To my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, who, like me, have received the forgiveness of sins, having been washed in the blood of the Lamb, Jesus, the Christ, and our Lord. My friends, there is a subtle, but dangerous sin that has infiltrated the church, that, by the Grace of God, I would like to bring your attention to, so that you may not fall into that snare of the devil. And it has to do with how you see God, and how you see Jesus.
The great evil and foolishness that has infiltrated the church is that we are seeing God less and less as our God, and more and more as our friend. Even more so with Jesus, since He is the One who came down to earth, and took the form of a man. We see Jesus and refer to Him less and less as our Lord and Master, and more and more as our friend.
Now, it is true that a friendship seems more genuine, more loving, and even more affectionate than a God-to-creature or a Master-to-slave relationship. However, allow me to counsel you that this is an extremely slippery slope which often leads to a great sin. It is the reason why NONE of the Apostles ever addressed our Lord Jesus that way, although He, Himself, called them His friends. No! Instead, they always referred to Him as Lord and Master and to themselves as servants or His slaves. And yet, they loved Him deeply! So love and a Master-to-servant relationship are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Matter of fact, this combination is precisely what Christianity is all about.
To be called by a superior a friend is a great honor. But to ever refer to that superior as your friend is pure foolishness and often arrogance. “The President is my friend!” Doesn’t that sound arrogant? Yes it does…because even if it is true, he is first and foremost your President. And your relationship with him is first dictated by that fact…that he is your President. And if you ever forget that fact, you will be reminded of it, whether gently or forcefully!
Now consider that fearing God, having the highest reverence toward God is the foundation of all wisdom and knowledge. Not SOME of it! The fear of the Lord is the foundation of all wisdom and knowledge, and it is God Himself, who gives those things.
Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 2:6 – …the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
Why would we therefore replace that relationship with friendship and miss on wisdom and knowledge, and be called fools? Reverence does not characterize a friendship relationship. Though friendship emphasizes closeness, it also refers to equality. Reverence is not the hallmark of a friendship. No, quite the opposite! A friendship is a relationship that is often casual, and devoid of protocols. A friendship is where we see each other as equal and therefore the other does not deserve any more respect, any more consideration than I do. Failing to honor your engagement in a friendship relationship does not carry the same severity as failing to do it in a Master-slave or God-creature relationship. Passages like the one below are all over the scriptures to remind us of this most solemn truth. He is OUR God! And Jesus is OUR Lord!
Ecclesiastes 5:1-3 – Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.
It is a grave sin not to render to God and Jesus the reverence that is due to them.
Matthew 22:21 – …render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.
Matthew 22:37,38 – You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment.
Ecclesiastes 5:4,5 – When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow. It is better that you should not vow than you should vow and not pay.
As in many things we do which often appear to honor Jesus and yet dishonor Him, so it is when we consider Him less and less as Lord and more and more as friend.
Please dear brethren, let us no longer be guilty of such great a sin. JESUS IS LORD in heaven, and before Him, as men and women who count it the highest honor to be called his faithful servants, we bow.
LORD JESUS, may You receive our worship, and forgive us of this sin. For You are worthy of all Honor, for so it seemed good in the sight of Your Father, OUR God, that You be honored as He is.
In JESUS name. AMEN.