Scripture: Exodus 20:15
Freed to be God’s people: a study of Exodus
Don’t steal or be greedy but work to be productive and able to share
“What does God forbid in the eighth commandment?” New City catechism: says, “that we do not take without permission that which belongs to someone else, nor withhold any good from someone we might benefit.”
What does the eighth commandment assume about private property, to owning things?
Does Acts 4:32-5:4 picture the early church as a commune or communist society, where people just put all their possessions in a pot and nobody owns anything? How does this relate to the 8th commandment?
Explain how the following are violations of the 8th commandment. Give examples and/or tell of your experiences with them.
Theft or robbery, Kidnapping (“man-stealing,” Exodus 21:16), Deceptive business practices (Proverbs 20:10), Overcharging for goods and services.
False currency, Gambling businesses (Proverbs 13:11), Excessive interest (Exodus 22:15).
Cheating the state, Overtaxation, Cheating employees (James 5:4).
Insurance fraud, Plagiarism, Online piracy (movies, music, software).
Predatory lending & borrowing (What led to the housing/banking crisis of 2008?), Stealing from employers, bankruptcy.
What is behind stealing? Luke 12:15.
Talk about how Ephesians 4:28, 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, and 2 Thessalonians 3:10–12 describe the positive ways we are to live rather than stealing. How does this benefit our neighbors, community, and nation?
Do you think most people value hard work and have a good work ethic? Do you think debt is a problem in our nation? If so, why? Give some examples.
In Malachi 3:8-9, God says Israel was robbing him by not bringing in the full tithe, which meant at least 10% from their crops. Although under the New Covenant we don’t have tithing laws like Israel, is not giving or stingy giving to the work of the gospel “robbing God”? Why or why not? Why is giving to God’s kingdom work a heart issue (Matthew 6:21)?
What is the hope for those who break the 8th commandment? Luke 23:39–43 (these criminals were robbers, Matt. 27:38, 44), 1 Corinthians 6:9–11.