Notes on Relationships
RELATIONSHIPS – We must judge our own hearts, but not judge the hearts and motives of others. (v.3,4) That is God’s job through the Holy Spirit. If you’re tough on others, they’ll be tough on you. You reap what you sow. This passage is eerily reminiscent of the rule in the Old Testament of ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’.
RELATIONSHIPS - The Golden Rule simply states to treat others like you would want to be treated. (v.12) This is also a good definition of love. The whole law and prophets is summed up in this rule because they are summed up in love. When we obey God, we truly show that we love God. When we prefer others over ourselves, we show how much we love them as well.
RELATIONSHIPS – God told us to recognize who the people in our life belong to by observing their fruit. (v.20-22) We will recognize other Christians, not by what they claim to be, but by their fruit. This does not necessarily mean fruit such as prophecy or miracles (v.22) but the fruit of knowing God and having a relationship with Him. Without this, everything else that we do doesn't really matter to Him. God calls people like this evildoers.