRECTION, AS THE GERM OF REAL LIFE, WAY TO SALVATION - ROM 4

  • Abraham believed God, and it was counted for righteousness - Rom 4:3, men cry for credulity - God, too.
  • Note the distinction between salvation and rewards - v.4, but for salvation, no one can earn it.
  • Faith, not works, leads to justification and imputation of righteousness - v.5, then comes works.

JAMES ASKS, CAN A FAITH THAT IS JUST SPOKEN (AND FALSELY SO), CAN THAT FAITH SAVE? V.14, JAMES 2

  • James deals with the insincere asker - 1:6, hearers - 1:22, now with the insincere sayers - 2:14
  • John repeatedly asked - "If a man say..." - an example of one who lied, or was mistaken - I Jn 1:6
  • James reminds us "The devils believe ... one God (the battle cry of Mohammed) and tremble" - Jas 2:9

Then there must be a big difference between saying we have life, and really possessing it!

THE PRECIOUS GEM - JAMES 2:23B

  • In the midst of construction of a major doctrine, a sweet devotional thought comes through - note

ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND MORE THAN THIS, HE WAS CALLED THE FRIEND OF GOD!  V.23

  • God imputed righteousness to him because he believed, but Abraham went further - he was a friend.
  • Abraham did not just believe and sit waiting for God to carry him off to heaven - he lived.
  • II Chron 20:7 - Jehoshaphat recognized "Thy friend forever"; Isa 41:8 God says - Abraham - MY friend.

IT IS TRUE THAT GOD SHOWED GREAT FRIENDSHIP TO ABRAHAM, AND GAVE HIM GREAT BLESSINGS

  • Gen 12:1,2; 17:1-5 God called Abram, blessed him, and promised him great blessings to come.
  • Gen 18:1 - pictures God as coming by Abraham's tent to have fellowship with him - bless him.
  • But the hidden jewel here is that God talked to Abraham, and told him of His plan for Sodom.

THE AMAZING THING IS THAT THE SCRIPTURES TELL US THAT ABRAHAM SHOWED HIS FRIENDSHIP FOR GOD!

  • Abraham provided water, food, - Gen 18:4 - and even more - that which God seeks - fellowship.
  • It is true that when God gave him guidance, he followed it; God commanded - he obeyed.
  • But don't you ever forget, Abraham was not a perfect man; he sinned grievously - then why was he blessed?

In spite of Abraham's faults, he was God's friend!  He showed it possible for a man to be so!

HOW TO BE THE FRIEND OF GOD!

I try to get people to read and practice Carnegie's "How to Win Friends..." forget influence -

HAVE YOU EVER REALIZED THAT GOD WANTS YOU TO BE HIS VERY SPECIAL FRIEND? AND WHY?

  • God created you, preserved you, sought you in love, saved many of you, changed some -- still?
  • God has a great hunger and thirst that is uncared for - Wed. night - God's Personality - God wants friends.
  • Our leaders have few friends, pastors have few, often LONELY - How lonely is God for a friend?

JESUS CALLED HIS DISCIPLES NOT SERVANTS, BUT FRIENDS - SHOWING HIS LONELINESS

  • I can never forget His words in John 6:67: "Will ye also go away?" - Jesus led a lonely life.
  • But He called us friends, and gave us purpose - John 15:16 - bear fruit - bring more friends!
  • He gave us our way of life - if we are friends - v.17, love one another!

YOU CAN BE A FRIEND OF GOD IF YOU WANT TO BE!  BUT WILL YOU WANT TO BE GIVING, OR GETTING?

  • Prov 18:24 tells us plainly how to be a friend - be friendly!  Giving of yourself!
  • God has given of Himself to prove His friendship - Rom 5:8 - Christ died for us!  Salvation!
  • If you want to be called The Friend of God, why not prove your love for Him!  Live for Him!

We have too little real Holiness today.  Too little letting God talk to you.  God has not moved...

WILL YOU BE THE FRIEND OF GOD WHEN HE NEEDS YOU?  I COR 8:3 "IF ANY MAN LOVE GOD - THE SAME IS KNOWN OF HIM"

  • If you would be His friend, start out by saying it - Rom 10:8,9 Word of Faith.
  • Show that you are His friend - Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep my commandments" - Jn 14:15
  • Do you think for one moment that you can out-love God?  Try it and see what happens!