Christ Church Downtown
Ty Knight – June 24, 2018
We’ve come to the eighth commandment, “You shall not steal.” This one is so simple and so needed. If you are a parent and could get one genie wish out of the Ten Commandments granted for your kids, this commandment would be a quality choice. Imagine how pleasant your home would be if your kids did not steal––the toy, the toast, the turn on the swing. Life would be right nice.
Paul shows us how we should apply the Eight Commandment in 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” (Eph. 4:28). First, you must not steal. You steal by taking cookies or skittles out of the snack drawer without your mama’s permission. You steal when you should be working but are not––come in late, take too long of lunch break, check Facebook, text your GF on the clock. You steal another’s work or credit through plagiarism or copying. Citizens steal from governments. Governments steal from citizens. Why do you steal? You steal because of selfishness, entitlement, laziness, pride to keep up appearances. God hates all stealing.
Paul says it’s not enough just to keep your mitts off other people’s stuff. You must apply your hands to honest work. Work is good, dignified, blessed and especially when you take responsibility for your own life. Kids, if you’re having a stealing squabble–– “I had it first…No, it’s mine!,” then it would be a good time to transition to working on chores. Don’t be a taker but be a worker so that you can be a generous giver.
Here’s the pattern––Don’t steal, but do good work so that out of the abundance of good work, you can bless others. Who does this sound like? Jesus the Giver, who said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that you may have life and have life abundantly.” How do we receive this abundant life? Through Christ’s work of giving himself through his life and death. And so keeping the 8th commandment is nothing short of imitating Jesus Christ, who took nothing but our sins, and gives his life abundantly. This reminds us of our need to confess our sins.
Father, we confess that from youngest to oldest that we have broken your commandment to not steal. We are thieves of toys, of finances, of approval for others, of time. But often we feel justified like the rich young ruler that we have kept all these commandments from a young age. But like him we still grasp when you tell us to be generous. This selfishness of stealing and refusal of open-handed generosity reveals that we are ungrateful, discontent, and not like you. We confess this as sin. We now confess our individual sins to you, and selah.