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Summary: A message on the very simple principle, "Do unto others as you would have them do to you.

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Introduction

A. A honeymoon couple is in the Watergate Hotel. The new bride is concerned and asked, "What if the place is still bugged?" The groom says "Hmm... Good point. I'll look for a bug." He looks behind the drapes, behind the pictures, under the rug . . . "AHA!" he shouts! Sure enough, under the rug was a small disc shaped plate, with four screws. He gets his Swiss army knife, unscrews the screws, throws them and the plate out the window. The next morning, the hotel manager asks the newlyweds "How was your room? How was the service? How was your stay at the Watergate Hotel?" Curious, the groom says, "And why, sir, are you asking me all of these questions?" The hotel manager says "Well, the room UNDER yours complained of the chandelier falling on them!"

1. Lets turn to Matthew 7:12

Matthew 7:12 NKJV

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

B. What we have just read has been called ‘The Golden Rule.’

1. In his commentary on Matthew 1-7, John MacArthur, Jr. writes, “Every other form of this basic principle had been given in purely negative terms, and is found in the literature of almost every major religion and philosophical system.

2. This is often called the silver rule

a. The Jewish rabbi Hillel said, “What is hateful to yourself do not to someone else.”

b. The book of Tobit in the Apocrypha teaches, “What thou thyself hatest, to no man do.”

c. The Jewish scholars in Alexandria who translated the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) advised in a certain piece of correspondence, “As you wish that no evil befall you, but to be a partaker of all good things, so you should act on the same principle toward your subjects and offenders.”

d. Confucius taught, “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.”

e. An ancient Greek king named Nicocles wrote, “Do not do to others the things which make you angry when you experience them at the hands of other people.”

f. The Greek philosopher Epictetus said, “What you avoid suffering yourself, do not afflict on others.”

g. The Stoics promoted the principle, “What you do not want to be done to you, do not do to anyone else.”

h. In every case the emphasis is negative.

i. The principle is an important part of right human relations, but it falls short—far short—of God’s perfect standard.”

3. There is definitely a difference in Jesus’ statement here.

a. He is not just saying to refrain from doing to others what you wouldn’t want done to you, but He is saying do to others what you would have them do to you.

b. The New American Standard Bible says, “…treat people the same way you want them to treat you…”

(1) Turn to Matthew 22:39

II. Body

A. How would you like to be treated by others?

Matthew 22:39 NKJV

"And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'

1. Calvin Miller in The Taste of Joy. Christianity Today, wrote, “Christians state glibly that they love the whole world, while they permit themselves animosities within their immediate world. World love is a philosophical credo. But loving the world at large can only be done by loving face to face the world that is not so distant. It is foolish to say we love humanity; its people we can't stand.”

2. Turn to Ephesians 5:28 & 29

3. Maybe you never thought of loving yourself as good, but it is a reality.

a. When speaking to husbands in Ephesians 5:28 Paul explains to husbands that they should love their wives as they love their own bodies.

Ephesians 5:28-29 NKJV

So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. {29} For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.

b. We do care for ourselves, don’t we?

c. Paul further states in verse 29 that no one ever hated his own body, but feeds it and takes care of it.

d. We do take care of ourselves don’t we?

e. Granted, some of us have ‘hated our body’ in the sense of wishing it looking better or was formed better, but from a quick glance at many of us you’d see we don’t have a problem feeding ourselves (maybe not the best foods) and we try our best to make sure we look good

(1) Turn to 2 Timothy 3:1-5

4. Now, you might say, what about the Bible’s negative view towards those who are ‘lovers of themselves’?

2 Timothy 3:1-5 NKJV

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: {2} For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, {3} unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, {4} traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, {5} having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

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