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The Formula for Friendship

Adrian Rogers

Sermon Overview

Scripture Passage: 1 Samuel 18:1-4

A true friend is of great value and worth the find. The Bible places a great emphasis upon friends, but it also encourages us not to have too many of them. Rather, we are to consider friendships as an investment. We invest time, energy, prayers, and emotions into people. We cannot fully invest in more than we can maintain.

Jesus loved many people in his time on Earth. He made good acquaintances, but he regularly invested himself in his twelve disciples. In his humanity, Jesus needed a friend, and He showed us the virtues of a true friend.

1 Samuel 18 provides a vignette of David and Jonathan, and the fortune and formula of their beautiful friendship. “Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul” (1 Samuel 18:1).

David and Jonathan’s friendship was selfless. Jonathan was the king’s son, and the heir to the throne; yet there’s not one speck of jealousy of David, the one who would become king. Rather, the Bible says that Jonathan loved David as he loved his own soul.

Their friendship was steadfast, as 1 Samuel 18:3 continues: “Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.” By entering a blood covenant, their steadfast friendship was unconditional.

Their friendship was also sacrificial: “And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt” (1 Samuel 18:4). Jonathan, who lived a life of royalty, shared all he had with David, who lived a life of a shepherd.

Finally, their friendship was sanctifying. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”

Adrian Rogers says, “The best thing that could happen to you is to have a friend that so loves God and so loves you that you’re always a better person when you leave his presence.”

Apply it to your life

Do you have a friend who loves, strengthens, helps, corrects, guides, and sustains you? More importantly, are you that kind of friend? Pray and ask God for the wisdom to maintain the relationships in your life.


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This message is a part of this audio series.