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March 13, 2006

Friends – updated 13 Feb 2016

Filed under: Bible Studies — Adam Osborne @ 12:02 am

Friends: Kinds to HAVE; Kinds to BE!
A different perspective.
A bible study by Adam Osborne for Men’s Ministry, 13 Feb 2016

Pro 18:24  A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

John Gill’s Commentary:
▪ A man that hath friends must show himself friendly,…. Friendship ought to be mutual and reciprocal, as between David and Jonathan; a man that receives friendship ought to return it, or otherwise he is guilty of great ingratitude.
▪ God is his friend, as appears by God’s early love to us, God’s choice of us, and provisions of grace for us; by God sending his son to save us; by visiting us, not only in a way of providence, but of grace; by disclosing his secrets, showing his covenant to us, and by making us his heir, and a joint heir with Christ.
▪ Christ is his friend, as is evident by suffering and dying in our place.
▪ The Holy Spirit is his friend, He shows us our woeful estate and jour woeful nature, and The Spirit shows us the way of salvation by Christ; by working all his works in us; by acting the part of a Comforter to us; by revealing divine things to us, by helping us under all his infirmities; by making intercession for us according to the will of God;
▪ angels are his friends, by their ministering to them, their protection of them, and the good offices they do them both in life and at death; and saints are friends to one another:
▪ We should show ourselves friendly toward God…. by frequently visiting us at the throne of grace; by trusting in us; by a carefulness not to offend, but please him; and by a close and faithful adherence to his cause and interest:
▪ We should show ourselves friendly toward Jesus Christ our Redeemer, by a ready obedience to his commands; by owning and using him as their friend; by taking notice of his friends, and showing them respect, his ministers and poor saints; by cleaving to him, and renouncing the friendship of his enemies:
▪ We should show ourselves friendly toward the Holy Spirit, by not grieving, quenching, and despising us; but by making use of him, and giving up ourselves to his influence and direction; and by acknowledging him as the author of all their grace:
▪ We should show ourselves friends to the also to angels, by speaking well of them, owning their good offices, and reckoning it an honour that they are come and joined to such a company;
▪ We should show ourselves friends to the saints, by Christian conversation with them, by sympathizing with them in all conditions, by hearty counsel, faithful reproofs and admonitions, and by helping them in every distress, inward and outward;

and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother;
• a man like him, to his own soul, and so this friend and you are of one heart and soul, as Jonathan and David, and the first Christians, were;
• this is true of Christ, think of the close union between him and his people; and of his close attention to our cause and our interest; and of his constancy and continuance as a friend at all times; and of his faithfulness and unchangeableness.

ASK: What does “a friend that sticketh closer than a brother” look like? Can someone share with us a time when someone was this kind of friend to you? Or you to someone else?

Proverbs 13:20 = Be with wise men and become wise. Be with evil men and become evil.

[DISCUSS WITH MEN, then read commentary below]
John Gill’s Commentary: He that walketh with wise men shall be wise,….
▪ Who will be your companion? A companion of someone that fears the Lord; converses frequently with you in private about spiritual things, and walks with you in public in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord;
▪ this will ensure that we grow wiser and wiser, gains a large stock of spiritual knowledge and experience; for this holds good both in natural and spiritual wisdom, a man of any capacity at all will improve by keeping wise company
▪ but a companion of fools shall be destroyed; the Vulgate Latin version renders it, “shall become like them”; be a fool as they are, and grow still more and more foolish. The Septuagint version is, “shall be known”; known by the company he keeps to be a fool also: or rather, “shall be broken”; ruined and destroyed, “evil communications corrupt good manners”,
▪ 1 Corinthians 15:33, Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”
⁃ and so bring to ruin and destruction.
▪ [ASK…..”Then how do we convert the lost?”]
⁃ That does not mean that you can’t talk to the unconverted. You should try to convert them, help them, coach them, do all you can for them. Just don’t become such good friends that you are associated with them or begin to condone their sinful behavior.

Pro 14:7  Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge.

—Any thoughts here? Why would we be in the presence of a fool? (an old friend we had when we were young?….a person who is popular with people or with peers at work…..etc)

Adam Clarke commentary says it all: The meaning of the adage is plain: Never associate with a vain, empty fellow, when thou perceivest he can neither convey nor receive instruction.

I also like what the Ellicott commentary said here….i.e. a dull, stupid one, when the time comes that you see you can do him no good; for “evil communications corrupt good manners.”

John Gill’s commentary:
Go from the presence of a foolish man,…. A wicked one; avoid him, shun his company, depart from him, have no fellowship with him, it, being dangerous, infectious, and hurtful;
when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge; when it is observed that his lips pour out foolishness, what is corrupt and unsavoury, unchaste and filthy; what does not minister grace to the hearers, nor is for the use of edifying, nor any ways improving in useful knowledge, but all the reverse: the Targum is,
“for there is no knowledge in his lips,’

Pro 22:24-25 Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.

