Spiritual Friendship

In this series, we’ve been saying beliefs don’t automatically change your life. They have to be instilled into your heart through spiritual disciplines, through Christian practices. I’d like to talk now about a Christian practice you probably don’t think of as a practice—the practice of friendship, especially friendship between believers. 

Friendship only happens to the degree you work at it. The ancients considered it the most virtuous of all the loves—because it was the most deliberate. The Bible understood, like all ancient people, how important friendship was. The practice of friendship was something Christians were to extend to everybody in their Christian community. 

That didn’t mean there weren’t levels of intensity. Jesus said to his twelve disciples, “You’re all my friends,” and yet, John was his best friend, and Peter, James, and John were close friends. With some people you practice more intensely, but the Bible says all other believers in your Christian community must be friends. You must practice the disciplines of friendship. 

There are two great features of friendship. In Galatians 5 and 6, let’s look at 1) the constancy of friendship, 2) the intimacy of friendship, and 3) the power to fulfill them. 

This sermon was preached by Dr. Timothy Keller at Redeemer Presbyterian Church on June 1, 2008. Series: Practicing The Christian Life. Scripture: Galatians 5:26-6:5.

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