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“I Was Only Borrowing It!” (Part 1 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Cross Radio
November 23, 2021 3:00 am

“I Was Only Borrowing It!” (Part 1 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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November 23, 2021 3:00 am

The eighth commandment is short and to the point: “You shall not steal.” But it's not as simple as it seems. Learn why stealing is wrong, and find out if you could be caught red-handed! Study along with us on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.



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The eighth commandment is short, the Bible says you shall not steal, and though we may not be out robbing banks.

We might not want to plead our innocence just yet.

Today I'm Truth for Life. Alistair Begg explains why stealing is wrong. He also lists some of the ways we could be caught red-handed and write you once again to take your Bibles and will turn to get her to the Old Testament to the book of Exodus Exodus 20 and the focus of our study this morning is the 15th. There's you shall not steal in our visitors book which we have at home, which like most of you. We forget that people sign when they come to our house on 19 June 1978. There is an entry against the name of a young couple, which simply reads written in the margin next Sunday. Maybe preach on Exodus chapter 20 verse 15 now if you would just flip through the visitors book and noticed that you would be surprised by that somewhat cryptic comment, you would probably wondered just why it is that somebody would want for me to preach concerning the problem of stealing and I can tell you just why this young couple and there was a young, engaged couple. They were making their way from America to Africa. They were children of missionary parents. They were going to Africa to be married and en route to Africa. They stopped in Scotland to visit my wife and I and spending. I think just two nights with as we were looking for things for them to do and father. They might enjoy going to visit the Dr. David Livingstone Memorial Museum which is in Blantyre and Lanarkshire in Scotland and not far from our home. After all, they were from Africa.

Livingstone, the great missionary Explorer in Africa.

We thought there probably would be a point of contact well so they went on a Saturday afternoon to explore the museum and while they were exploring the museum, somebody decided to explore their car and attitude access to by the means of putting a brick through a window, and then remove their possessions, including the girls wedding dress when she was carrying with her to be married in Africa. She did get the wedding dress by Hank I know you ladies are concerned about that. She did get the dress back. Many of the other possessions went south, never to be seen again.

Now, that story is simply illustrative of an endemic problem in cities all across our world. It doesn't matter which continent on the globe. We put our feet down upon, but we encounter this problem of theft. They are such dramatic proportions that thieves are making off every year with billions and billions of dollars in tax-free income. The reported figures for theft, which in themselves are astronomical do not usually contain the figures which are even larger, which relate to theft at a high level, namely fraud and forgery, embezzlement, bribery and extortion. The fact is that, from petty larceny to multimillion dollar fraud stealing in the United States of America is at an all-time high.

It is now higher than it is ever been now since respect for other people's property is foundational for society we have here yet another example of what we've been finding all the way through the study of God's law, namely an example of the erosion of our foundations and the crumbling of our moral fabric here. When we turn our gaze upon this simple, straightforward statement. You shall not steal. We are once again left in absolutely no doubt as to whether we are a nation of lawbreakers or not. All of that would be bad enough if there were, at the same time a shared conviction concerning the wrongness of stealing if we could go from person to person as we might've been able to do it in an earlier point in society and say to one another, is it you think is wrong to steal and be would answer yes categorically so many times because they had been taught so clearly the 10 Commandments. They knew that you shouldn't steal today. That is true in the Robin Hood principal if we may call it a principal is is prevalent all over the place. The kind of thing encapsulated in the Oliver twist, with that remarkable seen in the musical where where Fagan sings that song when now Oliver gets picked up by the artful dodger and brought up to that that cavernous that hovel in which at the artful dodger and lives with all of his little crony cronies and Fagan sings to them, you gonna pick up a quote to voice you know, take a tip from Bill Sykes economic what he likes, but all I recall he started school called pickup Poco to voice steal from rich people. She doesn't count when you steal from rich people there which I just feel from institutions because institutions are as bad as rich people are stealing.

Maybe wrong, sometimes somewhere, but by and large it's really not wrong in the minds of many.

This is illustrated in a story I read just the other day concerning a schoolteacher who, in seeking to teach your children the importance of not stealing asked the class. This question supports you find a briefcase with half $1 million in it. What would you do, one boy immediately raised his hand and replied, if it belonged to a poor family.

I would return that is illustrative of all words only about the idea that it isn't wrong as long as no one feels indoor it's not affecting the immediate person next door to me or some or another. I can explain it away categorically. Exodus 2015 you shall not steal for questions question one. Why is it wrong to steal. Why is it wrong to steal. While the Bible tells us that it is wrong to steal because when we steal what we are doing is we are abusing God's law and we are defiling God's creation and we are neglecting to do what his law calls us to inherent and underpinning this to very important biblical principles and their these number one the right to private property and number two the sovereign ownership of God over all that he has made this command presupposes not that we are living together in some kind of communistic commune, but rather that we are living with the privileges of private property which are sacrosanct to the owner of the property so that is fundamental to the command that we have a right to have staff that is our own God is not concerned about whether we have stuff that is our own God is not a communist. But at the same time God wants those of us who have things which are our own, to understand that the only things which are owner not really our own because all ownership is a derived ownership you need to study in Genesis 1 and chapter 2 and you'll find is that when God puts Adam and Eve in the garden. He gives them the mandate to oversee it to take care of it.

