A Friend That Sticks Closer Than a Brother: Proverbs18:24

At Risen Life Church we have been preaching out of the book Proverbs.  In this series we have systematized the major themes of Proverbs and have preached accordingly.  In the following sermon I am exploring what God has said in Proverbs about Friendship.  I preached this sermon at Gateway Community Church in Draper, Utah.  Risen Life is partnering with Gateway to further the Gospel in Salt Lake City.  Below I have provided a quick recap of my sermon.  I highly encourage you to listen to the full sermon HERE.

If you do a survey of the verses in Proverbs on friendship there seems to be four major categories that speak about the characteristics of Godly friends.  Proverbs points to the fact that: a friend chooses to love always, a friend is trustworthy, a friend can influence our character, and a friend can correct in love.  In the following sermon I take a look at each of these characteristics that Proverbs presents about friends and then show how Christ fulfills the paradigm of a good friend.

A friend chooses to love always. Proverbs 17:17, 17:9, 10:12, 20:26 all speak to the fact that a Godly friend chooses to love always.  Often we become friends through common interest and mutual agreement on truth.  Most of my best friends have come through the Church.  As friends, we agree on the truth of the Gospel and we strive for the Gospel together.  To remain friends we must choose to love one another above all things.  This is just as true in marriage as it is in friendship.  Christ loved us while we were yet sinners and for this reason alone we can learn to love our friends always.  We not only want to seek friends that will extend love to us in all circumstances but we want to be friends that will do the same.

A friend is trustworthy. Proverbs 11:13, 16:28, 26:19, 11:12 all teach about what it means to be trustworthy as a friend.  A friend keeps what we have entrusted to them and they do not use what they know to their own benefit or for our destruction.  Instead, they love us and want the best for us.  There is nothing better than to have a friend that can keep what we have entrusted to them.

A friend can influence our character.  Proverbs 22:24 urges us to stray from friends that would influence our character for evil.  Rather, we should seek friends that influence us for good.  I have had friends that have influenced me for good and bad.  The Bible urges us to choose our friends carefully.  Because of the nature of friendship, we will take on what our friends value, enjoy, and believe.  We want to find friends that help us to walk in paths of righteousness as well as be friends that lead in the same.

A friend can correct.  Proverbs 27:6, 27:9-10, 27:17 all show the benefits of having a close, loving friend that can point out sin in our life.  Friends that are willing to speak truth into our lives are part of God’s plan for the sanctification of believers.  The question we often ask at Risen Life is, “Who are you doing life with?”  Meaning, who in the body of Christ are you letting speak into your life?

Jesus is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.  What we see in Proverbs 18:24 is that all friends will fail at some point, but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.  That friend is Jesus.  In fact as we walk with Jesus we see that he fulfills the true paradigm of a Godly friend.  He is the friend that loves us at all times; He is the friend that is ultimately trustworthy; He is the friend that influences our character by His Spirit; He is the friend that is committed to lovingly correcting us.

The question for us is, “Will we accept the handshake of friendship that Jesus extends to us?”  If you will confess Jesus as Lord, repent of your sins, and walk with Him, He will call you friend.


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