Summary: The Golden rule is accepted in some way into every "religion" of the world, but only TRUE Followers of Christ are able to understand how "the Golden Rule" it is achieved.
The Golden Rule
We have been studying Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and ended with Matthew 7:6: "Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” Those who scorn and reject the Gospel of God’s Grace and those who teach false gospels are symbolized as “dogs” and “pigs” and Jesus is warning His followers about their relationships with them. In essence He said: Do not be hyper-critical of others in judgment, but patient and humble, yet ALSO be critical and discerning of false teachers and avoid their scornful reaction and rejection to the Gospel of God’s Grace. Do not continue to throw the pearls and treasure of God’s Grace in Christ and the Kingdom of Heaven to those who continually reject HIS Holy Gospel.
Jesus has given an astonishing description of what is required of a Citizen of the Kingdom of God, and people surely must have wondered to themselves, how can we possibly have such drastic changes in our lives? The Apostle Paul posed the same question in 2 Corinthians 15-16: “For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; 16 to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?”
The point that Paul makes, as well as Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, is this: "You and I are totally unqualified to be citizens of God’s Kingdom in and of ourselves." To become a citizen of God’s Kingdom, and then to be able to exist in this world in the exact opposite way that people of the world exist takes a miracle, a supernatural act of God! How can it possibly be? (Later Jesus says in Matt. 18:3: Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.)
Jesus gives us part of the answer to Kingdom of God Citizenship in Matthew 7:7-8: "Ask, and it will be given to you (not earned); seek, and you will find (not earned); knock, and it will be opened to you. (you will not open it) 8 "For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
Ask? Could it possibly be that easy? To unsaved sinners, having a NEW Kingdom HEART is far more difficult than it even seems possible, especially if you cannot recognize the “plank or log in your own eye”. (Matt. 7:1-5). Now, people do not literally have a “log or plank” in their eye; People so often say they only interpret the Bible “literally”: Do they interpret that verse “literally”? We read it literally, but often God is teaching spiritual truths only seen by the power of God’s Spirit.
Jesus was talking spiritually, and He is talking here about a SPIRITUAL HEART NECESSITY in order to enter the Kingdom of God; it is in the framework of Matthew 6:33: “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Jesus is not talking about asking for the physical things but about our extreme spiritual need and our inability to supply that need by ourselves.
“ASKING” is really about a spiritual heart-posture in prayer when approaching God. Prayer is asking God in humility and at the same time, realizing your great and tremendous spiritual need. (Matt 5: Blessed are the poor in spirit, the mourners, and the meek…for they belong to the Kingdom of God.)
Jesus told a parable in Luke 18:10: "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11"The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ’God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 ’I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ 13 "But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ’God, be merciful to me, the sinner !’
The tax collector, who was NOT a person who was accepted or appreciated by man (tax collectors still aren’t!), approaches God realizing his own total inadequacy before God, not relying on his works, but on God’s mercy. He was begging or pleading to God for the thing he needed most: God’s mercy as a sinner. Someone who realizes their own sin, does not come boldly or proudly into the presence of a HOLY God, but HUMBLY. The word for “ask” could be translated “Beg” or “plead”.