• John Gill’s commentary: thou shall not come”; not enter into his house, nor seek his company, and court his conversation, which rather should be shunned.

•Lest thou learn his ways,…. [DISCUSS with the men…] And be as wrathful and furious, as quarrelsome and contentious, as he is.
• Evil works and ways are soon learned; men are more ready to imitate what is evil than what is good: Joseph learned to swear in Pharaoh’s court Gen 42:14 – 20; and the Israelites learned the works of the Heathen, among whom they were mingled;
• “evil communications corrupt good manners”, 1 Corinthians 15:33.

and get a snare to thy soul; be drawn into sin, by speaking passionate words, or doing rash actions, which will bring on punishment, either in this world, or in that to come, or in both; which may affect the soul or life here; the taking of it away, or the eternal damnation of the soul hereafter.
•From those with whom we associate, we acquire habits and learn their ways. We can not be too careful of what company we keep, for we may soon learn their way and trap our souls.

Pro 17:17  A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
• A true friend is always there, in the bad times as well as the good.
• Have you ever thought about what kind of friend you are?
• What does “a brother is born for adversity” mean? — that he might comfort and relieve his brother in his adversity.

John Gill’s Commentary:
A friend loveth at all times,…. A true, hearty, faithful friend, loves in times of adversity as well as in times of prosperity: there are many that are friends to persons, while they are in affluent circumstances; but when there is a change in their condition, and they are stripped of all riches and substance; than their friends forsake them, and stand at a distance from them; as was the case of Job, Job 19:14; it is a very rare thing to find a friend that is a constant lover, such an one as here described;
and a brother is born for adversity; a brother, who is related by flesh and bone, is always there when you need him.
• Consider, the truth and exactness as to our Lord Jesus Christ; he is a “friend”, not of angels only, but of men; more especially of his church and people; of sinful men, of publicans and sinners; as appears by his calling them to repentance, by his receiving them, and by his coming into the world to save them: he “loves” them, and loves them constantly;
• he loved them before time; so early were they on his heart and in his book of life;
• We are redeemed by his precious blood,
• he loves them as soon as time begins with them, as soon as born; though impure by their first birth, transgressors from the womb,
• he waits to be gracious to them, and sends his Gospel and his Spirit to find them out and call them:
• and he continues to love them after conversion; in times of backsliding; in times of desertion; in times of temptation, and in times of affliction:
• he loves them indeed to the end of time, and to all eternity;
• nor is there a moment of time in which he does not love them.
• And he is a “brother” to his people; through his incarnation, he is a partaker of the same flesh and blood with them; and through their adoption, they having one and the same Father.

2 Timothy 2:22 Run from anything that gives you the evil thoughts that young men often have, but stay close to anything that makes you want to do right. Have faith and love, and enjoy the companionship of those who love the Lord and have pure hearts.

• Notice the first word in this verse, RUN, a verb, an action word. Why so descriptive?
⁃ It’s best to not hesitate! Get out of there! Don’t even entertain evil thoughts.
⁃ Proverbs 23:7  For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:
⁃ but stay close to anything that makes you want to do right.
⁃ Ask: Give me some examples of this: church; church friends; the Word; prayer; family (hopefully)

John Gill’s Commentary:

Flee also youthful lusts,…. Meaning not lusts of uncleanness, lasciviousness, and filthiness; nor any of those follies and vanities which the youthful age usually lusts and desires after, to which Timothy was not inclined; but such lusts as are apt to prevail with young ministers of the Gospel, such as vain glory, popular applause, seeking to have the pre-eminence, contentions with, and contempt of others, and the like.
But follow righteousness; the righteousness of Christ; or doing that which is just between man and man, and as one man would choose another should do to him; or rather integrity and faithfulness, in the ministry of the word, without seeking honour from men:
faith; both as a doctrine and grace; or veracity and truth in preaching the Gospel, striving for that, and not through ambition, and for the pre-eminence:
charity; or love, to God and Christ, and to his people; without which all gifts and works are of no avail; and which will engage a man to bear much, and to hope and believe all things:
Psalm 1:1-3 (1) Oh, the joys of those who do not follow evil men’s advice, who do not hang around with sinners, scoffing at the things of God. (2) But they delight in doing everything God wants them to do, and day and night are always meditating on his laws and thinking about ways to follow him more closely. (3) They are like trees along a riverbank bearing luscious fruit each season without fail.? Their leaves shall never wither, and all they do shall prosper.

