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Greatest Sermon Ever 22: The Golden Rule
Richard Root
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Greatest Sermon Ever 22: The Golden Rule Jul 12, 2020
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Richard Root Matthew 7:12 Sunday Online
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Sermon -Sunday Online -2020/07/12 11am -Richard Root -"Greatest Sermon Ever 22: The Golden Rule" -Matthew 7:12

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Sermon Notes

The Sermon on the Mount – 22. The Golden Rule
Matthew 7:12

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)

• One of the ways that you can tell what somebody loves is by watching what they do when what they love is violated.
• What is it that God loves most? One way of answering that question is by looking at what God hates. It turns out there actually is a list in the Bible of things God hates:
“There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” (Proverbs 6:16-19)
• When the writer says “there are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable” this is a poetic way of emphasizing the final item on the list, which is:
“to sow discord… to violate community… to wound God's dream of shalom.”

Judge somebody             Engage in human trafficking
Belittle somebody            Abuse a spouse… betray
Exclude somebody           Stop the life of an unborn child
Use somebody                 Ridicule a person with a disability

• Or just live in a world where these things are going on every day and don't do anything about it when you could. Close your eyes. Shut your heart. Suit yourself.

“What God values above every other thing in all of creation is human beings. So, when a human being gets mistreated it deeply offends the creator and the judge of all things.”

Jesus’ Great Summary of the Law and the Prophets
“Do not think I've come to abolish the law and the prophets I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them…. Anybody that puts aside the least of them and teaches others to do the same will be called the least.” (Matthew 5:17,19)
• Jesus take centuries of the greatest wisdom in the world—the teaching of the law and the prophets—and he summarizes it. He gives the Cliff notes of the greatest teaching humanity has received in Matthew chapters 5-7 —The Sermon on the Mount.
• But Jesus is not done. Now he creates the Cliff note on the Cliff notes. Jesus summarizes the Sermon on the Mount into the greatest ethical maxim ever devised. And here it is:
“So, in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)

Golden Rule Living
• Part of the genius of the Golden rule is that we usually focus on how we are being treated.
How did your day go usually means how did people treat you? How did life treat you?
The golden rule turns that around: How did you treat people today?

“The golden rule is tremendously empowering, because it makes you an agent and not just a victim.”

• This is why the golden rule is “golden” and not just a rule. A lot of rules just tell you what to do. Do not exceed 100 kilometers an hour. That requires no imagination at all. The golden rule is all about imagination.
• Jesus is teaching you to begin by looking at your heart. You have to stretch your imagination: How would I like to be treated?

• Jesus lived a golden rule life. He taught a golden rule message. He died a golden rule death. He started a Golden rule community. Peter describes the life of Jesus this way:
“God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power and he went around doing good.” (Acts 10:38)
• The way to fully understand and believe Jesus' words is not to study them incessantly, abstractly it’s to actually do them. The application is simple: Do the golden rule!
When? Every day.            To whom? Everybody.
Where? Everywhere.         How? With Jesus's help.

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