The Eighth Commandment and God’s Gift

The Eighth Commandment and God’s Gift

The attitude intimated from the Bible is that as creatures we owe all that we have to the Creator. We have nothing that is ours strictly speaking. Our life, whether physical or spiritual, our talents, even the providence of time is all from above. The more men and women consider that the more free they will feel with the resources God in His grace has provided for them. If Jesus did not keep Himself to Himself how much more so do we learn positively from the eight commandment to share and not take that which is not ours. 

There is a consistent concern in the second table of the law that calls all men to recognize the needs of their neighbors over whatever is their own. We know that because that’s what Jesus says in Matthew 22:36-40. It’s also what Moses writes in Leviticus 19:18. The Bible is reliable like that. God in His grace is a witness to all men that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves and we should have the needs and the mind of the community first. If anything is less a part of our mindset today I am not sure what it would be. Everything from our time to our energy to the way we approach life is geared toward me, myself, and I. Watching four or five commercials is all one needs to confirm that thesis. “What’s wrong with you and how can you improve you” is the attitude which overwhelms our culture. In no other place is the chasm greater than when it comes to what we should do with the financial resources the Lord has granted to us in His providence. We hold onto it for dear life, and not without reason. We should be good stewards of the money and goods God in His grace grants.

In our look at the Westminster Larger Catechism this morning we are going to hear some pushback from the Divines that will require listening as it goes directly against the American way of life in some important ways. Get ready to find some humility.

Here are the two Questions and Answer’s for today:

Q. 140: Which is the eighth commandment?

A. The eighth commandment is, Thou shalt not steal.

Q. 141: What are the duties required in the eighth commandment?

A. The duties required in the eighth commandment are, truth, faithfulness, and justice in contracts and commerce between man and man; rendering to everyone his due; restitution of goods unlawfully detained from the right owners thereof; giving and lending freely, according to our abilities, and the necessities of others; moderation of our judgments, wills, and affections concerning worldly goods; a provident care and study to get, keep, use, and dispose these things which are necessary and convenient for the sustentation of our nature, and suitable to our condition; a lawful calling, and diligence in it; frugality; avoiding unnecessary lawsuits and suretyship, or other like engagements; and an endeavour, by all just and lawful means, to procure, preserve, and further the wealth and outward estate of others, as well as our own.

Whenever we begin to ask the question about what a law of God requires of us we need to do two things immediately: 1) What do we know about the character of our Lord that would inform our understanding? 2) Why is it good for me and my friends that I heed the call?

Read More

Scroll to top