“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend,” Proverbs 27:17 tells us. God uses Christian friendships to help His children grow in grace and stay true to Christ. But our twenty-first-century Western culture values individualism, busyness, and selfishness—qualities that do not encourage deep, long-lasting, satisfying friendships.
The authors guide us through a practical survey of biblical and historical friendships, drawing principles from them that will aid us in forming our own biblical friendships that will sharpen us for our Christian journey in a world that is no friend to grace.
Friendship in the Holy Scriptures
- Paul’s Understanding of Friendship
- Paul’s Friendship with Timothy
- Paul’s Hunger for Companionship while Facing Death
Friendship in the Christian Tradition
- John Calvin’s Friendships
- An Eighteenth-Century Friendship
- Two Baptist Friends
The Art of Building Godly Friendships
Practical Steps Toward Deepening Friendship
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones once said that what the church needs to do most all is “to begin herself to live the Christian life. If she did that, men and women would be crowding into our buildings. They would say, ‘What is the secret of this?’” As Christians, one of our greatest needs is for the Spirit of God to cultivate biblical godliness in us in order to put the beauty of Christ on display through us, all to the glory of the triune God. With this goal in mind, this series of booklets treats matters vital to Christian experience at a basic level. Each booklet addresses a specific question in order to inform the mind, warm the affections, and transform the whole person by the Spirit’s grace, so that the church may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.
Joel R. Beeke is president of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary and a pastor of the Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Michael A. G. Haykin is professor of church history and biblical spirituality as The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.
“A treasure! From two of my friends, a booklet about friendship that makes me thankful for them and what they have written. Friendship is what Jesus gifts in His final hours—‘you are my friends’—and discovering friendship with others is one of God’s great gifts. Winsomely thoughtful and practical, this is a rare treasure that is bound to be read widely.” — Derek W. H. Thomas, senior minister, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, South Carolina; Robert Strong Professor of Systematic and Pastoral Theology, RTS Atlanta
“This booklet is needed in the Christian world as people relate to phones and iPads but increasingly less to others. Here is an accessible, reader-friendly, ‘one-stop’ treatment of the Bible’s encouragement to form and sustain rich friendships. It is lucid but not simplistic, judicious but not obscure, and convicting but not shrill.” — Geoff Thomas, pastor, Alfred Place Baptist Church, Aberystwyth, Wales