Sermon on the Ten Commandments (#8): “You Shall Not Steal”


3 Truths About Jesus And Thieves

  1. (Ephesians 4:28) Jesus Confronted Thieves {see also Jesus and the money changers @ the temple}
    • (Explanation) The whole idea in Ephesians 4 is how Christians can live in a new and better way than previously. So, here the Apostle Paul, who is getting this information from Jesus, says, “Don’t steal anymore if you’re a Christian.” What is at the core of stealing? The very simplest explanation is that stealing shows that you simply don’t care about your neighbor – you automatically consider yourself better than others. Also, stealing shows that you simply don’t care about God. There are thoughts that go through your mind when you steal something: one is that that “nobody will ever know.” But the truth is, God does know AND your stealing habits do affect others.
    • (Illustration) Robin Hood {steal from rich/give to poor} – However, God’s Word says, “Stop stealing, earn money, and then give to the poor.”
    • (Application) Illegal music downloading
  2. (Luke 19:1-10) Jesus Befriended Thieves
    • (Explanation) Some of you are familiar with the children’s song: “Zacchaeus was a wee little man, and a wee little man was he. He climbed in a sycamore tree, for the Lord he wanted to see…” Here’s the thing about Zacchaeus: everyone hated him because he was a tax collector, and he would often charge people way too much in taxes, and just keep a lot of the extra tax money for himself – that’s stealing. So, it’s understandable why he was an outcast, but had lots of money. And when people saw that Jesus was going to eat a meal with Zacchaeus in his house, people “grumbled” – they were shocked and angry. The question is, would our attitudes be the same? If we saw Jesus going to the house of Zacchaeus, would we grumble?
    • (Application) 2 People to consider in this store: [1] Maybe you’re Zacchaeus in this story – The feeling you can’t be forgiven and that you are stuck in your ways of deception. [2] Maybe you’re an onlooker in the crowd – The feeling of being sinned against.
    • (Illustration) Debit card theft – my emotions towards the unknown thief were quite negative. I couldn’t stand the reality that someone tried to take what I worked so hard to get – over $800. If I saw Jesus inviting that man for dinner, I would get a little uncomfortable to say the least. All I know is that by God’s grace, a man like Zacchaeus can be completely changed just by encountering the Son of God. And since I come to Jesus as a Zacchaeus, a man who tried to manipulate His Father for my own benefit, why should I ever look to others with a begrudging heart?
  3. (Luke 23:32-43) Jesus Died For Thieves And With Thieves
    • (Explanation) On the cross, as Jesus was being crucified, there were two men with him. One of them was completely in opposition to Jesus, while the other had a repentant heart – his heart toward Christ was changed. Even this one thief was a terrible criminal and deserved his crime, he was on a cross next to Jesus, who was perfect; Jesus didn’t deserve death. And yet, there he hung, between two thieves.
    • (Illustration) Write on a piece of paper: What is the worst you can image? Then, throw away the paper.
    • (Application) The Bible is not a story of how good people go to heaven; it’s a story of how sinners can have a relationship with the God whom they have sinned against.


    • So what does this all mean for us?
      • 1- Stealing is a sin [it goes against loving God & loving our neighbors]
      • 2- Thieves are not out of the reach of God’s grace and a relationship with Jesus Christ – the question is, to each of us, will we be like the one thief on the cross who had a careless attitude towards Christ? Or, will we be like the other thief who humbled himself and trusted in Christ to save him from his sins?
      • 3- If you are a Christian, and you are struggling with the sin of stealing, will you make a commitment tonight to follow God in obedience to the 8th commandment?
        • Return stolen items
        • Get a friend for accountability help
        • Daily asking God for the courage to follow His commandments

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