The Golden Rule

Matthew 7:12


A. Have you ever found yourself in a situation…

1. Faced with the need to make a decision on the spur of the

2. Wondering what is the right way to act?

3. Unable to recall whether the Bible specifically addresses
the moral dilemma in which you find yourself?

B. In His sermon on the mount, Jesus provided a helpful tool
in such a situation…

1. A quick and easy way to know what to do

2. Something that is easy to remember

C. It is found in Matthew 7:12, and is commonly called “The
Golden Rule”

D. But what is “The Golden Rule”?

1. Was Jesus teaching anything new or original by what He

2. Well, in a way it was something new…



1. Many have taught that which is similar…

a. 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

b. The BUDDHIST religion taught: Hurt not others with
that which pains yourself. – Udana-Varga

c. 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

d. The MUSLIM religion taught: No one of you is a
believer until he desires for his brother that which he
desires for himself. – Hadith

e. 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

f. Confucius said, What you do not want others to do to
you, do not do to others. (551-479 BC)

2. Jesus’ “rule” was slightly different…

a. Jesus requires you to do something favorably to
others, while the others only prohibit you from doing
something unfavorably to others!

1) Jesus: Do unto others what you want them to do to

2) Others: Don’t do to others what you don’t want
done to you

b. Note the difference…

1) With the others, all that is required is that you don’t
harm other people

2) With Jesus, what is required is that you show kindness
to others

c. Jesus’ rule is truly the “Golden” rule

1) The others are “Silver” rules

2) Of value, yes, but not as much as “gold”

3. So what Jesus taught was something new compared to
what many teachers had taught prior. But in another sense
it was nothing new; rather, in a simple and easy to
remember statement, Jesus gives us…


1. It is in harmony with the Law and the Prophets

a. As we have seen earlier in the sermon (cf. Mt 5:20-48)

1) Jesus taught a standard righteousness that contrasted
with that of the scribes and Pharisees

2) But it was in harmony with what the Law actually

b. This one “rule” summarizes what the Law and the
Prophets were all about

c. Just as the commandment “Love your neighbor as
yourself” summed up the Law according to Paul –
Romans 13:8-10

2. It is sort of a “pocketknife” or “carpenter’s rule”

a. That is, something that is always ready to be used

b. 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

c. Treat others as you would be treated, and it is unlikely
you will ever do the wrong thing


1. In teaching the lost…

a. Imagine what it must be like to be told you are wrong, or
in sin

b. Wouldn’t you want to be told in a loving and patient

c. As you would have others try to persuade you to change
religiously, so treat those you seek to convert

1) 2 Timothy 2: 24-26

2) Ephesians 4:15

2. In correcting one another…

a. No one likes to have their mistakes, errors, etc., point

b. When necessary, wouldn’t we prefer to be approached
with a meek and patient spirit?

c. As you would have others offer you constructive
criticism, so give it to them

d. Galatians 6:1-2

3. In treating our family, neighbors, and enemies…

a. Everyone likes to have loving families, good neighbors,
and no enemies

b. Applying the golden rule will not only transform
ourselves, but may also transform those around us!

1) Sibling rivalry would cease

2) Neighborly squabbles would be non-existent

3) Enemies would become friends

c. Don’t limit the application of the Golden Rule to
religious matters!


A. “The Golden Rule would reconcile capital and labor, all
political contention and uproar, all selfishness and
greed.” Joseph Parker (1830-1902)

1. Such would be the impact on our society if more followed
Jesus’ words

2. But let’s start close to home, and let the Golden Rule
transform our own lives and those closest to us!

B. “We have committed the Golden Rule to memory; let us
now commit it to life.” Edwin Markham (1852-1940)

1. This reflects what is true with most people; they know the
rule, but don’t live by it

2. If Jesus is truly our Lord, then His “golden rule” will
govern our life!

C. Matthew 7:12


About from the Preachers PC

Gospel Preacher for the Park Heights church of Christ in Hamilton, TX. I stand for and defend the truth of God's word. All other degrees and diplomas mean very little in comparison.
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