Just taught a little series on Biblical frienship in my Bible class. Here are my basic notes:
The body of Christ ought to be the basis of our fellowship as believers. –Eph. 4:1-6; Heb. 10:22-25
The body of Christ provides a central heart, a central purpose, and a central goal; each of which give our friendships a benefit of love, purpose, and lasting worth.
1) Heart: Common loves between all believers: God, the Word, worship, service, God’s house, etc..
2) Purpose: Common goal to all our lives. I am a friend to any person that wants to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. We are giving everything to know, serve, and love the same Savior.
3) Goal: Heaven. The understanding that all our friendships are eternal should cause us to view them with a new perspective of love, worth, and meaning. And a very select few we get to know for eternity plus!
The influence of friendships/fellowship is inescapable; either positively or negatively. –Ps. 119:63; Prov. 27:17; 1 Cor. 15:33-34; 2 Tim. 2:22
How do we maintain friendship with unsaved people/the world?
We are to keep our unsaved friends with the purpose of bringing them to Jesus and not simply to fellowship with them around worldly things. –Jn. 17:13-18; 2 Cor. 6:14-18; Eph. 5:11-13
What are your friendships fellowshipping around? Rejoicing in? Who is in the lead? Are we helping or hurting the gospel? What appetites and desires drive our relationships? We need to continue friendship with the unsaved where possible, but we need to cut off fellowship with the world.
We do not separate from the world because we are too good or judgmental; we separate from the world because we are not good enough to keep our testimony and personal walk clean amidst certain pressures. In the end, those who would have accepted and loved Jesus should accept and love us. Those who would have rejected Jesus should reject us.
Priority of “being” over “having”.
The key to understanding Biblical friendship is asking “Am I a friend?” vs. “Do I have friends?” We will give an account to God of how friendly we were, not how many people liked us. True Biblical friendship is a positive and active reality. See –Prov. 18:24; Jn. 15:12-13; Rom. 12:10; 15:1-3; Phil. 2:2-5; etc…
Use example of David and Jonathan as one whose life benefited another. Is anyone’s life better because you are their friend? Divesting of oneself to the blessing of another.
Prayer: Phil. 1:3-5; 2 Tim. 1:3; 1 Peter 3:12
Deeds: Gal. 6:10; 1 John 3:16-19
Encouragement: Rom. 12:14-18; 1 Thess. 5:11; 1 Peter 3:8-9
Speech: Eph. 4:29; Col. 3:16-17; 4:6; 1 Peter 3: 9-10
Correction: 1 Cor. 5:9-13; Gal. 6:1-2; 2 Thess. 3:6-7; 14-15
Wounds: Prov. 19:11; 27:5-6; Eph. 4:15
Forgiveness: Prov. 17:9; 19:11; Lk.17:3-5; Eph. 4:32; 1 Thess. 5:15; 1 Peter 3:11