The Golden Rule


Date written: February 22nd, 2004

SUBJECT: Attitudes

TITLE: The Golden Rule

PROPOSITION: In this lesson we will examine the golden rule. It’s optimism; its reflection of God; its practical love toward other men; its proactive nature.

OBJECTIVE: Each hearer should have a better understanding of what the golden rule means and how to apply it.

AIM: To cause us to consider, reflect, and think more often about the golden rule.


1. Read: Matthew 7:12

2. About the Text:

1) Jesus has just finished a discussion of hypocritically judging others.

2) He then discusses asking, seeking, finding.

3) He uses the illustration of a son asking of his father bread, or fish.

4) The golden rule flows within this context.

5) The unrighteous judgment of others would not be following the golden rule.

6) God’s example of granting us good things when we ask is an example of following the golden rule.

7) When we do good things to others, this is an example of following the golden rule.

3. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.

DISCUSSION: The Golden Rule is . . .

I.   Optimistic

1. The golden rule does not say, “Whatever others want you to do, do that.”

2. It doesn’t even mean if we would want something to be done to us from the wrong motive that it is OK for another to do that.

3. It says what “you would.” It is optimistic. In that sense it is based upon the best someone has to offer.

4. Many are the sins based upon what others want. Proverbs 1:10-19

5. It means that we should act based upon how we would want others to act toward us.

II.  A Reflection of the Love of God for mankind.

1. God does not deal with us as we deserve. Psalm 103:8-18.

2. Even though we were God’s enemies, God acted toward us as we would have wanted Him to act toward us. Romans 5:6-10.

3. God expects his children to be like Him. Matthew 5:44, 45.

4. Hence we must practice the golden rule.

III. The practice of Love toward our fellow.

1. Matt.22:39; Mark 12:31; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself – The second command.

2. Rom.13:9, Gal.5:14 – All the law is summed up in this command.

3. Jam.2:8 – The Royal Law

4. The golden rule causes us to think about how our actions toward others would affect ourselves.

5. Would I want this to be done to me if someone else were doing this to me?

IV. Introspective. Phil.4:8.

V.  Proactive, not Reactive.

1. It doesn’t wait for others to do before you start.

2. James 4:17 – The sin of omission. If we know to do good, we ought to do it.

3. James 1:22-25 — Not merely hearers, but doers.

4. John 15:4, 5 – Abide in the vine.

5. Matthew 28:20 – Teaching them to OBSERVE. Not merely do, but observe.


1. We have looked at the golden rule.

1) Its optimism.

2) Its reflection of God’s love for man.

3) Its practice of love toward other men.

4) Its proactive nature.

2. Invitation

1) Have you been practicing the golden rule?

2) If you are not a Christian this morning . . .

a. Hear the word; Romans 10:17 “Faith comes by hearing . . .”

b. Believe with all your heart; Hebrews 11:6 “For without faith it is impossible . . . .”

c. Repent of your sins (Acts 17:30).

d. Confess Jesus as the Son of God (Matt.16:16).

e. Be Baptized for the remission of your sins (Mark 16:15, 16).