"A Friend of God" preached by Bro Tyler Baker


April 17, 2016

Part of the chapter that we'll focus on there is beginning at verse number 10 where the Bible says, "And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door. And all the people rose up in worship, every man in his tent door. And the lord spake unto Moses, face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man departed not out of the tabernacle."

Specifically, I want to focus in on the phrase at the very beginning of verse number 11 where the Bible says, "And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face as a man speaketh unto his friend." I want to preach this evening about being a friend of God and having a friendship with God. The title of the sermon this evening is The Friend of God and a lot of times when we hear people talk about having a relationship with God, it'll make us cringe. Because a lot of time, the mouth that it's coming out of is normally like a new Evangelical Christian and the type of relationship that they're claiming to have is a very empty, vain relationship. Normally it's because maybe they have sin in their life and you're talking to them about, "Hey, you shouldn't be doing this or you shouldn't do that," and then they'll give you the phrase, "it's not about a religion, it's about having a relationship." That's the kind of stuff you hear all the time.

So, we tend, when we hear stuff like that commonly, over and over again, sometimes you can overreact to things like that. Sometimes you can go way to far in the other direction. I have replied many times, and I don't think this is a wrong reply, I always tell them, "Why do you keep saying that the word relationship is not even in the Bible?" The word relationship doesn't come up one time in the Bible. We have to be honest that the idea, not the idea that they express, not the empty vain relationship that they try to portray or describe, that's not in the Bible but the idea of having a relationship with God is in the Bible. Especially, specifically the idea of having a friendship with God and God being your friend.

That's brought up repeatedly and right here, this is a perfect example where we see Moses. Over and over again, it contrasts the people the people that are standing out, the congregation. With Moses himself when he's able to go into the tabernacle and he's able to have this special relationship with God that the other people don't have. Then right there, very clearly, it's trying to tell you how close of a relationship they have. In verse number 11 it says, "And the Lord spake to Moses, face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.

I have a lot of spiritual goals, if you will, [inaudible 00:02:39] I have goal of being a better soul and getting better. I want to continually get better at souling. I think you can continually get better. You should always perfect anything better. I always wanted to ... yeah, I think it's turned on. It's on. Yeah I want to continually perfect my soul[inaudible 00:02:58]. Many things, I want to raise my family to be, I want to raise my children to be strong Christians when they grow up. I want them to be mighty Christians when they grow up. I have a personal aspiration to pastor a church one day. I also want to teach them the Bible. I want to teach them how to grow in the knowledge and to grow in the knowledge of the word of God. I personally want you to continue to grow in the knowledge of the Lord and the knowledge of the Bible, but on top of that, I also want to have a strong relationship with God. I want to have a strong friendship with God.

If you will turn your Bibles to Proverbs chapter 17, verse 17. We're going to get a biblical definition of what a friend is. I'll read to you from Merriam Webster's dictionary quickly. The Merriam Webster's dictionary, their definition of what a friend is, the Bible says ... Oh, no I'm sorry the dictionary says, "A friend is a person who you like and enjoy being with." That's definition number one and then definition number two says, " A person who helps or supports someone or something such as a cause or charity." The first thing I thought when I looked these up, was that these are pretty shallow. I think that they're pretty shallow of what a friend truly is. Judges chapter 14, verse 20, this gives a little bit of a better idea as well. It says in Judges chapter 14 verse 20, "But Samson's wife was given to his companion whom he had used as his friend."

So notice, a companion and a friend are two different things. Companion is just like the word company. It's someone just that you're around period. It doesn't necessarily mean that you have a relationship with this person at all. So notice, it's saying that, what it's trying to express is that a friendship or a friend, is a greater relationship than just a companion. He used this person to be his friend, but he was just really his companion is what it said.

