Sunday, August 28, 2011

God’s Straightedge – The Golden Rule

Matthew 7:12
The main body of Jesus’ sermon (5:17–7:11) closes with what has traditionally been called the Golden Rule.  Jesus summarizes the essence of God’s will as expressed in the Law and the Prophets by giving his hearers a general principle designed to govern human relationships in all circumstances.
If we compare ourselves to ourselves we come out pretty well.  Against God's straightedge we are not so fortunate.
Misunderstood, the "Golden Rule" has become for many a replacement of the gospel.  
  1. I. The Background - A Negative Form
This negative form can be satisfied by INACTION.
A negative form has no requirement that would lead to accomplishment.
Today's interpretation..."Do unto others before they do unto you." 
Distrust and fear cause us to live lives of protection and even aggression.
  1. II. The Statement By Jesus - A Positive Form
Jesus gave a "do" mission not a "do not" religion.
It is impossible for normal human beings to keep the Golden Rule in their own power.
Great achievements are not realized by living on the negative side of life. 
The Christian religion is not a negative religion, it is a positive mission to a lost and dying world.
  1. III. The Requirements for Effectiveness
We must recognize these things:
  • That this is written to disciples who know the God who gave to them. 
A natural man won't really know what others need.
  • That this requires a deep searching of needs in our own life
  • That this requires a deep searching of the peculiar needs of others.
  • That the command does not hinge on how they respond
  1. IV. The Golden Rule Sums Up Christian Relationships-
There are two aspects to religion: relation to God and relation to man.
We want to treat others as we would have them treat us, because this is the way God deals with me.

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