Christ My Friend!
William Nicholson, 1862
"Yes, He is altogether lovely! This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend!" Song of Songs 5:16
It is the very essence of true religion, to feel that God is ours. To have him for our portion, yields the highest comfort, and invests with the greatest wealth in time and in eternity. Christ is the Friend of all true believers.
I. Man Needs a Friend.Human friendship is needful, etc., but this is a Divine friendship.
1. Man needs a Divine friend, as a lost sinner. He is in a state of spiritual guilt and ruin — the subject of destitution and abject misery. His state, in this respect, is beautifully illustrated by the parable of the Good Samaritan, Luke 10:30. He fell among thieves, to which sin and Satan may be compared. They robbed him of the Divine image, knowledge, love, communion with God, and happiness. They wounded him, and made him incapable of service, and rendered him loathsome, etc. They stripped him, and left him exposed to the storms of Divine wrath.
Man therefore needs a friend. He is a debtor; he is a prisoner; he is a slave to Satan, etc. Neither men nor angels could save him.
Christ became his friend. Strikingly illustrated by Revelation 5:1-6. He became a surety — and died as a sacrifice. He sends his Spirit to regenerate and restore man, etc.
2. Man needs a Divine friend, as a believer. Consider his afflictions — his persecutions — his spiritual conflicts with the flesh, the world, etc. He has to die, and for that he needs a friend.
II. Some of the PROPERTIES of this Divine Friend.
1. He is a rich friend. He is rich essentially. "In him dwells all the fullness," etc. He is rich graciously, Colossians 1:19.
2. He is a liberal friend, James 1:5.
3. He is a tender-hearted friend. Isaiah 63:9; Zechariah 2:8; Hebrews 4:15. Any wrong done to his people, he considers as done to himself, Acts 9:4, 5; Isaiah 51:22, 23.
4. He is a powerful friend. He can deliver from all perils — and subdue all enemies. "All power," etc. Ephesians 1:19.
5. He is a faithful friend. He was faithful to his Father. He is the "true and faithful Witness" — faithful to his people. How different from men! "I will never leave you nor ever forsake you!" See John 13:1; 2 Timothy 4:17. He is a friend invariably, in poverty, as well as in wealth, etc. He never changes.
Christians will enjoy Christ's Divine friendship forever!
III. The Happiness of Possessing Such a Friend.
1. It implies a saving interest in him as the Mediator, and that brings pardon, and peace, and joy.
2. His friendship is realized, by reposing our concerns in his hands. "Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you." etc.
3. An assurance of his friendship inspires the soul with holy courage. Neb. 6:11; Psalm 18:29. "I can do all things," etc.
4. It produces inward satisfaction and joyful anticipation. When a person can say, "this house, this land, this inheritance etc., is mine," he thinks himself happy. A Christian can say, "God is my friend, and he shall be with me and guide me to the very end!" etc.
5. It calms the mind in trouble, and renders the soul triumphant over spiritual foes.
1. Is Christ your friend, and such a one to you as has been described?
2. Let not any sin part you from your Friend.
3. See the wretched condition of those who have no Divine Friend.