John 15:14-19 reads, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doth; but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. 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. These things I command you, that ye love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hated you.”
The context of John 15 begins in John 13. In verse 2 of that chapter (i.e. 13) the supper is ended. This is the Passover supper that Jesus eats with His disciples. It is the last time that Jesus eats until after his resurrection. Only the twelve are with Him and one of them is leaving to betray Him. He then washes their feet and gives them a new commandment. Continuing the conversation in chapter fourteen He offers His remaining Apostles comfort and the discussion of loving Him and what that means. Jesus then states that He is the Vine and the Father is the Husbandman and that a man must abide in Him to receive any benefits of being a disciple. He then restates the “badge of discipleship” in 15:12. Jesus does call them His friends and not servants verses 14-16. Jesus states plainly that they had not chosen Him but that He had chosen them and ordained them. (Ordained – there are six words in the Greek that are translated into the English “ordain.” These words mean “to appoint or to cause to stand, to set, to divide separate, judge.” This is from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words page 144-145.) Thus Christ has appointed the Apostles for they were the only ones there and the only ones to whom He is talking. Christ again reminds them of the “badge of discipleship” verse 17. He then tells them the attitude the world will have toward them
The question that is the title of this article is to the Apostles but can it be said of us as well? The contrast specifically in this passage is between a friend and a servant. A servant does is not always entitled to all the information that the lord has. He does not have to be told everything, but he is to do what he is told. A friend on the other hand has more privileges. A friend can walk away from a friend at any time. If friends are going to stick together then communications must declare why and what is being done. The Apostles were friends so Jesus tells them why and what is to be done. We have that same information. The Writers of the New Testament recorded what is to be done and in many cases why it is to be done. Now we can decide to do it or not.
There are two areas that will decide whether you are a friend or not of Jesus. One is doing what the Lord requires for salvation (Mark 16:15-16), the other is worshipping Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24).
A person must be baptized for the correct reasons to be saved. Not one of them is because sins have already been remitted, or that a person is showing an outward sign of an inward belief. There are some fine religious people who do not believe that baptism for the remission of sins. (This is a clear violation of Acts 2:38).
The other point is that we must worship according to what He wants (John 4:24). That means attending with the saints (Hebrews 10:25). That also means worshipping Him the way that He wants and not the way we want to worship Him. It is His worship and we do not have the right to tamper with His worship.