Matthew 6:9-13 - After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom
come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive
our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
The Sermon for this week is: The Golden Rule - Matthew 7:12 - Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for
this is the law and the prophets.
1. Have you ever found yourself in a situation...
a. Faced with the need to make a decision on the spur of the moment?
b. Wondering what is the right way to act?
c. Unable to recall whether the Bible specifically addresses the moral dilemma in which you find yourself?
2. In His sermon on the mount, Jesus provided a helpful tool in such a situation...
a. A quick and easy way to know what to do
b. Something that is easy to remember
3. It is found in Mt 7:12, and is commonly called “The Golden Rule”... Matthew
7:12 - Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to
them: for this is the law and the prophets.
[But what is “The Golden Rule”? Was Jesus teaching anything new or original by what
He stated? Well, in a way it was something new...]
I. THE “GOLDEN” RULE VS. THE “SILVER” RULES
A. MANY HAVE TAUGHT THAT WHICH IS SIMILAR...
1. The Hindu religion taught: “This is the sum of duty: do naught to others which if done
to thee would cause thee pain.” - The Mahabharata
2. The Buddhist religion taught: “Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.”
3. The Jewish traditions taught: “What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow men. That
is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.” - The Talmud
4. The Muslim religion taught: “No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother
that which he desires for himself.” - Hadith
5. The Baha’i faith teaches: “He should not wish for others that which he doth not
wish for himself, nor promise that which he doth not fulfill.” - The Book of Certitude
6. Some other sources:
a. “Do not that to thy neighbor that thou wouldst not suffer from him”. - Pittacus of Lesbos
b. “What you do not want others to do to you, do not do to others”. - Confucius (551-
c. “Do not do unto others what angers you if done to you by others.” - Isocrates (436
- 338 BC)
d. “Tzu-kung asked, ‘Is there a single word which can be a guide to conduct throughout one's
life?’ The Master said, ‘It is perhaps the word “shu”. Do not impose on others what you yourself do
not desire’” - Analects, 15.24
e. “Treat your inferiors as you would be treated by your betters.” Seneca (4 BC-AD
B. JESUS’ “RULE” WAS SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT...
1. Jesus requires you to do something favorably to others, while the others only prohibit you from doing
something unfavorably to others!
a. Jesus: Do unto others what you want them to do to you
b. Others: Don't do to others what you don't want done to you
2. Note the difference...
a. With the others, all that is required is that you don't harm other people
b. With Jesus, what is required is that you show kindness to others
3. Jesus' rule is truly the “Golden” rule
a. The others are “Silver” rules
b. Of value, yes, but not as much as “gold”
4. The only ones who came close to teaching exactly what Jesus taught was:
a. That found in Hadith, the traditions of Islam; but then, much of Islam is based upon what Jesus taught
600 years before Mohammed
b. That stated by Seneca, who lived about the same time as Christ (I wonder if he had been influenced
by the teachings of Christ?)
[What Jesus taught was something new compared to what uninspired teachers had taught prior. But in another
sense it was nothing new; rather, in a simple and easy to remember statement, Jesus gives us...]
II. A GUIDELINE FOR RIGHTEOUS CONDUCT TOWARDS OTHERS
A. IN HARMONY WITH THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS...
1. As we have seen in the rest of Jesus' teachings (cf. Matthew 5:20-48 - For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness
of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall
be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother
without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the
council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if
thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy
gift. Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any
time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost
farthing. Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with
her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast
it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members
should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast
into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and
not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication,
causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto
the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's
throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city
of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair
white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more
than these cometh of evil. Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a
tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite
thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law,
and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give
to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have
heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say
unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully
use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven:
for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in
heaven is perfect.)
a. Jesus taught a standard righteousness that contrasted with that of the scribes and Pharisees
b. But it was in harmony with what the Law actually revealed
2. This one “rule” summarizes what the Law and the Prophets were all about
3. Just as the commandment “Love your neighbor as yourself” summed up the Law according to
Paul - Romans 13:8-10 - Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled
the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in
this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
B. A SORT OF “POCKET KNIFE” OR “CARPENTER'S RULE”...
1. That is, something that is always ready to be used
2. For example, even in an emergency, when there is no time to consult a friend, teacher, or book for
advice, “the golden rule” can be guide for proper conduct
3. Treat others as you would be treated, and it is unlikely you will ever do the wrong thing
III. SOME EXAMPLES OF HOW TO APPLY THIS RULE
A. IN TEACHING THE LOST...
1. Imagine what it must be like to be told you are wrong, or in sin
2. Wouldn’t you want to be told so in a loving and patient spirit?
3. As you would have others try to persuade you to change religiously, so treat those you seek to convert
- cf. 2 Timothy 2:24-26 - And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give
them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out
of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.; Ephesians 4:15 - But speaking the truth
in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
B. IN CORRECTING ONE ANOTHER...
1. No one likes to have their mistakes, errors, etc., point out
2. When necessary, wouldn’t we prefer to be approached with a meek and patient spirit?
3. As you would have others offer you constructive criticism, so give it to them - cf. Galatians 6:1-2
- Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness;
considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
C. IN TREATING OUR FAMILY, NEIGHBORS, ENEMIES...
1. Everyone likes to have loving families, good neighbors, and no enemies
2. Applying the golden rule will not only transform ourselves, but may also transform those around us!
a. Sibling rivalry would cease
b. Neighborly squabbles would be nonexistent
c. Enemies would become friends
3. Don’t limit the application of the Golden Rule to religious matters!
1. “The Golden Rule would reconcile capital and labor, all political contention and uproar, all
selfishness and greed.” Joseph Parker (1830-1902)
a. Such would be the impact on our society if more followed Jesus’ words
b. But let’s start close to home, and let the Golden Rule transform our own lives and those closest
2. “We have committed the Golden Rule to memory; let us now commit it to life.” Edwin Markham
a. This reflects what is true with most people; they know the rule, but don’t live by it
b. If Jesus is truly our Lord, then His “golden rule” will govern
Matthew 28:19-20 - Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and
of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Mark 16:15-16 - And
he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Lord I truly thank You for giving me the opportunity to present these words to my brethrens. I pray that You will
give them Your eternal blessings and accept them into Your heart - this I pray
in the name of Thy Son, Jesus, the Messiah, Your only begotten son which Ye sent to save mankind from themselves. Amen
6:23-24 - Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.
This sermon is in the Public Domain - Free for all to use with the only requirement: That it never
be used for profit.