Alas, in the world today, the word friend has been watered down. It has become a cheap word, and friendship can be a cheap thing. But I want you to know that God’s standard of friendship has not changed. For God, friendship is based on covenant commitment. Through covenant commitment, Abraham became a friend of God. Under the new covenant, Jesus wants to bring us into the same relationship with Him—as His friends—that Abraham entered into under the old covenant.
In John 15:15, Jesus said to His disciples,
No longer do I call you slaves,…but I have called you friends. (nasb)
That is a promotion, from being a slave to being a friend. But we need to understand that, for us just as much as it was for Abraham, friendship is not cheap. It costs something to be a friend of Jesus. For us, the basis of friendship with Jesus is the same as it was for Abraham. It is covenant commitment. Jesus was about to lay down His life for us when He said, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13 nasb). But remember, if we are to be Jesus’ friends, we have to lay down our lives for Him. It is a two-way commitment.