Exercise their authority over all the rest of his creation and it is their responsibility to be stewards but not the owners of what he is given so that all the things that we have in the same way we have as a result of God's kindness towards us. James 117 every good and perfect gift comes down from the father, above, in whom there is no variableness, neither shadow due to turning all that I have is God's, not mine.

Forget this 90% is mine, and 10% is God's hundred percent is God is not mine. We're looking after it for a while but is not mine. The reason that were so preoccupied with it is because we regarded as the ethos of our lives. The expression of our identity. In many cases when import if I do so when you going to Gary till one day in any case where a leader behind and is irrelevant.

Most of the stuff were mostly been most concerned about in the past week is a bunch of junk elaborate junk or on elaborate junk but as John and we have had in this is another message altogether. We have yet most of us to understand Paul's injunction to Timothy where he says godliness with contentment is great gain.

So when we steal from another person. We do not simply steal from them, or send against them. But when we steal from somebody else. We sin against God.

When we steal from somebody else. What we do is we harm them. We disregard them and we devalue them and in doing that we sin against God because it is he who is given them what they have is he which is who has given them regard and it is because of him that they have volume so when I interfere with somebody else's property. At whatever level it may be what I'm saying is my benefit is of more significance than your farm my having. This is of more importance than any regard that I may have for you and irrespective of the impact of what I knew.

Upon your life.

I feel free to devalue and is just not right. This is exemplified so perfectly. When David and his great prayer of confession in that Sam, 51, after his sin with Bathsheba comes before God, acknowledging what he had done and he cries out to God in the phrase 751 four against you and you only have I sinned one with the facts he sinned against multiple people.

He sinned against his friends.

He sinned against Bathsheba. He sinned against Bathsheba and taking her to himself. Also in killing her husband. He violated her reputation. He had violated the sanctity of her home. He is his theft was all over the place I did when he expresses it before goddesses against the and the only advice and we steal we sin against God's ways are as God said don't and he's God were not two minutes to simply set up. Why don't people are doing this well number one because they don't believe in a God who is authority over creation and even if they do they don't believe that he should have authority over us so we need to be very clear.

We need to be clear for the sake of our children as well. We are sinning against God. It offends his holy name. It disregards his law and devalues his creation. When we steal as the first question the second question is, in what ways do we break this command. In what ways do we break this command I want to move through this as quickly as I can with you. You do well to take notes on this.

I have 13 points under this question. All right here we go. I'm not wanted to preach a sermon on each one of them because I would be 13 sermons worth by the way for Fits put it on. In what ways do we break this commandment number one we break it by blatant effect by blatant obvious theft going in somewhere where we shouldn't be an taking stuff as a boy in Scotland growing up, I live in the in the framework of school with some of the.

The greatest thieves and vagabonds ever ever seen in the west of Scotland.

I said because I think it's funny I said because it's true, is addressed in Exodus chapter 22 the kind of thing that is mentioned there.

If a man steals an officer or sheet. If a man is caught breaking into a house and so on.

That's the kind of thing.

It's obvious we understand that we don't need to be today we break the command by blatant theft.

Secondly, we break it when we borrow and failed to return what is been borrowed first one is fairly August 2 one kind of creeps up on us because most of us are bunched were thinking through our Gary to run through the Gary's tool since I was going. Our basement others kind of stuff. Then we going to in our libraries legal books of you and I make a career of borrowing stuff which we never return were actually making a career which call it borrowing because borrowing the never gets repaid is actually set all hello are you Mr. Dillard. Yes, I would just like to borrow this briefcase from the luggage department. Thank you very much for no that's not boring. That still is correct. Don't come in my library and fit my books and I'll bring them back. I would've anybody in mind the local pain like I shouldn't do it to you right the way kids borrow and do not repay what he borrow seven 3721 guy has helped you out. He's given you money he made it possible for you to get over a hurdle and you still haven't paid him back a lady did this for you. You still I'm paid it back. Are you stealing it or you borrowing and what you doing with Abby's meet in the third point.

Failure to clear oneself of debt when we are able to do so is that I'm talking about paying off your mortgage prematurely under lock personal relational debt where somebody makes it possible for you or I to get out of a problem and then we refuse even though our circumstances have now dramatically changed to go back and to repay the debt. What we're actually doing is stealing from that individual.

