The collapse of Enron—the largest bankruptcy in US corporate history— was caused by fraud. The chairman and CEO were convicted of 25 charges between them. In a survey of Australian university students, more than eight out of 10 admitted cheating and copying the work of others. Music, movie and software piracy costs the industry $US56.4 billion a year worldwide—and rising. Cultural analyst George Barna found that people often don’t see this as stealing.

What command protects the property of others?

E xodus 20:15 “You shall not steal.”

The principle of honesty is the basis of this command. What practical way is this illustrated?

Deuteronomy 25:15-16 “You must have accurate and honest weights and measures…. For the Lord your God detests anyone who …deals dishonestly.”

In listing those who will not inherit God’s kingdom, among what company are thieves placed?

1 Corinthians 6:9, 10 “Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

How does Paul summarise the commandments?

Romans 13:9 “The commandments …are summed up in this one rule: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’” If we love our fellow human beings, we will respect their property.

How were some robbed in James’ day?

James 5:4 “The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you.”

What forms of dishonesty does Isaiah say the righteous reject?

I saiah 33:15 “He who walks righteously …rejects gain from extortion and keeps his hand from accepting bribes.”

What does Paul say about ‘living off the system’?

2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 “If a man will not work, he shall not eat. We hear that some among you are idle …Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat.”

Social security in our society is there as a safety net. It’s not meant to be a way of life.

In what way can we rob God?

Malachi 3:8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ In tithes and offerings.” Ultimately everything belongs to God and any dishonesty is robbing God (see Psalm 24:1).

What hope is there for those guilty of dishonesty?

1 John 1:9; Hebrews 4:16 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful

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