Then again, the Bible talks about ... That was identical to what it talked about Moses, how it tried to emphasize his relationship that he had with God above those of the congregation saying that Moses had a better relationship than those of the congregation, everyone else. Exodus chapter 24, verse 2 says, "And Moses alone shall come near the Lord but they shall not come nigh." Referring to those on the congregation. "Neither shall the people go up with him." So again, we see that Moses here was even given special privileges when it came to God. When it came to his relationship with God. God treated him in a different way because of the love that God had for Moses.

Look down to Proverbs chapter 17, verse 17. Proverbs chapter 17, verse 17 says this, "A friend loveth at all times and a brother is born for adversity." According to the Bible, the definition of what a true friend is, is far more that what Merriam Webster's dictionary defined it as. A true friend is someone that loves another person. Also, notice what it says there at the end, no in the beginning there. We'll compare it two things, it says, "A friend loveth at all times," and watch this, "and a brother is born for adversity." When it's saying that a friend loves at all times, it's saying that this person is going to love their friend even in hard times. That's why it restates it in a different way at the end. It says, "and a brother is born for adversity." Now you turn to Deuteronomy chapter 13 verse 6. Deuteronomy chapter 13, verse 6 and we'll get a further idea of what the Bible teaches of what a friendship is.

We today may not think of a friendship of being something where two people love each other, but that's the Bible's definition of what a real friend is. Two people that love each other. It's because, like I said earlier, that people have a very shallow view of a lot of different things today. People have more like this empty, vain type of feeling. They throw words around too much, to point of where it just doesn't mean anything anymore. Now obviously you're going to have different types of love, like I'm going to love my father different that I love my wife. So there are different types of love and the Bible expresses that there is a type of love that one person will have for their friend.

First thing on chapter 18, verse 1 says, "And it came to pass when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David and Jonathan loved him as his own soul." First thing on chapter 18, verse 3 says, "Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul." Over and over again it's talking about Jonathan and David who were just friends, and it says over and over again that they loved one another. First thing on chapter 17, verse 20 said, "And Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him. For he loved him as he loved his own soul." I've even heard people, completely perverted people, say that they had a homosexual relationship. Look down at Deuteronomy chapter 13, verse 6. Watch the way this is worded, "If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom," watch this, "or thy friend, which is as thine own soul." So it's almost a very similar statement. It's almost the exact same statement that it made about David and Jonathan. The love that they had for one another. Just how it said how their soul was knit to one another.

It's almost that exact same place. Over and over again we see the Bible's definition of what a friend is, is a very close relationship. People just throw words around today like "I love you." A man and a woman may get together for like a week and they'll just tell each other they love each other. Or obviously the shallow relationships that go on further in fornication of just meeting one another in just that night, obviously two people going to bed together. But the Bible's definition of a friendship, of two people being friends, is a very strong relationship.

The Bible expresses that over and over and over again. Another thing that you could point out about this is, in Deuteronomy chapter 13, verse 6, look how the friend and the family are categorized together. It said, "if thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers." So notice he puts thy friend in the same exact category as he puts your family. Obviously we love our family. You know a friend is someone that you love. A true friend according to the Bible's definition is someone that you love, but there is a difference between someone that's of your family like a family member and then a friend.

Obviously someone that is in your family, a family member, will always be a family member no matter what. Your child will always be your child, your father will always be your father. There's nothing you can do about that, but a friendship can come to an end. You can have a friend, and then that friendship have some sort of falling out, and you can completely lose all connection and all relationship with that person and have nothing to do with them at all, period. Nothing in common at that point at all. Obviously, we know that when we were saved that we were born again and that we became a child of God. Like the Bible says in John 1:12, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." Just like in your family, with your father or your mother or your children or whoever, you can have a close relationship with those people. You can even have a close relationship with your wife. Obviously, I love my wife so much. You can even become very very good friends with your wife. Believe it or not, you can. I was trying to look for her. She's not even back there. But you can have a very close relationship with anyone of your family, obviously.