Only may still have it in our mind that we going to pay it back over stealing from them the benefit of them having back that money in their own possession either to help another or to provide for their family or to do whatever else it is with it is just a form of stealing. Fourthly, we break this commandment when we when we fiddle the books if you like. When we use false weights and measures. You get a lot of this in the minor prophets and courting here from Amos and from chapter 8 and they are the, the prophet of God speaks to these people, and he calls them back to their the purity of their lives.

Amos chapter 8 and verse five.

When will the new moon be over that we may sell grain on the Sabbath ended that we may market reach skimping the measure boosting the price and cheating with dishonest scales okay see thing the bag you fill it one more air unless chips increase the price you spend the money they just made off the top on a big advertising campaign steal same when you're giving out any kind of service to the public. False weights and measures the fiddling with dishonest scales is a form of stealing for it is that when we misuse our employer's property or our employer's time in Titus chapter 2 Paul and instructing Titus. He says you know you should teach these people not to steal, but to show rather that they can be fully trusted in a book entitled, the day America told the truth. We learn in their the workers around America frankly admit that they spend more than 20% of their time at work, totally quotes goofing off 20% of every day is a goof off. That works out in a four day week right if you're working a five day week. Half the people admit to chronic malingering calling in sick when they're not sick, and doing it regularly. The number of man days in productivity that are lost in United States of America. As a result of this form of stealing is astronomical is almost unquantifiable and is factored into every company's balances they have to factor in the theft that they know will happen in the space of the because they know that their employees no matter what they say in their salary reviews. I want to root them off so we steal when our time is not what it should be. We steal when our work is not what it should be. We steal when we use the phone when we shouldn't. We steal when we fiddle our expense accounts, and we steal when we walk out the door with a bucket full of supplies to do a little job in our backyard going to fight that material was only there for doing work for an employer. Sixthly, we break the commandment when we just flat out waste other people's possessions in Luke chapter 16 verse one. There's the story of the rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possession, so perhaps we rented a house we said hey this is in our house we pay the rent. So what if the carpets trash. So what if the hinges don't work.

So what if I don't take care of the windows over say is is okay just to steal from our landlord were wasting what belongs to someone else seventh late. We steal from others.

When we pay bad wages or we withhold wages delay the payment of wages. James chapter 5 verse for the wages you failed to pay your workmen are crying out to you from the fuel, says the failure to pay the work.

Failure to pay properly set on live my life in the world of macroeconomics. I don't live my life in the world of business, day-to-day. But something inside of me says just because I guy is prepared because of his country of origin to work for very little in comparison to somebody in the United States of America that does not validate our payment of that individual. At that level.

I don't see how it does. And yet we do we do it on a huge national scale. We tell ourselves that we are now free of the slavery that once marked this empire and its growth. We have other kinds of slavery whereby we control people's lives, holding them in economic Long Beach. As a result of decisions made a high level and why we so good at it at that level as were jolly good at it at the small level and the local level. The Christian supposed to be different if we break this commandment when his adult sons and daughters. We failed to make return to our parents when they need help. We decide that all that our parents have provided for us. We can just take and forget them in their point of need. We steal from them. Proverbs 28, 24 he who robs his father and mother and says it's not wrong. He is partner to him who destroys. In other words, if you cheat from your mom and dad like this and I do to them were robbing them. Therefore, stealing, and were party for murder.

That is Alister big on Truth for Life will hear more on this topic tomorrow. If you enjoy hearing Alister teach the Bible you can now read his insights and begin every day with the truth you need his new book is titled Truth for Life 365 daily devotions. This is a one year Scripture-based daily devotional.

Each reading presents a passage from Scripture, followed by a commentary from Alister the daily entry prompts you to reflect more about the text you just read request the book Truth for Life 365 daily devotions. When you donate a Truth for Life.org/donate or call 888-588-7884. We love bringing you high quality Bible study materials like this new book from Alister and go along with the devotional. You might consider buying a brand-new Bible today from Truth for Life. You can purchase the complete English standard version or ESV study Bible.

This Bible comes in black leather.

There's a ribbon to mark your page. The ESB is the same translation from which Alister teaches best of all it's available for you today from Truth for Life for only $25 and the shipping is free of the Bible but retails for about $85, so we hope you'll take advantage of this great price makes a terrific gift.

You can view the Bible and purchase it online@truthforlife.org/features. Keep in mind all of the high quality teaching materials you get from Truth for Life are always available for purchase at cost were able to do this because people like you give to the ministry you're giving makes Bible teaching resources affordable for so many who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford. So if you're able to appreciate you adding a generous donation to your order today, please remember Truth for Life in your year-end giving plants as we head toward the close of 2021. It's a time when we rely heavily on your support, Bob Lapine, the Bible doesn't only teach that stealing is wrong.

It also instructs us to do something positive will hear more about that tomorrow the Bible teaching of Alister big is furnished by truth for like with the Learning is for Living