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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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Go to the source! Discover what the Bible says about …

These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one.  The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.

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Introduction

A life that trusts God trusts that He is enough for us, and so lives in contentment. In contrast we do not steal, or try to get things out of other people by inappropriate means. This is based on love which respects other people.


Bible Zone

So what does the Bible tell about stealing? Why does God say that stealing is wrong?


Don’t Steal

In the 10 commandments God says stealing is not good.  Exodus 20:15

  1. What does the command say?
  2. What might the word steal include?


Exodus 20:   15 "You must not steal.


Content with what have

The Lord calls on us to be satisfied with God and what He promises.

  1. With what attitude are we to live?
  2. What does it mean for you to be satisfied with what you have?
  3. What do you need to trust God for in order to be satisfied?


Hebrews 13:   5 Don't love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said,    "I will never fail you.      I will never abandon you."*


Example of Contentment

Paul gives an example of what it means to trust God. This is a trust that has been proven in good times as well as bad.  Philippians 4:11-13

  1. In what circumstances has Paul learned to be content?
  2. What is the basis of his contentment?


Philippians 4:   11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.13 For I can do everything through Christ,* who gives me strength.


Love of money

Our hearts are caught up with whatever we treasure.  If our lives are caught up with possessions, that is where our hearts will be.

  1. What are the pitfalls of being concerned about wealth and money?
  2. What does it look like when someone serves, and desires wealth?
  3. How could you change around priorities in life to serve and desire God?


 Matthew 6:   19 "Don't store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal.20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. ... 24 "No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.


Trust God

Our desire for material things can be driven both by greed and by need.  Both of these drives are contrasted to trusting God.  Matthew 6:31-33

  1. With attitudes does God desire for us in our needs and desires?
  2. What does it mean to seek the kingdom of God?
  3. What promise does Jesus give to those who seek God’s Kingdom?


Matthew 6:  31 "So don't worry about these things, saying, 'What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?'32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.33 Seek the Kingdom of God* above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.


Uses and Abuses

Wealth can be used to serve the needs of people or as an object of abuse, as John hte Baptist taught.  Luke 3:10-14

  1. How could wealth be used positively?
  2. How could wealth be an object of abuse?
  3. Do you find yourself in a position of power where you are expected to abuse?


Luke 3:   10 The crowds asked, "What should we do?"    11 John replied, "If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry."     12 Even corrupt tax collectors came to be baptized and asked, "Teacher, what should we do?"     13 He replied, "Collect no more taxes than the government requires."     14 "What should we do?" asked some soldiers.  John replied, "Don't extort money or make false accusations. And be content with your pay."


Stealing at work

A place where stealing can become part of culture is in the working world.  The closest equivalent at the time of the New Testament was with slaves and masters. Titus 2:10

  1. How are slaves / employees to behave?
  2. What is the basis for this behaviour?


Titus 2:  9 Slaves must always obey their masters and do their best to please them. They must not talk back10 or steal, but must show themselves to be entirely trustworthy and good. Then they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive in every way.


Thieves Stop

Those who have been stealing are told to stop doing so.  Ephesians 4:28

  1. What are thieves told to do?
  2. With what attitude do those who have previously stolen handle goods?


Ephesians 4:  28 If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need.

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