That's the same way with God. Nothing can change you, nothing can change your relationship that you have with God as far as you being his child. Nothing can change that, but as far as your friendship goes, just like with your wife, just like with your children, they're always going to be a relative, they're always going to be your family member. We're always going to have our eternal security in Christ, but we can always work on our relationship and our friendship that we have with God. One of the desires that we have as a Christian, should be that we desire to have a great friendship with God. That should be something that we desire. I have a desire to have a friendship with God. One of the things that we see that is an aspect of a friendship here with God, with Moses, is that they're communicating with one another. Over and over again you see that.

Turn to Numbers chapter 12, verse 6. Numbers chapter 12, verse 6. We'll see a couple of the aspects of what establishes a friend of God. Numbers chapter 12, verse 6. "And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak to him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them; and he departed."

There's a lot of things I can point out in this passage right here, but notice the similar wording when he says mouth to mouth, how he speaks to him mouth to mouth. He says, "I will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so," and he says, "who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth," just like he said before, face to face. He's talking about a close relationship like he said before that their souls were knit together, talking about David and Jonathan. That his soul was knit to David's soul. It's trying to express the close relationship that they have one to another. Notice the endearing terms that he keeps referring to Moses by. Look at verse 7 there. He says, "My servant Moses," then again if you look at the very end of verse 8 he says, "To speak against my servant Moses." My servant, he keeps making it personal. This is my servant Moses. And God gets very offended here when people start talking about Moses. It shows the relationship that Moses had with God was a very close relationship.

Another thing that's very cool about this, and this ties in with the communication that we would have with God. Obviously, the way that we would talk to God today would be to pray to God. We would go at whatever time that we got and, just like Moses had here, when we were ahead of time to get alone just like Jesus did when he would go and he would fast. He would have a time when he would be alone and he would go and he would pray to God. We also have a time when God can speak to us, but notice what it says there in verse number 8, it says, "with him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches." Notice Moses, things were revealed unto Moses that were not revealed unto others. God, when God would speak to Moses, God would speak more clear to Moses. God would reveal more things unto Moses than he would unto other people.

Turn over to John chapter 15, verse 15. The last thing I want to point out from Numbers chapter 12 here is the fact of what was one of the things that allowed Moses to have a close relationship with God. It's the first thing that God brings up when he says, "And he said, Hear now my words: if there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream." Then he says this, "My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house." He says that he's faithful and that, when he's using the word faithful right there, he's talking about Moses being dependable. Or Moses being trustworthy. That's why God was revealing certain things unto Moses that he wouldn't reveal unto other people.

The same thing goes if you look at the relationship that Jonathan and David had. David was running from Saul at the time of those scriptures that I read and Jonathan came and met David. Saul is Jonathan's dad and David is meeting him at a time when Saul is trying to kill David. David was willing, he loved Jonathan so much and he trusted Jonathan. He found Jonathan faithful that he would meet up with Jonathan close to the very same place that Saul was abiding in. He would give Jonathan information, that if Jonathan wasn't faithful to him, he could've turned him over at any time. He was willing to reveal this kind of information unto Jonathan at that time because he loved Jonathan and he found Jonathan faithful because they had a good relationship. They had a good friendship. That's why it uses the verse there, it says he was "faithful in all mine house," and what that means, he's talking about everything that God had given unto Moses. All mine house referring to the office that Moses was given. Moses was given a large responsibility. A huge responsibility of authority over all of the house of God. Over all the tabernacle, over all the church and all the congregation that was in the wilderness.

God will look at our lives and he'll see, he'll give us little bits at a time, and if we're not faithful with what he gives us, then he's not going to give us anymore. The Bible's really clear about that over and over and over again. Look down there at John chapter 15, verse 15. Jesus speaking, he says, "Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends," now watch this, "for," that means because, "all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." So he's says he calls them friends for the reason of all the things that he's made known unto them. He's telling specific things unto the disciples that he's not telling unto just the masses. Unto all the crowd that's coming unto him.

