Why don’t you steal, assuming of course that you do not, but why don’t you just take what you want when you want it?
That is the upcoming mantra we are being coerced into following, isn’t it, we should all be able to do what we want, to be what we want to be, without repercussions, without challenges to our desires and wants. So, why don’t you just go take what you want?
I am going to presume that the majority of you that are reading this letter are saved, so for the sake of the lost individual who may have stumbled across this, your answer would be simple, because if I get caught, I have to pay the price for breaking the law, and to that person I would suggest that fear is the motivating factor that gets them up every morning to perform the drudgery of your pursuit of money, the fear of the possible repercussions upon yourself if you were to be apprehended. But what of you, my brothers and sisters in Christ, why do you not steal?
Most of you will, by common sense, will say it’s just not right, you will answer that stealing, in no matter what form it takes, is covetousness, and not only are we commanded not to covet, but we are commanded not to steal. (Exodus 20:15) But wait, I thought we were under the age of grace, not the law, I thought Christ fulfilled the law, (Matt. 5:17) that as long as we accepted Him as Savior, that we would enter into the kingdom.
If you are going to adhere to the ten commandments, or at least specifically for the context of this letter, at least not steal, then are you attempting to adhere to all of the law, are you not muzzling your ox, (Deut. 25:4) if you have one that is, are you keeping the Sabbath, (Exodus 20:8) or have you decided that grace has enabled you, because of Christ, to not have to adhere to the law, except of course for those “Top Ten.” So now, tell me again, why don’t you steal?
If you have already “beat me to the punch” as they say, then your answer at the first was because it would dishonor the Lord, because it would bring shame to His name, and as David did, it would give the heathen cause to blaspheme His name. (2 Sam. 12:14) That is grace, that is what the law was attempting to teach the children of Israel, that by obeying the law, they were honoring God, but they missed the point, and so Paul went, as he was commanded to, to the gentiles. (Acts 13:47) For some unseen reason though, many Christians believe that they still need to adhere to the law. “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” (1st Cor. 6:12)
But for those same unknown reasons, they seem to believe that only those top ten, the ones carved into stone by the finger of God are the ones they still need to adhere to. More than likely it is because they do not understand grace, they do not understand the reason behind the law, but mostly, it is because of fear, the fear of upsetting the Most High in one way or another if they steal. My friends, how does one steal from a neighbor they have been commanded to love, (Mark 12:31) how does one take even the smallest item from their enemy, when we also have been commanded to love them.
Here is where we come upon a pitfall, as it were, in the path to the gate, how much love, and why not steal, why not take what is not yours from those you are commanded to love. This execution of love has nothing to do with emotions, that should be quite clear to you, it is the purposeful inaction of an action that is possible to us, done only because of love for the One who first loved us. Here Matthew 6:33 must be applied, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” For in this all your needs will be met, that’s a promise, and so we do not steal because we do not covet because all of our needs are being met, and because we love Him, we control our wants, we learn to keep our bodies under subjection. (1 Cor. 9:27)
So then, why do we not steal, because we have learned to modify our wants, and in this way bring glory and honor to His name. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” (Matt. 7:7)