“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15)
Scripture Reading – I Corinthians 3:9-15
The goal of our faith is to grow into maturity in Christ Jesus. Paul wrote that as we gaze upon the glory of Christ, we are transformed into His image (2 Cor.3:18). In other words, as we learn to abide in Christ day by day, we will be transformed becoming more like Him. When we first believed in Christ, we were redeemed or ransomed, which means Jesus bought us and we became His slaves. When a slave was bought in the market, he became the property of his new master. Likewise, because Christ purchased us with the payment of His precious, holy blood, we now belong to Him.
Our redemption, however, was only the beginning. The more we abide in Christ, the more we will understand the Father’s plan of salvation for the world. In His Word, we see that God desires that no one be condemned. He wants all to be saved through faith in Christ. When we follow Christ, He changes our minds and hearts to be one with His, so that His mission will become our mission. When that happens, we are no longer called slaves but servants. A slave does a job without knowing why, and only does what he is told. However, we understand the Father’s plan. We know how much He loves the world and wants it to be set free from Satan’s power. Now that we understand that, we don’t hesitate to participate in His mission of bringing the gospel of salvation to the ends of the earth. We are no longer slaves, but now are Christ’s friends. Now obeying His will has become our desire. We are God’s co-workers for building His kingdom.
In order to have your status changed from slave to friend, there is one requirement that must be fulfilled: to obey Christ’s commands. Jesus has already revealed the Father’s will to us through His Word, so we know what His commands are, but it is the mature disciple who obeys them. Too often, we want the blessings of salvation and a relationship with Christ without the cost that comes with being a disciple. Jesus commissioned us to do the work of bringing the gospel to others. He commands us to love one another, so that we will be a witness to the world. By loving one another, people will see that we are no longer enemies of God, but are at peace with Him. And because of that, we can now be at peace with one another as an expression of our love for God.
If we are willing to be pruned by God and to love one another in accordance with Christ’s command, we will grow in maturity and God will call us friends. A mark of our maturity is our love for others. If you go to the market, you will probably see a child tugging at their parent’s clothes. “Buy me some ice cream,” the child might say. If the child’s request is not met, the child might throw himself down on the pavement, kicking and screaming. In the child’s mind, the whole world is there to love and serve him. But when the child becomes a teenager, the child’s love changes. Hopefully, that love is now directed towards a special someone. Upon growing into adulthood, that love transforms into mature love. Now, that same child as an adult is willing to sacrifice for those he loves such as his wife and children, because he’s grown up and matured. The same is also true in our lives. The more we grow into spiritual maturity, the more we will understand God’s love for the world and be thinking of others before ourselves. It will be easy for us to surrender and be used to take the gospel to others, because we want them to know Christ like we do. If you are Christ’s friend, you must also love the world as Christ does—with a love that is willing to sacrifice yourself for the salvation of those still in darkness. In what areas of your faith do you need to grow in maturity?