Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 5 Study # 18
February 10, 2008
Lincolnton, N.C.

<414> Thesis: Operate by the "Golden Rule". Introduction: In our studies of Jesus' "Greater Than Moses" sermon on the mountain, we have seen that the Kingdom of God is radically different from the kingdoms of men. We have seen that its great foundation stone is honestly considering others as of greater value than oneself. We have seen that Jesus took that reality and pushed it to its outer boundaries so that His disciples could clearly see what it means to consider others as of greater value than oneself. He insisted that those who are to be His disciples must actually do this -- and the proof of it will be seen in the way they respond, not to their friends, but to their enemies. He also went further than "theory". He insisted that His disciples "do good to those who hate them" and He outlined four major ways for them to do that: they are to seek the eternal good of those who seek their eternal condemnation; they are to seek God for the benefit of those who attempt to make them feel worthless; they are to deliberately yield to "judicially entrenched evil"; and they are to maintain their integrity even if it costs them all of their possessions and their pride. Then He deliberately turned to the issue of actually "meeting needs". He said that His disciples were to give to those in genuine need without treating the giving as a loan to be repaid. We have looked into all of these issues to some degree. This morning we are going to turn to Jesus' "defining methodology" for the actual pursuit of the Kingdom's foundation stone. He has already commanded us to love our enemies, to do good to those who hate us, and to give to those in need with no strings attached. However, as we have seen, "loving", "doing good" and "giving" all have what we called a "defining context" and that makes the actual practice a bit of a problem. Jesus knew that would be an issue. Therefore, He went one step further: He gave us a practical method for deciding what we should actually do. It is in our text (6:31) at a crucial place. It stands between His explanation of what He wants of us and His challenge to us to go beyond the practices of the kingdoms of this world. It is known as "the Golden Rule" and it gives a very practical guideline for actual practice. This morning we are going to consider Jesus' command that we "do unto others as we would have them do unto us."