Text: 1 Samuel 18:1-3
1. True friendship must be based on a common faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
There is a limit as to how close I can be with those who are not believers. See 2 Corinthians 6:14-15.
2. The purpose of Christian friendship is to spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
The first man’s need for companionship was part of his pre-fall condition. Cf: "It is not good for man to be alone" (Gen 2:18). The practical value of friendship is outlined in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.
For believers, however, beyond any natural or practical value, there is also a distinctly spiritual purpose to friendship (see Proverbs 27:6, 17; 1 Corinthians 15:33).
3. You can only have truly close friendships with a limited number of people.
Part of our human finitude is the fact that we cannot have true, warm, close friendships with a large number of people.
Even Jesus himself limited the number friends who were close to him (cf. Mark 9:2; John 11:3, 35; 15:23-25; 21:20).
4. It is good to seek a variety of friends within your local church.
See Titus 2:1-10.
5. If you want to make friends you must show yourself friendly.
See Proverbs 18:24.
6. If you are married, then your husband or wife must be your best friend.
The husband and wife share an inner sanctum of intimacy and closeness that cannot be shared with anyone else (Genesis 2:14).
7. It is good for your family to have encouraging friendships with other likeminded families.
8. Friendships should be personal.
This comment is needed for the internet age. I am skeptical of internet friends. As someone said, we need more "face time" than "face book."
9. We should not make an idol of friends.
Does a friend’s opinion of you, your actions, or you behavior have such hold on you that you desire more his approval than God’s? See Psalm 118:8.
10. We should seek above all the friendship of Christ.
We need to be Jesus-centered (John 15:13-17).
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle