Olsen Park Church of Christ

The Golden Rule

Introduction.  (Matt. 7:1-12).  This beautiful command has come to be known as the “Golden Rule.” That is not a biblical name but it does characterize the noble nature of its objective. It comes after Jesus had just finished a discussion of hypocritically judging others (7:1-6), and Jesus’ teaching regarding asking, seeking, finding (7:7-11). In this discussion He had used the illustration of a son asking of his father bread, or fish (7:9-11). The golden rule flows within this context.

         Hypocritical judgment of others would not be following the golden rule.

         God’s example of granting us good things when we ask is an example of following the golden rule.

         When we do good things to others, that is an example of following the golden rule.

Let’s consider some things about what this means to us as Christians.

I.   The Golden Rule Is Positive. It doesn’t say, “whatever others want you to do, do that.” It doesn’t even say, “If there is something you wish someone would do to you—regardless of the motive—do that.” It says whatever “you want” done to you—do that

A.      In this sense it is a very positive command—not simply refraining from some negative action, but doing what is good to another person

1.      It is based upon the best we have to offer others.

2.      Many sins come from just doing what others want (Prov. 1:10-19).

3.      Jesus words assume that what we would want done to us is not sinful, harmful, or spiritually destructive to us. He is not saying we act in a sinful way if our desire is for sin.

B.      Jesus is teaching that we should act based upon how we would want others to act toward us that is for our good.

II.  The Golden Rule is a Reflection of the Love of God for Man.

A.      God does not deal with us as we deserve. (Psa. 103:8-18).

1.      Even though we were God’s enemies, God acted toward us as we would have wanted Him to act toward us (Rom. 5:6-10).

B.      God expects his children to be like Him (Matt. 5:44-45).

1.      If so, we must practice the Golden Rule.

III. It is How We are to Love Our Neighbor.

A. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves—this is the Law and the Prophets (Matt. 22:36-40).

1. There is no greater commandment than these (Mark 12:31).

2.  It sums up other commandments (Rom. 13:9).

3. This fulfills all the law (Gal. 5:14).

4. It is the “royal law” (Jas. 2:8).

B. The golden rule carries out this command.

1. It causes us to think about how our actions toward others in relation to ourselves.

2.  It demands we ask, “Would I want this to be done to me?”—That is loving my neighbor as myself.

3. It is introspective (cf. Phil. 4:8). The Golden Rule moves this meditation toward implementation.

IV.  It is Proactive not Reactive.

A. It doesn’t wait for others to do before you start.

1. We must do good we know to do (Jas. 4:17). We may sin by omission as well as by committing something that is wrong.

2. We are to be doers, not merely hearers of the word (Jas. 1:22-25).

B. It demands not only considering what we would want, but it demands we appreciate differences from one another.

1. We are not all the same—each of us responds differently to certain things.

2. Some want constant involvement with others—some need private time.

3. Some need people to share difficulties with them—others don’t want to feel on when going through a hardship.

4. We are not practicing the Golden Rule if we impose on others what we want, even if it takes no consideration for their needs or differences (Phil. 2:3-4).

Kyle Pope 2015
Modified from a sermon
by Kevin Cauley

Audio                PowerPoint

  Home     Directions     Times     Elders     Deacons     Preachers     Lessons     Members Section     Post Question     Contact Us