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Introducing The Best Friend You Will Ever Had - Dr. J.C. Ryle

A friend is one of the greatest blessings on earth. Don't tell me about money: friendship is better than gold - sympathy is better than property. It is a poor man who has no friends. This world is full of sorrow because it is full of sin. It is a dark place. It is a lonely place. It is a disappointing place. The brightest sunbeam in it is a friend. Friendship halves our troubles and doubles our joys.
Does any reader want a real friend? I can recommend one for your attention. I know of One "who sticketh closer than a brother." (Proverbs 18:24) I know of One who is ready to be your friend for time and for eternity if you will receive Him. Listen to me, while I try to tell you something about Him.
The Friend I want you to know is Jesus Christ. Happy is that family in which Christ has the first place! Happy is that person whose best friend is Christ! Do you want a friend who can meet your needs? Such a friend is the Lord Jesus Christ.

A Man is the neediest creature on earth because he is a Sinner. There is no need so great as that of sinners: poverty, hunger, thirst, cold, sickness, all are nothing in comparison. Sinners need pardon and they are utterly unable to provide it for themselves. They need deliverance from a guilty conscience and the fear of death and they have no power of their own to obtain it. The Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to meet this need. He "came into the world to save sinners" (1 Timothy 1:15).
Do you want a friend indeed? Such a friend is the Lord Jesus Christ. The true extent of a man's friendship must be measured by his deeds. Don't tell me what he says; just tell me what he does. A true friend would be willing to make sacrifices for you.

Jesus Christ laid down His life to pay the price of our redemption. He died that we might live; He suffered that we might reign; He bore shame that we might receive glory. "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God." For he hath made him be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him". (1 Peter 3:18; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
Do we want a mighty and powerful friend? Such a friend is Jesus Christ. He is able to pardon and save the very worst of sinners. He can deliver the most guilty conscience from all its burdens and give it perfect peace with God. He can wash away the vilest stains of wickedness and make a man whiter than snow in the sight of God. He can clothe a poor weak child of Adam in everlasting righteousness and give him a title to Heaven. In a word, He can give any one of us peace, hope, forgiveness and reconciliation with God, if we will only trust in Him. "The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin". (1 John 1:7).

Do we want a loving and affectionate friend? Such a friend is Jesus Christ. Love shines forth in His reception of sinners. He refuses none that come to Him for salvation, however, unworthy they may be. Though their lives may have been most wicked, though their sins may be more in number than the stars of Heaven, the Lord Jesus is ready to receive them and give them pardon and peace. There is no end to His compassion: there are no bounds to His pity.

Turn to the great Friend of sinners and see how different His friendship is from that of man. Listen to Him as He walks by the way with His disciples, mark how He times His visits to those He loves, as to Mary and Martha at Bethany. Hear how He converses, as He dines on the shore of the sea of Galilee: "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me?" (John 21:16) His company is always purifying; His gifts are always for our soul's good; His kindness is always wise; His fellowship always builds us up. One day of the kindness is always wise; His fellowship always builds us up. One day of the Son of Man is better than a thousand in the company of earthly friends: one hour spent in private communion with Him is better than a year in kings' palaces. Never, never was there such a wise friend as Jesus Christ.

If you really want a friend, Christ is willing to become your friend. He has long wanted you to join His people and He now invites you to come. He is ready to receive you, all unworthy as you may feel and to write your name down in the list of His friends. He is ready to pardon all the past, to clothe you with righteousness, to give you His Spirit, to make you His own dear child. All He asks you to do is to come to Him.

He bids you come with all your sins; Only acknowledging your vileness, and confessing that you are ashamed. Oh, come and be wise. Come and be safe. Come and be happy. Come and be Christ's friend.