24. “Friends of God”
In the previous chapters we noted that those who have not yet cleansed their heart are called "servants of God", inasmuch as they do not possess outspokenness in the presence of God (much like "infants" that are afraid of their father), but are still enslaved by sin. We also noted that when the Holy Spirit begins to be active inside the heart of the faithful with the incessant prayer, then the enlightened and cleansed Christian is called "a son of God", because he now stands before God with outspokenness.We shall now promptly proceed to note a third stage, by invoking the example of the Patriarch Abraham. James tells us the following about him: "...You can see how faith collaborated with his works, and (how) faith was perfected by his works, and (how) the scripture was fulfilled, which had said '...and Abraham believed in God, and it was imputed unto him as righteousness and he was called 'the friend of God'..." [James 2:22-23] Why was Abraham named "the friend of God"? The verse is clear: because his faith was "perfected". Thus, when someone reaches perfection, that is when he acquires an even stronger relationship with God. He is no longer a mere "son" - he is also a FRIEND OF GOD. His relationship with God is now such that God can speak to him as a friend - as He did with Abraham. And that was also the kind of relationship between Jesus Christ and His Disciples - the pillars of the Church: "No man has a love greater than this, that he would lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do whatever I instruct you. I will no longer call you 'servants', for a servant does not know what his Lord does. I have called you 'friends', because everything that I have heard by my Father I have made known to you." [John 15:13-15]
Article published in English on: 30-9-2010.
Last update: 15-10-2010.