PaulMerideth“Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness —and he was called a friend of God.”

In James 2:21-24 Abraham is put forward as a dynamic example of faith. He is the father of the faithful. He didn’t just claim to obey God but was willing to back up his claim with action. “You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works” (vs. 22). By his willingness to sacrifice his only son Isaac, Abraham demonstrated his trust in God even when God’s order didn’t make sense.

God had promised a great nation would come from the lineage of Abraham but if he sacrificed Isaac, as God had commanded, he would have no heir. Nevertheless, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness – and he was called a friend of God” (vs. 23).

Just when Abraham was about to bring down the knife in sacrifice, God intervened (Genesis 22:11-13). A substitute sacrifice was provided and Isaac was preserved alive. God made a covenant with Abraham promising him land, descendants, and blessing. Abraham demonstrated his faith by obedience to God.

Likewise for us today, “a person is justified by works and not by faith alone” because “faith apart from works is dead” (James 2:24,26). We too are “a friend of God” when we trust in him and obey his commandments. That’s what faith is, a trusting commitment to our Lord characterized by submissive obedience. Jesus said, “You are my friends if you do what I command you” (John 15:14).

Are you a friend of God? Many are enemies of God and against him altogether. Some want only to be a casual acquaintance or a distant relative. Some people think they’re being a friend to God but in truth they only love themselves and give the Lord only lip service. Let’s be a friend of God like Abraham by obeying what he asks us to do no matter what.


Paul Merideth is the  Preaching and Teaching Minister at Watterson Trail Church of Christ in Jeffersontown, KY