A Systematic Expository Study of the Word of God
UNIVERSAL PRINCIPLE OF A RIGHTEOUS LIFE
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This is the most sublime condensation of the moral law. Thoughtfully
considered, it guides us in all our relationships. This grandeur precept
begins with the word therefore. The word therefore,
connects the verse to the previous verse. Earthly fathers in their normal
and best state of being give good things to their children, therefore
all things whatsoever ye (in your normal and best state of
being) would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.
The word, therefore is based on the best of
relationships - the Father/child relationship. Your heavenly Father will
give good things to His children - His true children who ask Him; therefore
all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so
to them. Natural affection or divine love in the heart must be
established in the application of this precept which has been referred to as
the golden rule.
This word therefore prevents the verse from being isolated from verse
eleven. The closing phrase also protects this divine precept from being
misused by sinners. For this is the law and the prophets.
This is the summary and the summit of the teaching of the Lord and the
doctrine of Gods faithful prophets calling men to righteousness. Suppose an
offender should be arrested by a man in authority. Suppose the criminal
should ask the officer whether he would like to be arrested if he were in
his position. Assuming the answer is no, he then says: Do as you would be
done to. That application will contradict the law and the prophets.
The first word, therefore and the concluding phrase for
this is the law and the prophets rescue this universal principle
of true righteousness from the hands of depraved men and women who are
motivated by selfishness, self-centredness and sinful propensities.
STANDARD FOR A GODLY, UNSELFISH LIFE
Matthew 7:12; Proverbs 24:29;
Genesis 21:23; 26:29; 50:18-21; Romans 14:17-19; Galatians 5:13,14,22-26;
6:1,2; Ephesians 4:28-32; Colossians 3:12-17.
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you,
do ye even so to them. What a standard! Only the Lord in His
supreme, supernatural wisdom could summarise the commandments of God in one
simple sentence. In all situations and circumstances of normal relationship,
in all things as we relate with others - parents and children, husbands and
wives, neighbours and friends, employers and employees, sellers and buyers,
professionals and clients, teachers and learners, leaders and followers,
citizens and strangers, lenders and borrowers, landlords and tenants, rich
and poor, privileged and less-privileged people - whatsoever ye would that
others should do to you, do ye even so to them.
This is a precept of great value. One may forget the details of many of the
commandments of God but this is easy to remember. It calls us to a gracious,
godly life. It draws us from a life of selfishness to a life of
Christlikeness. It teaches us not to act from selfish or unjust motives but
to put ourselves in the place of the other person and ask what we would
expect of him towards us. This would make us impartial, kind, considerate,
just, gentle and tender.
This standard for human behaviour, if applied fairly and faithfully would
banish cruelty, unkindness, theft, adultery, murder, abortion, treachery,
deception, envy, covetousness - sinfulness in general. This precept will
prevent unrighteousness among men. If everyone would practise this the
church would be a glorious church and the world would be a better place to
live, work and prepare for eternity.
SUMMARY OF GODS UNCHANGEABLE LAW
Matthew 7:12; Romans 13:8-10;
Galatians 5:14;1 Timothy 1:5; 1 Corinthians 13:1-7,13; Hebrews 1:1,2; John
8:28,29; Colossians 3:12-14; Matthew 22:37-40; James 2:8-12.
For this is the law and the prophets. This is the sum or
substance of the Old Testament. And this is kernel of the result of the
gospel of grace. It is a summary expression of all the moral law required.
This incomparable summary is our duty to our neighbour in a nutshell. It is
also called the royal law.
Our Lord teaches us that it is not enough to learn or to believe, we must
also do. In giving us this golden rule, the royal law or this principle of
true righteousness, He emphasizes that faith or grace does not cancel the
moral law. Faith or grace does not make the moral law unnecessary. Faith in
Christ brings salvation and salvation makes us to deny ungodliness and
lusts, leading us to live righteously and justly.
This can be referred to as the law of Christ. Here is the
Old Testament and the New Testament. What the Old Testament commands, the
New Testament gives the grace to obey. Righteousness was required in the Old
Testament but the depravity in the human heart did not allow the majority of
men to do as God expected. Christ has come to cleanse and transform our
hearts. With the work of grace done in the heart, the required godliness is
now possible. And the guiding principle of this righteousness is: all
things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.
OF GRACIOUS UNDENIABLE LOVE
Matthew 7:12; John 13:34,35;
15:12,13; Romans 12:9-21; 2 Corinthians 12:15; Ephesians 5:25-33; Hebrews
13:1-4; 1 Peter 1:22; 3:8-12; 1 John 3:16-18; 4:7-21; Luke 10:27-37.
For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt
love thy neighbour as thyself (Galatians 5:14). All the
commandments are briefly comprehended in this saying, namely,
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself (Romans
13:9). If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, thou
shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well (James 2:8).
God is love (1 John 4:8) and the purpose of Christs
redemption and salvation is to bring us to God. His mission is to
plant the love of God in us. His message is to teach all men that
the love of God offers to save men from their sins. His miracle is to
transform Gentile stones (with hearts of stone having no tender feeling for
other creatures of God) to children of God with His nature of love. The
beneficiaries of His mission, the recipients of His message who experience
the miracle of His grace have the love of God shed abroad in their hearts.
In gratitude to God who gave His only Son to save them, they desire to love
God supremely. If we had given such great gift to save someone, we would
expect him to show his gratitude in a very practical, unmistakeable way. In
deep appreciation of Christ who has sacrificed His very life to save him
(the sinner) from sin and its eternal consequences, he (the saved soul)
consecrates himself to love His Saviour above everyone and everything on
earth. If we had paid such great price to save anyone from such great danger
and damnation, we would expect him to reciprocate with visible, undeniable,
uninterrupted love. In demonstrating his love towards God, he will want to
convince all who know him that he loves God and anyone related with God and
anything associated with God. He will love all the children and all the
creatures of God. He will love his neighbour as himself. Graciously and
willingly, he will live by the golden rule, the royal law: Therefore
all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to
them: for this is the law and the prophets (Matthew 7:12).
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