One of the principles I learned about Scripture memory from the Navigators is that is that verses should be memorized “word perfect.” As Jesus reminded Satan by quoting from Deuteronomy 8:3, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4).
Take the Golden Rule:
Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them. (Matt. 7:12)
Right? Not exactly. It’s missing the first word: “So” (Greek: οὖν).
More fully, Jesus said:
So [or therefore], whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them. (Matt. 7:12)
This little word signals that you can’t understand this verse without understanding what precedes it. Jesus made arguments, not bumper stickers.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I have known the Golden Rule for decades but failed to see the connection with the previous verse. At his new blog, Steve Fuller explains why the first word is actually the most important word in the Golden Rule if you want to apply it with gospel freedom.
I encourage you to read the whole thing. You’ll know what the “therefore” is there for!