Sermon Recap: Don’t Steal

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If you’re just finding this site, or it’s been a while since you’ve visited, it might seem that today’s title is jarring. Why are we discussing the act of stealing? We have jumped into sifting through the 10 Commandments – week by week – and here we pick back up with the weekly Sermon Recap with Commandment number 8: Thou Shall Not Steal. It seems simple enough, right? Let us dive in with Lead Pastor Andrew Bach for more insight.

The motivation to obedience is unique to Christianity because of the uniqueness of Jesus. Jesus is the only thing leading us to obey out of our identity rather than for our identity. In Jesus, we get to obey freely from a place of acceptance rather than an imprisoning place of obeying for acceptance. As we look at the Laws of God, we have to remember that the Gospel is news in the past tense; Jesus has already accepted who we are.

Exodus 20:1-2: “And God spoke all of these words saying, ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.'” 

The preamble emphasizes this point: I, God, am your rescuer, and you have already been rescued. Now, here is what freedom looks like: His Law. We obey His commandment not so we can be free, but rather so that we can live free.

Exodus 20:15: “You shall not steal.”

Stealing: taking something for yourself that doesn’t belong to you. Stealing is offensive to both the individual and it’s offensive to humanity. It is human to have things under our care, and it’s what makes us feel human. Stealing is trampling on the care-taking rights of another human being; they lose a part of the world that was theirs to care for.

Genesis 1:26-29: Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’ And God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.'”

There are two types of stealing:

  1. Wrong taking:
    1. There’s the obvious: breaking into cars, taking candy from a store,etc.
    2. (And the not so obvious): stealing time, which looks like not paying bills on time, being a poor employee on the clock, etc.
  2. Wrong keeping:
    1. Ephesians 4:28: “Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.”
      1. According to this passage, you fall into one of two categories: you are either a thief or a radically generous person. Everything we have belongs to God, and He has given us these things not to own but to steward.
      2. Are you doing what God wants you to do with His money of which He has made you a steward? The Bible says everything belongs to God.
      3. It is sinful to steal, and it is sinful to work out of greed. However, it is honoring to God to work in order to give.
    2. Malachi 3:8-10: “Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”
      1. Are you looking for a way in, to give to God what is His, or are you looking for a way out?

Ephesians 4 gives us three options:

  1. You can steal
  2. You can work to live
  3. You can live to give

If you live to give, then your entire life becomes an expression of grace. We want to not be remembered for what we had, but for what we gave.

We steal because we don’t trust that God will provide what is best for us.

Hebrews 13:5: “Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.'” 

The key to not stealing is to trust God, and choose to trust Him rather than to choose comparison. His invitation says, “Trust me. I’ll be your helper”. And, he is worthy to be trusted, because He gave us the most precious gift in Jesus Christ so that we might find life and contentment and hope in Him.

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Join us on Sunday as we continue to discuss God’s Law!

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Mosaic Community Church

Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind. He said the other is to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. We commit to loving God because He loves us. We commit to loving people the way Jesus does, selflessly and with integrity. This love compels us to take the good news of Jesus Christ to the world, inviting everyone to be a part of His family. As we love God and love people, the world will change.

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