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Summary: This sermon deals with the well known "Golden Rule". It includes a true story as the illustration.

THE “GOLDEN RULE”.

Matthew 7:1-12

1 "Judge not, that you be not judged.

2For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.

3And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?

4Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye?

5Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

6Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

7"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

8For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

9Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?

10Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?

11If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

12Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

How many people do you know that say something like this:

“Hey, I’m not such a bad person.

I’ve never murdered anyone.

I’ve never cheated on my wife.

I’ve never robbed a bank.”

I live my life by the “Golden Rule”.

Today’s passage is part of the Sermon on the Mount.

These words taught by Jesus are often misunderstood.

Jesus was preaching the Sermon for the good of His true disciples.

His words serve as an indictment of the false ones

characterized by the Scribes and Pharisees.

Today we are going to focus our attention on Verse 12.

12Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

That verse is often called “The Golden Rule”.

Before we begin looking at the Golden Rule,

I have a true story to tell you.

Today’s true story took place at a women's softball game on April

26, 2008. Central Washington and Western Oregon faced off

against each other, with the winner to receive a bid to the NCAA

Division II playoffs. Sara Tucholsky, a Western Oregon player,

came to the plate in the second inning with the score tied 0-0 and

two runners on base . Sara had never hit a home run. However,

things were about to change. She connected on a pitch and hit the

ball over the centerfield fence for a home run.

More of that story a little later.

Point #1. Obeying The Golden Rule Is Not A Requirement For Salvation.

This entire sermon is primarily directed toward His followers.

Jesus was speaking to those who were already saved believers.

So Jesus is not saying that in order to get into God’s kingdom

a person MUST behave in that manner.

In fact, Jesus’ entire sermon has clearly said

that we can never be made right with God

through our external behavior

because God is more concerned with our hearts.

Paul learned that when He met Jesus on the road to Damascus.

Up until that point, Paul had been zealous for God,

doing all the things He thought would earn him favor with God.

Near the end of his ministry, Paul looked back on all he had done

in order to earn favor with God –

his heritage, his religious training, his zeal for God

and his outward behavior – and described them like this:

Philippians 3:8-9

Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;

Unfortunately, many people have been deceived into thinking

that all they have to do in order to be right with God

is to live by the Golden Rule.

Paul makes it clear that the kind of righteousness

that makes us right with God is not our own righteousness

that comes from our behavior.

It’s the righteousness from God

that comes through faith in Jesus alone.

So if the “Golden Rule” is not a prerequisite for salvation,

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