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"   Wcelebrate in song and even refer  If they wondered what that might look
                 hat a Friend We Have in Jesus”  times during the upper room discourse
                 is one of our favorite hymns. We  – “love one another” (13:34,35; 15:12,17).

        to the Lord Jesus in our prayers that He is  like, He told them to love one another “as
        our Friend. But would He refer to us as His  I have loved you” (13:34; 15:12). They had
        friends? Abraham was called “the friend of  an example to follow, a model to imitate.
        God” (Jas 2:23). Scripture implies Moses  And in less than 24 hours, they would
        was also God’s friend (Exo 33:11). But I’m  witness the greatest act of love that could
        not anything like these great men of God.  be demonstrated – the Savior laying down
        Yet in the upper room the Lord Jesus said  His life for His friends (15:13). This is an
        to His own, and, by extension, to all those  exceedingly high standard, yet it is com-
        who would become His, “I have called  manded. The Lord expects that those He
        you friends” (Joh 15:15).  He called them  calls His friends would sacrifice out of love
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        friends because “all that I have heard from  for one other.
        my Father I have made known to you.”   There are two keys within His discourse
        Friends share their plans, and the Savior  as to how we might be able to love as He
        certainly did that with His own, holding  loved us. The first is to remain in His love
        nothing back. So, there is a sense in which  (15:9). Abide there. Live there. Stay there.
        we are Christ’s friends since He has openly  Enjoy His love. Appreciate it. Bask in it.
        shared what He heard from His Father.  And if we remain in His love, we’ll be much
          But the Lord Jesus also challenged them  more likely to reflect it. The second key is
        (and us) with these words: “You are my  found throughout the discourse repeatedly.
        friends if you do what I command you”  We can only love as Christ loved us by the
        (v14). Here the emphasis is not on His  power of the Holy Spirit, the Helper, who
        actions but on ours. Imagine someone  now dwells within us. As we yield to Him,
        coming to you and saying, “You can be my  the love of Christ will pour out from us to
        friend if you do everything I tell you.” That  one another in acts of self-sacrifice, because
        person would be very unlikely to have any  “the fruit of the Spirit is love …” (Gal 5:22).
        friends at all. But this is our Savior speak-  We used to be the Lord’s enemies. We
        ing, and He will never command anything  were “enemies in [our] minds as expressed
        that’s not for our good and our ultimate  through [our] evil deeds” (Col 1:21 NET).
        blessing. Would the Lord Jesus refer to us  But we have been “reconciled to God by
        as His friends based on this verse alone?  the death of his Son” (Rom 5:10). Yet grace
        Do we obey His commands?             brought about not only reconciliation to
          One of His commands was given four  God but also friendship with Him. Let us
                                             prove it by keeping the commands of the
        1  Bible quotations in this article are from the ESV   Lord Jesus, by loving one another as He
        unless otherwise noted.              loved us.

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