Truly Righteous Love (Luke 6:27-38)
We’ve all heard it quoted innumerable times in our life, and if you are like me then you had it repeated to you over-and-over-again a million times as a child. You heard it so often that you can instantly recite it from memory still today. In fact, if you are a parent or grandparent, I would be surprised if you have not adopted this mantra and made it your own in raising your family too. To what am I referring, well let me start and then you can finish the rest of the sentence, “Do unto….” See what I mean, you know it too.
While most Americans and many people from around the globe were raised by parents espousing The Golden Rule, my guess is that only a very small percentage can tell you when and where the phrase originated. Sometimes called the “Ethic of Reciprocity,” some say that it dates to Confucius (551–479 BC) while others say it was codified much earlier in the Code of Hammurabi (1754-1790 BC). The Golden Rule, as it has come to be known, is widely accepted today and English philosopher Simon Blackburn states that the Golden Rule can be “found in some form in almost every ethical tradition.” So, when and where did it really originate?
The answer is: it has no beginning nor any end because it has always existed and always will. You see the idea was there in the beginning with the Word, when He created all things and it will be there with Him throughout all of eternity, because it is His very nature. Jesus laid down His life for us, while we were yet sinners. The Apostle John says it this way; “No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Yes indeed, Jesus is the Golden Rule personified; He lived it and proved it forever on the cross!
In His famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus articulated seven aspect of unconditional love, the pinnacle of which was The Golden Rule. Matthew and Luke each record His preaching on that day and in our study this week we will focus on Luke’s account found in the sixth chapter of his gospel. As an important part of Jesus’ manifesto of an upside-down Kingdom, He speaks boldly and authoritatively about the essential elements of truly righteous love. True love is unconditional, distinctive, irrational and merciful.
Practicing such love in society today is impossible without the supernatural empowerment provided only by the Holy Spirit. In Acts 1:8, Jesus promised His disciples that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them and the same is true for all who believe today. The power of the indwelling Holy Spirit is critical for living out the type of righteous love Jesus espoused in His Sermon on the Mount. Practicing this kind of love not only makes us unique and distinctive but it also makes other curious to know more about our motivation. Their curiosity allows us to share our testimony about how Jesus’ irrational love and merciful grace forever changed our lives.
I hope you can join us on this journey through Luke 6:27-38 as we hear directly from the Lord about true righteous love and how to live it out every day. If you are unable to join us in person for this study, please feel free to download the Bible study materials for your personal use any time at your convenience by following this link: PowerPoint Slides, PDF File
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For more information on this Bible study series please see Doubtless Living: The Gospel of Luke.