A servant is one attached to a master; to carry out the master’s commands. He is not privy as to the why’s and why not’s of the master’s commands; for his position of servant is to serve, to obey the master without question. The word servant then has to do primarily with a position.
Paul is very plain in Romans 6:17-22, that Christ’s Seed were born as servants of unrighteousness (or servants to sin). But after the New Birth, or being born of God, the Seed of God are no longer servants of sin, but servants of God. They have a New Master. Sin was their ruler; but now “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness” (Romans 6:18).
Now you are a bond-slave to Christ. He is your Lord (Master and Authority). Your service is to carry out His Commands (Matthew 22:37-40; John 13:34-35). You are still a bond-servant, but now you have a New Master; you have a New Nature; you are a New Creature in Christ. You are now a son of God by adoption (Galatians 4:1-7; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 8:14-16). Your fruit is “…unto holiness, and the end everlasting life” (Romans 6:22). This position in Christ is “an holy Calling” (2 Timothy 1:7-10). Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:22, “For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.”
In our text, John 15:14-15, verse 15 says, “Henceforth I call you not servants… but I have called you friends…” What is Christ saying here? The difference is not position, but perception.
- Verse 14 plainly states, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you” (just as a servant; pointing to the practice of both);
- However, verse 15b points out the difference; which is not only position, practice; but now perception: “…for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” So the difference between the servant and the friend is the perception; that is, the friend knows the why’s and why not’s of his master’s will.
Servant-hood comes by God’s Sovereign Choice (verse 16a-b) “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”
A friend is still a servant; but he is a servant who has been given the light of knowledge from Christ. He is privy to the Wisdom of God behind the Commands of God. He is in fellowship with God. He is more than one who only serves; he is an heir of God and a joint-heir of Jesus Christ. He has been born of the Spirit (John 3 3-8); he has been regenerated by the Spirit of God. He is the dwelling place of the Spirit of Christ.
Servant-hood is positional; and being God’s friend is perceptional and intimate. As a friend, you discern spiritual things. You are filled with righteousness, peace, and joy of the Holy Ghost. You have the power to bring forth fruit, more fruit, and much fruit; and your fruit shall remain.
As a friend of God, you enjoy many privileges, as Abraham did. You talk to God and God talks to you; you fellowship with God and He with you. You know that you are One in Him and are being perfected in His Love as you behold His Glory (John 17:21-24). God’s Love is placed in your heart; and that Love flourishes toward God and the brethren. Holiness and Peace are your goals daily. The Fruit of the Spirit is the outworking of God’s Love in your heart (Galatians 5:22-23). And God promised His friends “that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you” (John 15:16d).
Child of God, are you only serving God as a servant? Or are you a servant (bond-slave) of God, who is not only rendering complete obedience to His Command, but also serving Him as His friend with knowledge?
God is not abstract, but He is real and personal. He saved you to be where He is; to share in His Perfection, Preeminence. That is, to be one with Him in Knowledge and Glory.
However, the secret is found in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; you must come out of the world and be separate. You cannot be a friend of the world and a friend of God. If you are a friend of the world, then you are the enemy of God (James 4:4; Matthew 6:24).
Child of God, you can know more than just your position as a servant of God; for you are a Child of God, a Son of God by adoption, indwelt by the Spirit of Christ. You can know Him as the Apostle Paul prayed in Philippians 3:7-14, especially verses 8, 10, and 11:
“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.” (Philippians 3:8)
“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” (Philippians 3:10)
“If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” (Philippians 3:11)
By the Power of the Spirit (Philippians 4:13)
There is a sweet, sweet communion (fellowship) with Christ. There is a Power. There is a Joy that you have not experienced until you turn from walking in the flesh and start walking in the Spirit of God as a Friend of God; one who is in fellowship with Christ; one who is walking in the Wisdom and Power of God.