Riverside Community Church

Week 1 - The Golden Rule

 We start a new series today entitled ‘Power Statements of Jesus’.

‘Power Statements of Jesus’

Power Statements are made up of words and words can be true or false, kind or mean, right or wrong, loud or soft, wise or foolish, straightforward or deceitful. Words can be frivolous or light hearted or meaningless trivia or they can be potent and powerful.

When Jesus walked on earth His words had power, real power, ultimate power and sometimes devastating power. When they came to arrest Him in the garden and they asked Him if He was Jesus, He spoke “I am he” and they fell back, knees buckled at His very spoken words. When the centurion said that Jesus just needed to speak a word and his servant, even at a distance away, would be healed. He spoke and His words, like the speed of light, traversed over space and time, and it was so. Jesus spoke over 5 loaves and 2 fishes and 5,000 men were fed.


Did Jesus have power in His words, oh yes, power, unbelievable power:

blind eyes saw, lepers were cleansed, the dead were raised to life and even sins were forgiven. Power, power words from Jesus. 


But Jesus’ earthly power words were not His first words spoken.


Colossians 1:15-17 (NIV)

15 The Son, (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him (Jesus) all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

For in him all things were created let’s go to Genesis and hear Jesus speak:

And God said, “Let there be light  -all things created by Jesus

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night,

Jesus spoke, the Son of God spoke, and the myriad of countless stars were hung in numberless galaxies all by His power words. Not only did Jesus’ power words invoke creation and healing and life into deceased bodies but His words establish power truths. Truths for us to know and live by, giving us guidance not only in our physical life but in our spiritual lives as well.

Wasn’t it Jesus who said, when asked about the law and how we should live, ‘Love God, love your neighbor’? What a power statement.


I AM is the ultimate power statement.

Jesus said ‘Before Abraham was   ** I am **’


Human power statements

Eg. I am a self-starter, I am beautiful, I am the greatest (Ali)

Jesus used ‘I am’ power statements often, unlike our power statements which can be used to pump ourselves up, Jesus’s I AM power statements were all completely true

Examples: I am the way, truth, life. I am the resurrection, I am the light. I am the bread of life, I am the door, I am the good shepherd

I am the true vine and finally I AM. These are power statements by Jesus, describing Himself.

And then there are action power statements made by Jesus like LOVE GOD, LOVE OTHERS. These are power statements on how we should live.

Today we look at 11 power words of Jesus which we learned long ago as children, and now they are so familiar they need to refreshed in our hearts, maybe rebooted in our souls would be a better action.


Matthew 7:12 (NIV)

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you


In the film "Pay It Forward" (2000), Young Trevor McKinney is troubled by his mother’s alcoholism and by fears of his abusive but absent father. Trevor is intrigued by an assignment from his new social studies teacher, Mr. Simonet. The assignment is to come up with an idea to change the world. Trevor’s responds that we ought to change the way we do favors. Whenever someone does something good to us or for us, we do not repay them; instead, we do good deeds for three other people. We do not pay it back, we pay it forward. Trevor’s efforts to make good on his idea bring a revolution not only in the lives of himself, his mother and his physically and emotionally scarred teacher, but in the lives of an ever-widening circle of people completely unknown to him.


“Pay It Forward” is an expression of Matthew 7:12, the verse is commonly called the Golden Rule.

 “Do to others what you would have them do to you.” DO GOOD TO OTHERS. Scholars call it the Ethic of Reciprocity,


Power life statement Poem

Do all the good you can,   By all the means you can,

In all the ways you can,   In all the places you can,

At all the times you can,  To all the people you can,

As long as ever you can.

Look to do good for others, it’s our mantra, our posture, our calling, it’s the action part of love your neighbor. If we would live by this rule, what changes we would invoke in others, what evil would be defeated, how deeply the world would be influenced, what blessing we would receive and how pleased God would be with us.


The Golden Rule is not negative or inactive.

Hillel and Shammai were two famous rabbis who lived in the Holy Land a generation before Jesus. A certain heathen came to Shammai and said to him, "I will convert to Judaism if you can you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." But Shammai pushed him away with his staff. Thereupon the heathen went to Hillel, and made the same offer. Hillel said to him, "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor: that is the whole Torah; all the rest of it is commentary; go and learn." [Shabbat 31a]


Hillel’s teaching would have been known in Jesus’ time. It was the kind of thing that every Jew had heard and probably even repeated. So Jesus takes a familiar saying and turns it around, and states it positively. At first glance, you might think that Hillel and Jesus said much the same thing, but in fact there is a big power difference between “Do not do to others what you do not want done to you” and “Do to others what you do want done to you.”


Let us say that a woman was desperately ill and lapsed into a coma. This person was in a coma for six months and finally died. At the funeral, if the preacher followed Hillel’s version of the Golden Rule, he could say, “For the last six months of her life, she was a great woman. She never stole, she never lied, she never once lashed out in anger. She did not do unto others what she did not want done unto herself.” Of course, she did not do anything at all. You see then if we use only negative ethical propositions, if we dwell on only what we should not do, a person in a coma becomes a great figure of righteousness. If we have only negative ethics, we can be passive; we can pretend to be a vegetable, and still be good.


But Jesus is not going to let us do that. The Golden Rule is NOT PASSIVE. He requires us to take the initiative.    TO DO.      If someone’s flat tire needs fixing, fix it. If someone’s leaves need raking, rake them. IF someone needs a kind word, an encouragement, give it. Jesus demands action. Failure to act is a sin.


Primarily, Jesus expects us to apply the golden rule personally.

Now this is not easy, but this is an ethic that can change the world.

It is an ethic that begins with us where we are, at home, work, in our neighborhood. Jesus calls us to do to others what you would have them to do you.

Do not wait for them to do something for you. Take the initiative.


You want to be forgiven? Forgive!

You need affirmation? Affirm!

You feel hurt, wounded, broken and could stand a gentle touch? Be gentle with others!

You appreciate tact? Be tactful!

You enjoy a compliment? Compliment others!

Its go time on doing good all the time


Acts 10:38

“ …(Jesus) went around doing good…”

Acts 2:47

Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. (they were doing good and won favor)

Titus 2:14 (NIV)

14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.


This what we need to be doing individually and collectively at Riverside, doing good, looking for good things to do for others. In the past we, as a church, have done: a food drive, Messy Church, handouts at the Christmas Parade, Church Picnic BBQ. Let’s turn it up a notch or two more in 2018, let there be a banner



In the movie Pay It Forward, people first needed to have something done for them by someone else before they passed a good deed along. That is not all that different from our relationship to God. God sent His son, Jesus Christ, to die for us, to do something for us that we could never do, that is be cleansed of our sins.


God demonstrated the ultimate love, and now God asks us to “pay it forward.”

Do to others what you would have them do to you.” Amen.