Monday, 8 November 2010

You will not steal

Patron Saint of Thieves
The thing that is forbidden in this commandment, is meddling with another man's property. 
The causes of theft: 
1. Internal Causes
a. Unbelief: 'Can God spread a table for me? says the unbeliever. No, he cannot. Therefore he is resolved he will spread a table for himself, but it shall be at other men's cost, and both first and second course shall be served in with stolen goods.' 
b. Covetousness (e.g. Joshua 7:21) 

2. External Causes

a. Satan 'The devil is the great master-thief, he robbed us of our coat of innocence, and he persuades men to take up his trade.'

The kinds of theft: 

1. Stealing from God 
2. Stealing from others 
a. the highway thief (who takes by stealth or force from a 'neighbour')
b. the house-thief (who filches out of his 'master's' belongings)
c. the thief that shrouds himself under law (the unjust accountant or lawyer etc.)
d. the church-thief (Ezekiel 34:2, 8)
e. the shop-thief (who steals in the course of business) 
f. the usurer
g. the trustee
h. the borrower 
i. the receiver of stolen goods 

[What makes this sin especially grievous? 

1. To steal when there is no need (to be a rich thief)
2. To steal church goods 
3. To commit theft against the checks of conscience
4. To rob the vulnerable (Exodus 22:23) or poor (2 Samuel 12:5)]
Unoriginal sin

3. Stealing from ourselves 

a. by stinginess 
b. by foolishly wasting our opportunities and wealth (Luke 15)
c. by laziness
d. by becoming responsible for the debts of others 

Uses of this commandment

-> 'Property must be respected; God has set this eighth commandment as a hedge about a man's estate, and this hedge cannot be broken without sin. If all things be common, there can be no theft, and so this commandment would be in vain.' 
-> to rebuke those who live by theft instead of living by faith (2 Thessalonians 3:12; Luke 19:8) 
-> for all so that we would take heed of this heinous sin of thieving ... seeing it for what it  is and not excusing it THAT we would not sin. 
How do we avoid stealing? 

1. Live in a calling (Ephesians 4:28)
2. Be content with what God has given you (Hebrews 13:5) 
Thomas Watson '10 Commandments'

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