12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (ESV)
It is better to feel bad for a good reason, than to feel good for a bad reason.
The Golden Rule speaks about Truth, Righteousness and Beauty.
- Its Meaning
It matters how you treat other people. Christianity is not only about our vertical relationship with God, but also our horizontal relationship with our neighbour. This is the reason why we must have fellowship with other people, and cannot just worship God on the sofa at home.
It’s not all about us – our problems, our needs, what is best for us.
This command is about how we should treat all people – not only our fellow believers, but also even our enemies.
The positive nature of Jesus’ command calls for positive action on our part.
We need to be outwardly focused on other people and positively do unto them what we want to be done to ourselves.
- Its Application
What it looks like in practice:
a. It continues the thought of Mat. 7:1 that we mustn’t judge people’s motives when we don’t know what it is.
b. There is no distinction between religion and business. We are to think about the other person in all that we do – taking our Christianity everywhere.
- Its Utility
It’s an easy to understand summary of Christian ethics.
Jesus summarized the Law and the Prophets with this commandment (Ex. 23:4).
It’s the second table of the Moral Law (Lev. 8:19).
It’s a utility verse that you can use in all situations.
It sets us free from all the volumes of laws that the Jews tried to follow, but failed.
- Its Gospel
Most people are not familiar with the context of the Golden Rule. What is the word ‘therefor’ there for? Because of everything that was said before, also Romans 12:1.
a. Your motivation for treating other people with grace is because you received God’s grace.
b. You can’t keep this to earn your salvation.
Jesus came to pay for our inability to keep the Golden Rule. He came to teach God’s truth, to show us the right way to live by the Golden Rule, knowing that none of us could keep it, and so He came to die on the cross to pay for our violation of the Golden Rule, so that if we would admit our failures and trust what He done on the cross to save us, that we would be forgiven. And He would sent His Holy Spirit into our lives to help us follow Him, to one day live with Him forever in heaven. But none of us will be in heaven because we kept the Golden Rule. But go out there because you’ve been saved and treat other people the way you want to be treated.