What a Friend we Have in Jesus

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) began his education at Yale College when he was thirteen years old. He served as pastor of the Congregational Church in Northampton, Massachusetts for over twenty years. His published sermons were widely circulated in America and England. He also served as a missionary to native Americans, and he was called to be president of the College of New Jersey (Princeton) just prior to his death.

“Let what has been said be improved to induce you to love the Lord Jesus Christ, and choose him for your friend and portion. As there is such an admirable meeting of diverse excellencies in Christ, so there is every thing in him to render him worthy of your love and choice, and to win and engage it. Whatsoever there is or can be desirable in a friend, is in Christ, and that to the highest degree that can be desired. Would you choose for a friend a person of great dignity? It is a thing taking with men to have those for their friends who are much above them; because they look upon themselves honored by the friendship of such. Thus, how taking would it be with an inferior maid to be the object of the dear love of some great and excellent prince. But Christ is infinitely above you, and above all the princes of the earth; for he is the King of kings. So honorable a person as this offers himself to you, in the nearest and dearest friendship.

And would you choose to have a friend not only great but good? In Christ infinite greatness and infinite goodness meet together, and receive lustre and glory one from another. His greatness is rendered lovely by his goodness. The greater any one is without goodness, so much the greater evil; but when infinite goodness is joined with greatness, it renders it a glorious and adorable greatness. So, on the other hand, his infinite goodness receives lustre from his greatness.”

– Short excerpt from a sermon by Jonathan Edwards, The Excellency of Christ

from The Works of Jonathan Edwards.

“In my early days in the ministry there were no books which helped me more, both personally and in respect of my preaching, than this two-volume edition of The Works of Jonathan Edwards . . . If I had the power I would make these two volumes compulsory reading for all ministers.” —D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

5 thoughts on “What a Friend we Have in Jesus”

  1. As we place Jesus as our prime friend and give him our attention, then we become more like him – you know what they say – you become like those you hang about with and call your friends. You act like them, talk like them and think like them. Do we want to be like Jesus? What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear, What a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer.

    1. Thanks, Lyn. Here’s another hymn about our ‘friendship with Jesus’.

      I’ve found a Friend, O such a friend! He loved me ere I knew Him;
      He drew me with the cords of love, and thus He bound me to Him;
      And round my heart still closely twine those ties which naught can sever,
      For I am His, and He is mine, forever and forever.

      I’ve found a Friend, O such a friend! He bled, He died to save me;
      And not alone the gift of life, but His own Self He gave me!
      Naught that I have mine own I call, I’ll hold it for the Giver,
      My heart, my strength, my life, my all are His, and His forever.

      I’ve found a Friend, O such a friend! All pow’r to Him is given,
      To guard me on my onward course, and bring me safe to heaven.
      The eternal glories gleam afar, to nerve my faint endeavor;
      So now to watch, to work, to war, and then to rest forever.

      I’ve found a Friend, O such a friend! So kind and true and tender,
      So wise a Counselor and Guide, so mighty a Defender!
      From Him who loves me now so well what power my soul can sever?
      Shall life or death, shall earth or hell? No! I am His forever.

      Author: James G. Small

  2. And another precious hymn:

    O thou, my soul, forget no more
    The Friend Who all thy misery bore;
    Let every idol be forgot,
    But, O my soul, forget Him not.

    Jesus for thou a body takes,
    Thy guilt assumes, thy fetters breaks,
    Discharging all thy dreadful debt;
    And canst thou e’er such love forget?

    Renounce thy works and ways, with grief,
    And fly to this most sure relief;
    Nor Him forget, who left His throne,
    And for thy life gave up His own.

    Infinite truth and mercy shine,
    In Him, and He Himself is thine:
    And canst thou, then, with sin beset,
    Such charms, such matchless charms, forget?

    Ah! no—till life itself depart,
    His Name shall cheer and warm my heart;
    And lisping this, from earth I’ll rise;
    And join the chorus of the skies.

    Ah! no—when all things else expire,
    And perish in the general fire,
    This Name all others shall survive,
    And through eternity shall live.

    Krishna Pal

  3. Thanks, SDG – wonderful words – though not familiar with this one.

    Encouraging to see you are still reading our blog – always appreciate your comments, my friend.

  4. Don,
    Some things just draw out a reflex response.
    Keep your focus on Christ our great Friend and Brother and Lord.

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