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The Golden Rule (5 of 6)
Series: Rules for the Redeemed
Matthew 7:12; 24-27
INTRO: The so-called "GOLDEN RULE" is not unique to Christianity! But there is something very unique about this golden rule as Jesus stated it, and this makes Christianity's version of it above all others.
This Golden rule is found in many religions around the world, and from many points in history. For instance, this golden rule is found in Rabbinic Judaism and also in Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism; also there is a form of this golden rule in Greek and Roman ethical teachings! What's the difference then between Jesus' version and the others? In all the others this "golden rule" is stated in the negative instead of the positive as Jesus stated it.
This difference might seem on the surface to be insignificant, but it is a MAJOR difference!
A. The negative form is the appeal of LAW for CONTROL!
B. The positive form is the appeal of LOVE for GROWTH!
ILLUS: This can be seen in the Bible also. Notice in the OLD TESTAMENT the Law of Moses, what we call the 10 commandments; they are stated mostly in the negative: "THOU SHALL NOT..." They appealed to control the run-away nature of fallen man, to keep human civilization from total corruption ... there were tough penalties for break¬ing those laws. HOWEVER, notice that when Jesus came He promises a new covenant of grace, when He states the law under the new covenant of grace He does so in the positive rather than the negative, "Thou shall love the Lord your God will all your heart, and your neighbor as yourself - this fulfills the law."
How does this difference come about? By faith in Jesus Christ who changes the heart and soul of man so that it is possible in grace to do what we could not do under the law!
PROP. SENT: Jesus' teaching on the "Golden Rule" goes far beyond any other religion's teaching on the same subject because instead of trying to control negative behavior it en¬courages beha ...
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