Salvation is personal with God
Fasting and Feasting

Righteousness and Friendship

I mentioned in a previous post that salvation is personal with God. Righteousness is also personal. We tend to think of righteousness as a set of rules. If we do the “right” things and don’t do the “wrong” things then we are righteous. But righteousness for God is different. To him righteousness is something he credits us with as a result of our coming into a relationship of faith with him.

This relationship is like a friendship. In the book of James, James writes about faith and works. He uses Abraham as an example of someone who had faith and you could see the faith in Abraham’s actions. So, for example, if we look at Abraham’s life we see that he left his home because he believed God; he had a son because he believed God; and he was willing to offer his son as a sacrifice because he believed God would raise him up. James writes it this way:

James 2:22-23
22You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend.

Jesus expressed the relationship between righteousness and friendship this way.

John 15:14-15
14You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

So just as an exercise to help understand the importance of this friendship I have adapted some scriptures from Psalms; replacing words like righteousness with things like friendship.

Psalm 5:12
 12 For surely, O LORD, you bless your friends;
       you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

Psalm 7:17
 17 I will give thanks to the LORD because of his friendship
       and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.

Psalm 18:35
 35 You give your friends your shield of victory,
       and your right hand sustains me;
       you stoop down to make me great.

Psalm 9:8
 8 He will judge the world according to their friendship with him;
       he will govern the peoples with justice.

Psalm 18:20
 20 The LORD has dealt with me according to our friendship;
       according to my being a faithful friend he has rewarded me.

Psalm 24:3-6
 3 Who may ascend the hill of the LORD?
       Who may stand in his holy place?

 4 He who is a friend of God,
       who does not lift up his soul to an idol
       or swear by what is false.

 5 He will receive blessing from the LORD
       and vindication from God his Friend.

 6 Such is the generation of those who seek him,
       who are your friends, O God of Jacob.

       Selah

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