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Friends Of Jesus
The Messiah was often criticized for His friends - repentant people who were regarded as "sinners" by the self-righteous, unrepentant religious authorities. But the sinless Son of God never condoned sin, which itself is a sin. The people that The Christ made friends with were repentant sinners, unlike the scribes and Pharisees who falsely claimed to be without sin (see also Convictions Of Conscience). Repentance (see Growing In The Grace And Knowledge) is what makes friendship with Christ possible.
"12:4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body [see The Sleep Of Death and Through The Gates Of Hell], and after that have no more that they can do.
It was for the repentant that the Christ came to "lay down his life for his friends."
"15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments [see The By-The-Book Messiah], and abide in his love.
"Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you"
There are many who yet claim to be friends of Jesus, without behaving like one, according to His definition of "friend." Friendship with Christ must be genuine, based on the terms of the friendship that He alone has the right and the power to decide. Otherwise, on the Judgment Day, Christ's response to those false friends will be "I never knew you."
"7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
The principle is the same throughout the Holy Scriptures. Abraham (and others, including Moses - see the Fact Finder question below) "was called the Friend of God" because Abraham obeyed God; he didn't merely "believe," as even the devils do - "the devils also believe, and tremble."
"2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 2:15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 2:16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Fact Finder: (a) Was Jesus Christ "the LORD God" of the "Old" Testament? (b) How did the friendship of "the LORD God" and Moses grow?