Golden Rule = Righteousness and justice.
The golden rule is probably the most well known thing Jesus ever said. It is the summit of ethics, behavior, righteousness, and godliness. It is a very practical statement of God's love; that is, God has done to us just as He wants us to do to Him. God has treated us as He wants us to treat Him (and everyone else).
The golden rule reveals the heart of God. It shows us exactly how God's heart longs for us to live and act. It is a simple statement revealing what love really is and what life in a perfect world is like. It tells believers that they are to live as the golden rule dictates while still on the earth before being transferred into the heavenly world or dimension.
There are four significant facts that set the golden rule apart from all other teachings and make it the summit of human behavior.
1. The golden rule is a one-sentence statement that embraces all human behavior.
a. The fact that all law and all love can be stated in one simple sentence is amazing.
b. The simple statement of the golden rule includes all "the law and the prophets" (Mt.7:12).
2. The golden rule demands true law and justice.
a. Note the wording: it is not negative and passive, yet it tells man how not to behave.
b. It truly restrains man.
c. For example, the golden rule is teaching a man not to lie, steal, cheat, or injure.
d. And it is teaching much more.
3. The golden rule is concerned with true love and with positive, active behavior.
a. It is more than not doing wrong (lying, stealing, cheating).
b. It is more than just doing good (helping, caring, giving).
c. It is looking, searching, and seeking for ways to do the good that you want others to do to you.
d. It is seeking ways to treat others just as you want them to treat you.
4. The golden rule teaches the whole law.
a. The whole law is contained in the words: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Mt.22:39-40).
b. Every human being would like to have all others treat them perfectly: to love and care for them to the ultimate degree and to express that love and care.
c. The believer is to likewise love and care for others while still on earth.
d. He is to give earth a taste of heaven before all things end.
e. Men who are treated so supremely and get a taste of heaven are more likely to turn to God.
"Let love be without dissimulation [hypocrisy]. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good" (Ro.12:9).
"Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law" (Ro.13:10).
"We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification" (Ro.15:1-2).
"For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" (Gal.5:14).
"If ye fulfil the royal law according to the Scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well" (Jas.2:8).
"And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul" (Dt. 10: 12).
"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man" (Eccl.12:13).
"For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings" (Hos.6:6).
"He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" (Mic.6:8).
A one sentence golden rule has to do three things.
1. Demand true justice: insist that men be treated justly in all situations.
2. Include real love: insist that men actively do good and even go beyond and do more than good.
3. Teach the whole law: insist that men do all that the law teaches.
Three things are required of men.
1. To know what Christ taught.
2. To believe what Christ taught.
3. To do what Christ taught.
It is not enough to know or to believe the golden rule. We must live it.
Two simple rules can revolutionize a person's life (or society itself).
In practice, the golden rule says several things.
Note several significant truths.
1. Our profession is empty unless we are living out the golden rule.
2. The golden rule condemns us and shows us how far short we come.
a. How do we want men to treat us?
b. The judgment as to how we wish to be treated is ours.
c. We are totally responsible for our conclusion.
d. Our conclusion is critical, for it is how we are to treat others.
e. It is the basis of judgment upon ourselves.
f. We will be judged for how we actually treat others.
3. The golden rule makes all men equal.
a. How we wish to be treated is how we should treat others.
b. And how others wish to be treated is how they should treat us.
c. All people--the wealthy, famous, and powerful as well as the poor, unknown, and unimportant--all are to treat each other just as they would wish to be treated.
d. If men would practice the golden rule, the ills of society would be solved: hunger, poverty, disease, and sin.
4. The golden rule would bring about a world of peace overnight if men would just commit themselves to it.
5. The course of wisdom is to live by the golden rule.
a. It is the wisest thing that a man can do.
b. Why? It assures many friends and the very best in life.
c. Many will draw close to a person who treats them well all the time, and they will respond with like treatment, at least a good deal of the time.
d. Realistically, not everyone will respond, but many will.
6. One way to practice the golden rule is to ask the simple question: "How would I want to be treated?" Then treat the other person that way.
7. The golden rule says very much the same thing as the second great law: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Mt.22:39).
Note that Christ says both the golden rule and the two great commandments contain all the law (Mt.7:12; Mt.22:40). The laws of God and the laws of men would both be obeyed if we practiced the golden rule and the two great commandments.
1. What do you really want others to do for you?
a. Love and accept me.
b. Help me with material needs.
c. Help me with spiritual needs.
2. If we want these things for ourselves, we must extend them to others.
a. Regardless whether they are Christians or not.
b. Regardless whether we like them or not.
3. This attitude is practiced by many - but it is the Law of God.
a. This must eliminate prejudice.
b. This must eliminate racism.
c. This must eliminate judging others.
4. This teaching must not be taken lightly.
a. It is the foundation of grace.
b. It is the foundation of salvation.
c. It is the foundation of love.