Saturday, February 18, 2012

Book Review: Being God's Friend

Being God's Friend. Charles Spurgeon. 1997. Whitaker House. 175 pages.

Being God's Friend has six chapters (or six essays, six sermons). It is a good book, a challenging book, in a way. Because it is much easier to read about grace and love and justification than it is to read about obedience and sanctification. But Spurgeon's text--like always--is rich in Scripture.

The Obedience of Faith (Hebrews 11:8)
"At Thy Word" (Luke 5:5)
Elijah's Plea (1 Kings 18:36)
Love's Law and Life (John 14:15)
The Friends of Jesus (John 15:14)
The Man Who Will Never See Death (John 8:51-53)

Being God's Friend is about living in right relationship with God. It is NOT about justification. It is not about works salvation. It is not about being good enough, obedient enough, that God "likes" you and accepts you into His family. No, Being God's Friend is about sanctification and obedience. It is about how believers who have already been justified and accepted (reckoned right with God based on Christ's righteousness and Christ's atonement for sins) can now abide with Christ by being obedient, by following God's will, by obeying his commandments. Yes, this one is about holiness--how we're called to be holy, set apart, to be "the called out" ones. Yes, we're to walk with Christ, abide in Him. But what does that mean to put Him first, to live for Christ, to walk in the light as He is in the light?

My favorite quotes:

There is a holy familiarity with God that cannot be enjoyed too much, but there is a flippant familiarity with God that cannot be abhorred too much. (13)
May God grant us a supreme, overmastering faith, for this is the kind of faith that we must have if we are to lead obedient lives. We must have faith in God's right to rule, faith in the justness of His commands, faith in our personal obligation to obey, and faith that His commands must be the chief authority of our lives. (19)
It is very interesting how people try to give God something other than what He asks for! The Lord says, "My son, give me thine heart" (Proverbs 23:26), and they give Him ceremonies. He asks for obedience, and they give Him man-made religion. He asks for faith and love and justice, and they offer meaningless sacrifices. They will give everything except the one thing that He will be pleased with: To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams" (1 Samuel 15:22). (24)
Common life is the true place in which to prove the truth of godliness and bring glory to God. (52)
I would rather be a fool and do what Christ tells me than be the wisest man of the modern school of thought and despise the Word of the Lord. (73)
The reason why some churches do not prosper is because they have not done according to God's Word. They have not even cared to know what God's Word says. Another book is their standard. (80)
Do not deceive yourself. You cannot be saved in our sins; you are to be saved from your sins. You and your sins must part, or else Christ and you will never be joined. (89)
Love must act as mother, nurse, and food to obedience. (105)
Never glory in armor that you have not tested, or rejoice in love for Christ that has not been tried and proven. (111)
Jesus does not say, "As long as you love me in your hearts, I do not care anything about your lives." It is not written, "If you love me, do whatever you please." There is no such doctrine as that between the covers of the Holy Book. (116)
Friendship cannot live on windy talk; it needs matter-of-fact bread. (135)
I wish that we all lived as if Jesus were always present, as if we could see His wounds and gaze into His beautiful countenance. (159)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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