Relating to Others

Key Verse: “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

Selected Scripture:
Matthew 7:1-5, 12-20

IN OUR LESSON FOR TODAY, Jesus continues his sermon on the mount, and says, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” (Matt. 7:1) Continuing he says that with what judgment we mete out, we will receive the same. (vs. 2) Verses 1 to 5 lead to a lesson on faultfinding. Mercy and forgiveness are key elements in Christian character building, and should be sought instead.

All are of the fallen race of Adam. (Rom. 3:10, Ps. 51:5) Therefore, misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and resentment ofttimes enter into our lives. Our Lord tells us what to do, and what not to do, in these cases. To judge, or sentence, someone unjustly is forbidden in the law of God, for only our Heavenly Father can read the heart. “Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” (I Sam. 16:7) The great lesson of forgiveness goes far beyond mere lip service. True forgiveness comes from the heart.—Matt. 18:35

Jesus said, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” (Matt. 6:12) Do we really forgive those who wrong us? Our Father in heaven is looking at the true condition of our heart. God has given us a standard, the law of love. We must treat others, as we would like them to treat us, which is the golden rule. Some can see the “mote” (the smallest speck) in their neighbor’s eye, without recognizing the “beam” (log) in their own. (vss. 3-5) Our own faults are usually far greater than those of others. The lessons of judgment and forgiveness must be exercised properly. We should always exercise forgiveness and never judge.

There are two great commandments given by God, which embody the rules of love. “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matt. 22:37-39) If we follow these commandments we will forgive those who trespass against us, and we will not judge. If we should judge, we should not condemn.—Luke 6:37

Two roads of travel are shown in Matthew 7:13,14. The first is a wide road, a way that leads downward to destruction. All mankind because of sin are on this road, needing the kingdom of Christ to reverse their direction. The second is a narrow road, steep, difficult, and hard to traverse. This road leads upward to life. Only a few are encouraged to travel this road. (Matt. 22:14) This way, though difficult, will have the greatest of rewards, the Divine nature.—II Pet. 1:2-11

There are problems in being a Christian. False leaders that look like sheep, but are really wolves, are ready to devour the true sheep of the Lord’s pasture. (vss. 15-17) What a warning. Satan has put roadblocks in the way of the Christian. There is a way of recognizing those who are wolves—they are known by their fruit. They are like thorns that wound, thistles with stinging nettles, briers that scratch and cause injury. We are to grow and develop like a good tree which gives good fruit. The tree that puts forth bad fruit will be hewn down and destroyed. We are to be diligent in recognizing the good from the bad.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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