Galatians 5:1 tells us that we have been set free from some things so we can be free to live in some things. And so the joy of my Christian life is not just in the past, just in being set free from guilt, condemnation, punishment, the fear of God, etc. I am to find joy in the wild current reality of walking with God.
In our last blog we began looking at Romans 5:1 and one of the things that we have been set free for is to “have peace with God.” We saw how the word “peace” means to bind back together that which was broken. It means the restoration of a broken relationship. I used the illustration of our standing face to face with God our Father, his arms wrapped tightly around me, and Jesus walking in circles around us, binding us tight with loop after loop of a long rope. Then he ties an unbreakable knot in the rope. Colossians 1:20 tells us he has made peace (bound us together) by the blood of his cross. That rope that holds us tight is his blood.
Now, a quick look at who I am bound to. John Stott writes, “To reconcile means to…renew a friendship.” And so who am I bound back together with? My friend. And God is now bound back together with his friend–me.
Do I ever hear God the Father calling me, as a believer, his friend in the New Testament? Well, yes and no. The answer is no if I look for God the Father directly calling me or anyone his friend.
But the answer is absolutely YES! Jesus tells us we are his friends (John 15:14) and we are promised nothing in all creation will separate us from this loving friendship (Romans 8:37-39). But why is Jesus so committed to us as friends? Because Jesus only does what he sees the Father doing and he only says what he hears the Father saying. Jesus calls us friends because that is what he hears the Father calling us. He treats us as loving friends because that is how he sees the Father treating us.
I have been set free to be my Father’s friend…I am not his enemy. And he is not mine. Think about this…it is not only absurdly good news, it is an absurd present reality…God and me…walking in a mutual friendship. May I be as crazy about him as he is about me.