Lesson 109—April 10, 2016
Audio lesson by David Daniel
Scripture: Matthew 7:12
Lesson Goal: To gain a better understanding of the passage commonly referred to as “The Golden Rule.”
The Life Focus teachers have requested a little extra time to catch up, so because we do not have a 5th Sunday until May, today’s lesson has been condensed to allow extra time for catchup.
Introduction: The Believers’ Bible says:
Verse 12, commonly called “the Golden Rule” or the principle of reciprocity, sums up all the moral and ethical requirements of men who live in society as Kingdom citizens. The law of Jesus demands a standard of conduct that surpasses what is normally expected, because it is addressed to those who possess a fullness of life, which is the gift of God’s Spirit.
Please read Leviticus 19:18b.
In Matthew 7:12, Jesus shares with His followers what perhaps might be His most well-known saying or teaching. It is most often referred to as “The Golden Rule.” In this one short and precise saying (teaching), we find the summit of ethical and practical living.
What does this really mean: Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them?
What does “Love your neighbor as yourself” mean?
The second portion of verse 12 points us to the indescribable significance and unfathomable importance of this verse. The Golden Rule, in one sentence, embraces all human behavior toward others and encompasses the complete teaching of the law—“for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
Most of us have heard and been taught the words of Matthew 7:12. I believe it is one of those verses that we have stored in our memories. Most are able to recite it, but very few have studied the depths of its meaning and application. In these few words we find the way we are to live, act, and behave. At the same time, these words teach us how we are not to behave.
“The Golden Rule is concerned with true love and with positive, active behavior. It is more than not doing wrong (lying, stealing, cheating). It is more than just doing good (helping, caring, giving). It is looking, searching, and seeking for ways to do the good that you want others to do to you. It is seeking ways to treat others just as you want them to treat you” (Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible).
Please read Matthew 22:37-40.
How are we (followers) to live life based upon Matthew 22:37-40 and Matthew 7:12?
How can each of us personally live out the truths of these verses?
How would all our relationships be if we lived out the truths of these verses; for example, family, work, ball team, church?
As we live out the truth of Matthew 7:12, we are showing forth the love of God to others as He has loved us. How is it possible for the follower of Jesus Christ to live out the truth of Matthew 7:12 in everyday life?
This great truth is a principle that ought to govern our attitudes toward others. The person who practices the Golden Rule refuses to say or do anything that would harm himself or others. If our judging others is not governed by this principle, we will become proud and critical, and our own spiritual character will degenerate. Practicing the Golden Rule releases the love of God in our lives and enables us to help others” (Wiersbe).
What should be our attitude toward others? (Answer in light of the truth of verse 12.)
In the light of the truth of verse 12, what should be our actions toward others?
Please prayerfully explain this statement: Christianity is not simply a matter of abstinence of doing bad things, but also the doing of good things.