Chicago Fire - Jesus and a Church of Eternal Friendships

Chicago Fire Sermon Series

Chicago Fire: Jesus and a Church of Eternal Friendships

We all want friendships that will last.  People with whom we will experience love, loss, devotion, care and mutual concerns are naturally one of our greatest desires.  We’ve all experienced these relationships to varying degrees, but eventually, you ask, “What’s the point of it all?”  Is the point of friendship just to have another barbecue or share another Pinterest post together?  Though these things are good, they are not the full extent of God’s plan. 

For the Faith

For the Trial

For the Purposes of God

Acts 18:1-17 
After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them, and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks. When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus. And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” And he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. His house was next door to the synagogue. Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized. And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him before the tribunal, saying, “This man is persuading people to worship God contrary to the law.” But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of wrongdoing or vicious crime, O Jews, I would have reason to accept your complaint. But since it is a matter of questions about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves. I refuse to be a judge of these things.” And he drove them from the tribunal. And they all seized Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the tribunal. But Gallio paid no attention to any of this.

For the Faith

We all need people who will stand with us as we look to grow in the knowledge, grace and life of God.  This is what gives friendship its foundation

Emerson said, Do you love me? means Do you see the same truth?-Or at least, "Do you care about the same truth?

C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

There is a difference between carnal companionship and God ordained friendship. We should yearn for the latter, the greater. 

Friendship arises out of mere Companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden). The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, "What? You too? I thought I was the only one." 

... It is when two such persons discover one another, when, whether with immense difficulties and semi-articulate fumblings or with what would seem to us amazing and elliptical speed, they share their vision - it is then that Friendship is born. And instantly they stand together in an immense solitude.

C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

The very condition of having Friends is that we should want something else besides Friends. Where the truthful answer to the question "Do you see the same truth?" would be "I see nothing and I don't care about the truth; I only want a Friend," no Friendship can arise - though Affection of course may. There would be nothing for the Friendship to be about; and Friendship must be about something, even if it were only an enthusiasm for dominoes or white mice. Those who have nothing can share nothing; those who are going nowhere can have no fellow-travellers.

C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

The purpose of friendship is to both introduce those who don’t know God to Jesus and to reach those who don’t know Christ alongside of those who do.  To truly act in love, there must eventually be an intentional “turning of the corner” for us all.  This is where the friendship between Paul, Aquila, Priscilla, Silas and Timothy found eternal significance and meaning.

On the cross, Jesus expressed the greatest level of friendship by laying down his life for the world that he loves.  As we come to Jesus in faith and repentance, he then gives us a family of fellow travelers, his church through whom we find eternal friendships.  Not only does Christ give us family, but in those friendships, purpose, value and meaning as we advance the Kingdom of God together.  

John 15:12-17 
12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 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. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

Second City Church - Chicago Fire - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019