The Golden Rule

Matthew 7:12

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It’s the golden rule. It’s what so many people teach and preach in church today. And, it’s interesting that everyone only quotes the first part of verse and leave off the last half which says, “for this is the Law and the Prophets.”

It feels like Jesus spent all of chapter 6 talking about these things that we should do and things we shouldn’t do, and how it relates to people and to God. Giving, praying, fasting, and forgiveness and then sums up these principles with the statement. “Treat others as you want to be treated. That’s the Law.”

What’s interesting is how he moves right into the next verse…

Matthew 7:13-14

Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

Jesus was speaking to those under the Law who were required to enter this narrow gate of life that comes through following the Law. His command, “Enter by the narrow gate” was spoken to those around him that were living in the Old Covenant.

He continues to explain how hard this “narrow gate” of the Law really was. The way was hard. It’s hard to keep all aspects of the law. It’s actually impossible, but there are few who find it. Salvation under “the Law and Prophets” is rare, few people find it.

Matthew 7:21-23

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

This is an amazing scripture. People will think they are headed to heaven, but they will get there and cry out, “Lord, Lord!” but Jesus will respond, “I never knew you.” The key is the first part of this verse. In it, Jesus talks about how to “enter the kingdom of heaven. It is by doing the will of his Father. What is the will of the Father? We need to know this because it’s what gets us into heaven.

I believe the will of the Father is to believe in Christ for salvation. The Father’s will is not about doing, but about believing. There are numerous scriptures that we’ll get into later, but John 6:28-29 is a great example. The disciples asked him, “Lord, what must we do, to be doing the works of God? Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” There is one work of God, for us to believe in Christ. That must be our focus. I believe this is the primary will of God for our life.

Fascinating! I just saw this. These people crying out “Lord, Lord!” in verse 22 were trying to get into heaven by their works, by all the stuff they did for the Lord. By doing. They said, “Did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?” In other words, “Weren’t we doing those things for you in your name?” They thought that doing something earned their way into heaven. They wanted Jesus to let them in because of their “mighty works.” Jesus rejected them. They were trying to get into heaven by what they did, not by what Christ did for them. They didn’t believe. The will of the Father is simply this: trust Christ for salvation.

Salvation is about believing, not about doing.

Wow. It's Quiet Here...

Be the first to start the conversation!

Leave a Reply:

Gravatar Image