Look at John chapter 15, verse 14, the verse directly below that and we'll look at another aspect of having a friendship with God. The Bible says, "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." Now this flies in the face of the people that all the time will just tell you, "It's not about a religion, it's about a relationship," and it's actually the exact opposite of what they're saying. In order to have a close friendship or a close relationship with God, it comes by obedience. Number one, you have to be faithful. You have to be a faithful servant. Then, once God finds you faithful, God will show you things in the Bible, God will give you an understanding of his word. He'll put you in a position to where you're able to serve him and to be obedient and then, once you are obedient, that will qualify you according to Jesus, as a friend of God.

Now let's turn over to James chapter 2. James chapter 2 and we're going to further look at this. Another great man in the Bible which was referred to as a faithful servant and was also referred to as a friend of God, was Abraham. This chapter here, where we're at, in James chapter 2 is obviously an often abused chapter by many that believe in work salvation. I don't want to focus too much in on the correct interpretation of this passage. Obviously we know that Pastor Anderson has elaborated and explained this numerous times in the past, so I don't want to focus too much on it because that's kind of outside of the scope of the sermon but I'll touch on it a little bit just when it's relevant here.

We'll start reading at verse number 21. The Bible says, "Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?" That's obviously what the people ... This will be the first place they take you to try to prove work salvation unto you, and they tell you Abraham was justified by works. They'll take verses like this which just clearly contradicts so many other verses in the Bible. Just verses that almost say verbatim of the opposite of what they're trying to make this teach. When they're wrong about the interpretation of this versus like, Romans chapter 3, verse 28 that says, "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." It actually uses the word justified. When you study the Bible you'll start realizing that there's more than one type of justification. There's a justification before God, and then there's also a justification before man. That's why if you compare Romans chapter 4 with this passage, it talks about Abraham and it says, "what shall we say then, that Abraham, our father as pertaining to the flesh hath found?" It's talking about his works, it's talking about his deeds.

This is Romans chapter 4, so it's literally the very next verse after what I just quoted to you, Romans 3:28 that says that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. It says, "what shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?" And then it says this, "For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God." If Abraham were justified by works, he could glory but not before God. So what's the only other option if you can't glory before God, obviously you're glorying before man. You could justify your own works to man, just like the Bible said in the old testament. That man looks on the outward appearance and God looks on the heart. Man cannot see your faith. God can see your faith and by your faith, God justifies us. Then we can prove that we have faith, by our works. We can show that by our works.

Look down at verse 22. Further proof of that is just when you look at Genesis chapter 15, where Abraham believes on God, he accounts it unto him for righteousness. This passage that it's referring to Abraham being justified here, occurs years later, decades later in Genesis chapter 22, when Isaac is fully grown. So it's two types of justification.

Now look down at verse 22. The Bible says, "Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?" So we're talking about having perfect faith here. If a person believed that this was for salvation, you'd have to say that in order to be saved you have to have perfect faith. Which is ridiculous, obviously. Now look at verse 23, and this is where I want to focus on. It says, "And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God," and that's where I got the title of my sermon this evening where it says he was called the Friend of God. What an honor that would be to be known as the friend of God. That the Creator and the savior of all mankind desires to have a relationship, desires to have a friendship, a personal friendship like Moses had, that he wants to speak to us face to face, as a man speaks unto his friend. That's a great honor and a great privilege.

Now you turn over to 2 Chronicles chapter 20, verse 7. What I wanted to focus on here is where the Bible says in verse 23, I'll read it to you, while you turn to 2 Chronicles chapter 20, verse 7. It says, "And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness," and then it says this, "and he was called the Friend of God." Now things in the Bible, a lot of people will accuse that. That the interpretation of James chapter 2 when you say that Abraham was justified before man by his works. He was justified by his works, not before God, but before man. People will look at that interpretation of the Bible, and they'll say, "How was Abraham justified before man, when it was just Abraham and Isaac that went up on the mountain.