that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly:
▪ all men are by nature are ungodly, without God, without the true knowledge, fear, and worship of God and are opposed to him.
⁃ they act deliberately in sinning, they cast about in their minds, form schemes, and contrive ways and means how to accomplish their vicious purposes; and sometimes they consult together with one consent, and their counsel is generally against the Lord, they cast off the fear and worship of God.
▪ Now “not to walk” means to not hearken to their counsel, to give into it, agree with it, pursue it, and act according to it; and happy is the man, who, though he may fall in the way of it, and may have bad counsel given him by ungodly men, yet does not consent to it, take it, and act upon it.
▪ nor standeth in the way of sinners;
▪ all men are sinners through Adam’s disobedience, and their own actual transgressions,
▪ Now happy is the man that does not sit or keep company with such persons; who comes not into their secret and into their assembly; does not associate himself with them, nor approve of their dispositions, words, principles, and actions;
▪ Such were the Scribes and Pharisees in Christ’s time; they derided him and his doctrines, scoffed at him when he hung upon the cross, and despised him and his apostles, and his Gospel; but there were some that did not join with them, to whom he, his ministers, and truths, were precious and in high esteem, and to whom he was the power and wisdom of God.

Psalm 119:63 Anyone is my brother who fears and trusts the Lord and obeys us.

Anyone is my brother:
▪ Not of the rich and mighty, much less of the wicked and ungodly; but those who have the true fear of God upon their hearts, and before their eyes; who fear the Lord and his goodness, and truly serve and worship him.
▪ whether poor or rich, of whatsoever condition, or of whatsoever nation, being no respecter of persons.
▪ for by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil, and cannot do those things that others do; cannot allow themselves in a willful transgression of the divine precepts; but, influenced by the fear of God, observe and keep them.

Proverbs 2:20: Follow the steps of the godly instead, and stay on the right path.

• by the grace of God; follow the saints, prophets, and those who walk in the way of righteousness, holiness, and truth;
• those who are being directed by the Spirit and word of God: now the use and profit of wisdom’s instructions, or of the Gospel of Christ, and the doctrines of it, and a spiritual understanding of them, are not only to deliver men from the wicked man and the naughty woman, but also to influence and engage them to follow the examples of good men, and to walk in the same good old paths as they have done.

—Follow the steps….do you have a Godly person that you look up to, and follow? Not someone on TV or the radio, but a friend? Why not?

Psalm 55:14 What fellowship we had, what wonderful discussions as we walked together to the Temple of the Lord on Holy days.

• So we don’t “walk” to church so much today, but do you have a friend, or bunch of Christian friends, that are just so much a part of your life, that you can’t wait until the next time you have fellowship with them?
• Are some of your best memories with your Christian friends, in or around Church activities?
• What kind of memories are you making with your friends… think about it….are they centered around worshipping and serving Christ? Shouldn’t they be?

Amos 3:3 For how can we walk together with your sins between us?
• Sometimes two former best friends can grow apart. One could get saved or if they were both saved, one could fall short. This is really hard. You must try to build this person back up, but at the same time if he/she doesn’t respond, you must stop socially associating with that person. He/she could possibly lead you astray too.

John Gill’s Commentary:
▪ The design of these words is to show, that without friendship there is no fellowship,
⁃ Our walk WITH Jesus is brought out by the Spirit of God
⁃ they walk comfortably together: the saint walks with God, not only as in his sight and presence, but by faith, and in his fear, in the ways and ordinances of the Lord;
⁃ but his walk is also in prayer and meditation,
⁃ And God walks with him; he grants his gracious presence; manifests his love and favour to him; talks with him by the way; discloses the secrets of his heart; and indulges him with nearness and communion with him;
⁃ And so it must be between men and men, that walk in a religious way; regenerate and unregenerate persons cannot walk together, there being no concord, 2 Corinthians 6:14; Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?

James 4:4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

John Gill’s Commentary:
• the sinful manners and customs of the world, are declarations of war with God, and acts of hostility upon him; and show the enmity of the mind against him, and must be highly displeasing to him, and resented by him:

adulterous people (KJV says “unfaithful wife”): Ask: What does it mean a lot of time when the bible text speaks about “unfaithful or adulterous people? [The Jews are often represented as being married to God. So, it is saying here that since you are making friends with sinners that you are an enemy of God (an adulterer).]
• How strange it is that people who say they are Christians can love the things of this world and worldly companions.

1 John 2:15-17 Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love these things you show that you do not really love God; for all these worldly things, these evil desires – the craze for sex, the ambition to buy everything that appeals to you, and the pride that comes from wealth are importance – these are not from God. They are from this evil world itself. And this world is fading away, and these evil forbidden things will go with it, but whoever keeps doing the will of God will live forever.

1 Corinthians 15:33, 34 Don’t be fooled by those who say such things. If you listen to them you will start acting like them. Get some sense and quit your sinning. For to your shame I say it; some of you are not even Christians at all and have never really known God.

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