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Keywords: the golden rule embodies all of God's law for mankind

The Golden Rule Embodies All Of God's Law For Mankind

"Treat Others As You Would Like To Be Treated"

By Rev. Bill McGinnis, Director - Internet Church Of Christ - LoveAllPeople.org
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In all religions, people have compiled lists of rules to be followed. Some of these lists are quite extensive (see Leviticus and Deuteronomy 12-30 ,) and some of them are quite compact (see "God's Rules To Live By.") But all of God's true required rules for us today can be reduced to one Golden Rule, expressed as, "Treat Others As You Would Like To Be Treated." All of the other true rules of Ethics can be derived from the Golden Rule, and all of the true rules about loving God are satisfied once we realize that God accepts our love for others as if it were love for Himself. So everything boils down to loving others as we love ourselves, and this love is put into action by following the Golden Rule!

Therefore we can see that the legalistic approach to doing the Will of God by following dozens or hundreds of detailed rules is badly flawed. It misses the point, which is, that everything God really requires of us is accomplished if we follow the Golden Rule, "Treat Others As You Would Like To Be Treated."

         "TREAT OTHERS AS YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED."
The Golden Rule is expressed twice in the Bible, and these are its most authoritative forms, in the words of Jesus, translated.
       
      "So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for
       this is the law and the prophets." (Matthew 7:12 RSV)
       
       "And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them."
        (Luke 6:31 RSV)

And here are some of the other expressions of The Golden Rule in modern English.

   1. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
   2. "Treat other people the way you would like them to treat you."
   3. "Treat others as you want to be treated."
   4. "Treat other people the way you would like to be treated."
   5. "Treat other people the way you want to be treated."
   6. "Whatever you want people to do to you, do that to them."
The Golden Rule is not just one of many rules which God requires mankind to follow, but it is the entire law, all by itself. This is what Jesus means when He says, "this is the law and the prophets."
         _____________________________________________________________
       
      "So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for
       this is the law and the prophets." (Matthew 7:12 RSV)
         _____________________________________________________________
       
Note that He says, "for this IS the law and the prophets," not "for this is required by the law and the prophets." The easiest way to follow The Golden Rule is to love all other people the same as you love yourself. When you love others as you love yourself, you will naturally do to them the same as you would like them to do to you. Thus you will be following The Golden Rule, which embodies all of God's law for mankind.

The Golden Rule implements The Law Of Love, which is "LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.

               "Love For Others Fulfills The Law"

       Galatians 5:14 (RSV)
       For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, "You shall love your
       neighbor as yourself."
       Romans 13:8 (RSV)
       Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves
       his neighbor has fulfilled the law.
       
       Romans 13:9 (RSV)
       The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not
       kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other
       commandment, are summed up in this sentence, "You shall love your
       neighbor as yourself."
       Romans 13:10 (RSV)
       Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling
       of the law.
       James 2:8 (RSV)
       If you really fulfil the royal law, according to the scripture,
       "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well.
       Proverbs 10:12 (RSV)
       Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.
       1 Peter 4:8 (RSV)
       Above all hold unfailing your love for one another, since love
       covers a multitude of sins.
And who is your neighbor? Everyone is your neighbor. This is shown in the Parable Of The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37, shown in the appendix below).

But what about love for God? Doesn't that come first? Yes, but God counts our love for others as if it were love for Himself. So when we love others, we are loving Him at the same time. This is shown in the Parable Of The Sheep And The Goats (Matthew 25:31-46, in the Appendix below). And we cannot claim to love God until we first love our fellow man.

         _____________________________________________________________
       If any one says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a
       liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen,
       cannot love God whom he has not seen. (1 John 4:20 RSV)
         _____________________________________________________________

But what about The Ten Commandments? Aren't we supposed to obey them? Yes, but The Ten Commandments are only an approximation of what God wants from us. The Pharisees obeyed all of the Ten Commandments, yet God was very displeased with them because they did not have love. The exact thing God wants from us is that we should love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Everything else depends on this. If we love our neighbor as we love ourself, we will naturally and automatically be following The Golden Rule.

But what about holiness? Aren't we supposed to avoid improper sex, etc. and be pure and chaste? Aren't we supposed to deny our physical selves in order to strengthen our spiritual selves? Yes, perhaps. But our feeble attempts at being holy do not even come close to God's high standards. To Him, they are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). But if we have love for others, God will overlook a multitude of our sins (1 Peter 4:8). And if we forgive others of their offenses against us, He will forgive us of our offenses against Him (Matthew 5:14-15). Love makes everything holy, since God is love (1 John 4:8, 4:16).

So all of God's requirements for mankind boil down to this one command: "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." If you truly do this one thing only, it is enough. And when you love others as you love yourself, you will naturally be following The Golden Rule, which embodies all of God's law for mankind.

But what about Jesus? Where does Jesus Christ fit into this picture? If love for neighbor is sufficient, then why do we need to accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Saviour?

Jesus Christ doesn't "fit into the picture." Jesus Christ IS the picture, the perfect embodiment of Love.

By our own flawed human nature, it is almost impossible to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Maybe some few people can do it, but most people cannot even come close. But when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord, His Holy Spirit enters us and dwells within us, transforming our flawed nature into a more perfect nature, more like His own. Only then are we able to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.

To Accept Jesus Christ As Your Lord, Please Click HERE!

May the Lord bless this presentation of His holy Word.

May the Lord bless this presentation of His holy Word.

     Rev. Bill McGinnis  <><
     bmcgin@patriot.net
     

See more pages like this, at our Index of Pearls Of Faith, a treasury of Biblical truths.

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May the Lord bless this presentation of His holy Word.


     Rev. Bill McGinnis  <><
     bmcgin@patriot.net
     

See more pages like this, at our Index of Pearls Of Faith, a treasury of Biblical truths.

Please also see our related pages . . .

CHRISTIAN
ETHICS & HUMAN RELATIONS
POLITICS & PUBLIC AFFAIRS

Sitemap

Blessings to you. May God help us all.

       Rev. Bill McGinnis, Director - LoveAllPeople.org

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"Treat Others As You Would Like To Be Treated."

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God's One Law For All Mankind: "Love All People As Yourself."