[Note: I preface this post by saying that I am not endorsing or promoting William Bridge as a true Christian when I quote from him. But I think he writes some things that true Christians could benefit from.]
“I [am] a companion of all who fear You; yea, of those who keep Your Precepts” (Psalm 119:63).
“I have hated the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked” (Psalm 26:5).
“A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not know evil” (Psalm 101:4).
“As for the saints in the earth, they [are] the excellent ones; all my delight [is] in them” (Psalm 16:3).
William Bridge (1600-1670) says:
“Yea, what shall we think of those that have kept, and do keep bad company ? Every man is as his company is. The heathen could say, Noscitur ex comite qui non cognoscitur ex se, He is known by his company that cannot be known by himself. A man’s company is a commentary upon his life, thereby you may understand a man though he be never so close and mystical” (William Bridge, Works).
More from Bridge:
“And if you would make a good and comfortable choice of your company, then in case you be a man, let the friend of your bosom be a man, and not a woman, unless it be your wife; and if you be a woman, then let the friend of your bosom be a woman, and not a man, unless it be your husband; for if the special friendship be between a man and a woman, who knows how soon the spiritual friendship may degenerate into carnal affection” (William Bridge, Works).
A bit more from Bridge:
“Well, but suppose I have chosen good company, and I can say in truth with David here, ‘I am a companion of all those that do fear thee, and do keep thy precepts;’ what shall I do, that I may improve my company? I praise God I have good company, but I do not know how to improve them; what shall I therefore do that I may improve my good company? … If you would improve your good company, then … pray over them, and for them” (William Bridge, Works).
Some beautiful Scriptures about the true Christian unity of those who fear the Lord and esteem His name, and who unpretendedly pray for and love each other fervently out of a pure heart that has been regenerated by God the Holy Spirit through the living Word of God announced as gospel to us.
“Brothers, pray concerning us” (1 Thessalonians 5:25).
“Then those fearing Jehovah spoke together, [each] man to his neighbor. And Jehovah gave attention and heard. And a Book of Remembrance was written before Him for those who feared Jehovah, and for those esteeming His name. And they shall be Mine, says Jehovah of Hosts, for the day that I will make up [My] treasure. And I will pity them as a man has pity on his son who serves him. Then you shall again see the [difference] between the righteous and the wicked, between him who serves God and him who does not serve Him” (Malachi 3:16-18).
“I thank my God on all the remembrance of you, always in my every prayer on your behalf making [my] prayer with joy over your fellowship in the gospel, from [the] first day until now, being persuaded of this very thing, that the [One] having begun a good work in you will finish [it] until [the] day of Jesus Christ; as it is righteous for me to think this of you all because you have me in [your] heart, both in my bonds and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you are all sharers of the grace with me. For God is my witness how I long after you all in [the] affections of Jesus Christ. And this I pray, that your love may yet abound more and more in full knowledge and all perception, for you [to] distinguish the things that differ, that you may be sincere and without blame for [the] day of Christ, being filled [with] fruits of righteousness through Jesus Christ, to [the] glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:3-11).
“… the ones believing in God through Him, He raising Him from [the] dead, and giving glory to Him so that your faith and hope may be in God. Having purified your souls in the obedience of the truth through the Spirit to unpretended brotherly love, love one another fervently out of a pure heart, being regenerated, not by corruptible seed, but incorruptible, through the living Word of God, and remaining forever. Because all flesh [is] as grass, and all [the] glory of men as [the] flower of grass; the grass was dried, and its flower fell out, but [the] Word of [the] Lord remains forever. And this is the Word announced as gospel to you” (1 Peter 1:21-25).
The true saints in the earth are the excellent ones we delight in; they are the company we love and desire to keep.