What is the Golden Rule?

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The golden rule states: “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them,” adding, “for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12).

The way in which the Christian treats his fellow men is the acid test of the genuineness of his religion (1 John 4:20; cf. Matt. 25:31–46).
The golden rule summarizes the obligations of the second table of the Decalogue, and is another statement of the great principle of loving our neighbor (see Matt. 19:16–19; 22:39, 40; cf. 1 John 4:21). Only those who make the golden rule their law of life and practice can expect admission to the kingdom of glory. Our attitude toward our fellow men is an infallible index of our attitude toward God ( 1 John 3:14–16).

Profound thinkers of other times and other cultures have discovered and stated the sublime truth expressed in the golden rule. For example, to Hillel, most revered rabbi of the generation before Jesus, these words are credited: “‘What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor; that is the whole Torah, while the rest is the commentary thereof’” (Talmud Shabbath 31a, Soncino ed., p. 140).

The golden rule takes supreme selfishness, what we would like others to do for us, and transforms it into supreme selflessness, what we are to do for others. This is the glory of Christianity. This is the life of Christ lived out in those who follow Him and bear His name ( ch. 5:48).

What we call the Golden Rule is the summation of God’s entire way of life towards our fellow men. Jesus Christ later says of the two great commandments (“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with your soul, and with all your mind” and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”) that, “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team


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