Fruit of the Spirit: Jesus, a Faithful Friend
Charles Spurgeon once said in a sermon, “There can not, by any possibility, arise any cause which could make Christ love us less.” This is what faithful friendship looks like in its most perfect form. A faithful friend does not love you any more or less because of what you can or can’t offer. Some people may look for their friendships to increase their wealth, status, or benefits. Some may abandon you because you did not meet their expectations, you failed in some way, or you’ve become unuseful to them somehow.
Not so with Christ.
He cannot grow more wealthy, so there is nothing you can offer him to make him love you more. He cannot achieve a higher status — he rules and reigns over all. He does not look at our failings with disgust but with compassion. He does not turn away when we fall short of expectations but comes toward us with mercy.
This is the faithfulness of God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
Jesus’s friendship with us is the most faithful relationship we’ll ever encounter.
The fruit of the Spirit is a reflection of Christ. In Galatians 5:22, when Paul lists faithfulness as a fruit of the Spirit, we need to understand how Jesus is faithful so that we can mirror him. How do we see his faithfulness?
He is faithful to his Church. Jesus shows the Church a steadfast, consistent, sanctifying, and deep love. It is sacrificial and unending. Paul describes the Church as Christ’s own body — that’s how much he loves it.
He is faithful to forgive. Jesus does not turn away from us when we’re stuck in sin. He’s moves toward us, ready to forgive and embrace us again.
He was and is faithful to the mission. His life, death, and resurrection is the ultimate example of faithfulness. He carried out God’s redemption plan to the very end, and he will continue to carry out that plan throughout eternity.
Jesus shows his faithful friendship to us in many other ways, but this is a great place for us to start. Let’s show faithfulness to the Church, by loving it well.It doesn’t mean the Church, made up of fallible humans, will always get it right. But our faith will help it grow and mature in the gospel. Let’s be faithful to forgive. Withholding forgiveness will not draw us closer to Christ. Practicing forgiveness will give us a glimpse into his heart, though. Lastly, let’s be faithful to the gospel. Our faithfulness to the gospel will lead others to Christ and cause it to spread in our spheres of influence.
Do you see how Christ’s perfect friendship with you is a beautiful example of faithfulness?
How has Jesus been a friend to you? We’d love to hear about it!