Summary: An Exposition of the Eight Commandment with Emphasis on its Current Application
q This commandment continues to highlight our relationship and duties to our fellow human beings. The fifth protects proper authority, the sixth protects our neighbour’s life, the seventh protects the sanctity of the marriage, while the eight protects our neighbour’s property.
I. The Eight Commandment is based on
A. On the characteristic of God as totally honest and trustworthy.
1. Honest (Num. 23:19; Ps. 31:5; Isa. 45:19; John 3:33 )
2. Trustworthy (II Sam. 7:28; Psalm 19:7; 111:7; 119:86,138)
A. Stealing is taking that which is not rightfully ours; to take dishonestly, without permission, that which belongs to another.
B. Stealing results from a flawed understanding of possessions (Luke 16:13; I Chron. 29:11-14)
C. Stealing is an insult to God’s generosity – It is to say to God that what you have given me is not good enough (II Sam. 12:7-9).
D. The command assumes the right of ownership – theft is impossible without this right (Acts 5:3-4)
III. The Significance of the Commandment
A. Stealing in any form is forbidden
1. Bank robberies, street hold-ups, burglary, kidnapping, enslavement
2. Employers who fail to give a full day’s pay for a full days work (Deut. 24:15; Col. 4:1)
3. Employees who fail to give a full day’s work for a full day’s pay (Col. 3:22-24)
4. Commercial dishonesty – taking advantage of a seller’s or buyer’s ignorance to give the one less or make the other pay more for a commodity than it is worth, includes unfair pricing, dishonest advertising (Prov. 16:11; Lev. 19:14).
5. Cheating academically or at games
6. Dishonesty with one’s taxes, false insurance claims, etc.
7. Some include ‘depriving a person [unjustly] of their reputation or good name’
8. Withholding tithes and offerings from God (Mal. 3:8)
B. Carelessness with other people’s property is forbidden
1. Borrowing and not returning (especially when there is no intention to return) (Ps. 37:21; Rom. 13:8).
C. It forbids gambling
1. Scripture approves at least three ways to acquire property (Eph. 4:28)
a. Wrong – Stealing “he who has been stealing must steal no
b. Right – Working “He…must work”
c. Right – Receiving as a gift “he may have something to share
with those in need”
N.B. Gambling is wrong because whatever is won does not come through either one’s work or another’s generosity. The winner has not laboured for it, nor has the loser donated it to the winner in a spirit of charity.
D. It requires several positive things (Eph. 4:28)
1. Honesty “steal no longer”
2. Work “He…must work” (II Thess. 3:10)
3. Industry “do something useful with his own hands”
4. Liberality “share with those in need”
E. …it requires us to pursue a life of integrity
1. “Integrity is the state of being innocent, trustworthy, morally upright and free from dishonesty.” (I Chron. 29:17; Psalm 15:1-5; Prov. 11:20; Tit. 2:7)
2. Some biblical words for integrity : tsedeq – righteousness; yosher – straightness, evenness ( in a moral sense), uprightness; tom –innocence, simplicity; tam – morally innocent, one who is morally & ethically pure; emeth – faithfulness, truth, sureness, reliability; adiaphthoria - incorruptability
A. Summary & Conclusion