Romans chapter 4, verse 23 says, "Now it was not written," this is concerning Abraham specifically, "Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead." Romans chapter 15, verse 4 says, "For whatsoever things were written before time, were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope." So the things that were recorded in the Bible when Abraham went up to the mountain, God recorded all those things for our learning years later. The millions of people over time that have opened their Bible and they've read in Genesis chapter 15, that Abraham believed God and accounted unto him for righteousness. Then they flip over a few pages and they read in Genesis 22, when Abraham is obedient when God gives him an extremely hard task to follow a hard command, and then they see Abraham follow through with it. They're able to see his faith play out in the eyes of the reader.

Look at second Chronicles chapter 20, verse 5. It says, "And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court, and said O Lord God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? And rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? And in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee? Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land," this is Jehoshaphat speaking, "before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?" So when it quotes in James chapter 2 and it talks about that Abraham was called the Friend of God, that's from the reader's perspective.

When you look and you read in the scriptures, and you see in Genesis chapter 15 that Abraham believed God and was accounted unto him for righteousness, then you're able to see the great act that Abraham followed through with because of his faith. It fulfills that scripture. In Genesis chapter 15, he proves that he had the faith by his work. A lot of people will take that too far and they'll say, "Oh because you're able to prove your faith by your works, that must mean if you don't have works, then you don't have faith." And that's not true. We know that that's not true 100 percent. The Bible says that, "Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."

Now turn over to Isaiah chapter 41, verse 8. Isaiah chapter 41, verse 8. So we see that it was Jehoshaphat that first said that Abraham was God's friend. So he was able to look at the relationship that Abraham had with God because of God's obedience. Through God's obedience. He was able to see that Abraham was God's friend through his obedience. Just like what Jesus said, "ye are my friends if you do whatsoever I command you." Now look down at Isaiah chapter 41, verse 8. Isaiah chapter 41, verse 8. The Bible says, "But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend." How great would that be to be known as the friend of God and God to say himself, "the seed of Abraham my friend."

Turn to Proverbs chapter 18, verse 24. It was because, number one, that Abraham was a faithful servant. Just like Moses was a faithful servant unto God. It was also because Abraham was obedient unto God. Just like Moses was obedient in all his house, the Bible says. He was faithful, he was a faithful servant. Now God loves us obviously and he showed us his love when he died for us on the cross, we know that. But Jesus speaking in John chapter 15, verse 13, he also said this, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

Now look down at Proverbs chapter 18, verse 24 and I'll end here. The Bible says, "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." Obviously, we wouldn't have to guess who that's speaking of. Obviously that's referring to God and that's referring to Jesus Christ. The relationship that we could have with God would be so much greater than that of a relationship that we could have with a human being, with a friend upon this earth. The great thing about it is, is that not only did God save us from hell, but the Creator of this earth desires a personal friendship with us. He went so far as to record the acts in the Bible of other great men in the Bible that he had a great friendship with and he told us the attributes that they had which allowed them to develop that friendship and allowed them to acquire that friendship with him.

We have the recipe in the Bible here that would allow us to have a friendship with God. The number one thing that we need is we need to be a faithful servant. The number two thing that we need to do is we need to be obedient unto the commands that God gives us. The number three thing of what we saw all throughout the Bible with Moses and with Abraham and with so many other great men of God, is the communication that men of God would have with the Lord. That's praying to him obviously. Spending time praying to God and also reading God's word. Allowing him to speak with us.

So let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Dear heavenly Father, Lord we thank you for this night, we thank you for your word, we thank you for just loving us, dear Father and telling us about all the great men of the Bible and giving us great examples of what we may follow dear Lord. We're thankful we have a loving Creator, dear Lord, a Creator that desires a friendship with us. We ask you, dear Lord that you would renew in us a clean spirit and renew in us a right spirit, dear Lord God, that we would serve you to all of our might and with all of our power. We love you and just be with us. In Jesus Christ's name. Amen.