Bible Study Outline on Stealing

What is Stealing?

Stealing is taking something without getting permission from someone. Parents must teach their children about stealing so that they won’t simply take things without permission. Even if you don’t intend to steal, you should not just take things without asking for permission. You should ask the person to lend you the thing you want to use so that you won’t sin by stealing.


What are the Different Types of Stealing?

There are many types of stealing. Not paying your tithe is stealing from God because the 10% always belong to God. In Malachi 3:10, God commanded his people to bring in the tithe of their harvests into his house and test him and see if the floodgates of heaven will open and pour out so much blessings that there won’t be enough to store it. God’s house is the church. You must give your tithe to the church, not to a charity organization.


Not paying your tax is also stealing because the tax belongs to the government. In Luke 20:20-26, several men tried to trap Jesus in something he said and they asked Jesus whether it is right for them to pay tax to Caesar. Jesus replied by asking them to show him a denarius and they did. Then, he asked them whose portrait is on the denarius and they replied Caesar.


Embezzling the company resources or taking from what is entrusted to you is stealing. Even if you have decided to reimburse the money after embezzling the company money, it is still considered as stealing. In Exodus 22:7, a man who guards his neighbor’s silver or goods for safekeeping must pay back double if it is stolen. In Leviticus 6:2-7, if anyone sin by deceiving his neighbor about something entrusted to him, left in his care or stolen, or if he cheats him, or lie about a lost property he found, swear falsely or any such sin, he is to make full restitution and add 1/5 to the value, which is 20% worth of the value of the property. In Leviticus 19:3, God forbids defrauding or robbing your neighbor.


Robbing people or a store by force is a sin. In Exodus 20:15 and Deuteronomy 5:19, God commanded his people not to steal. In Leviticus 19:11, God forbids stealing, lying or deceiving other people. In Zechariah 5:3, God said every thief and everyone who swears falsely will be banished.


Stealing or kidnapping an animal or human is also a sin.  In Exodus 21:16, anyone who kidnap another and either sell him or still has him must be put to death when he is caught. In Deuteronomy 24:7, if a man is caught kidnapping another brother Israelite or treat him as a slave or sell him, he must die.


Overcharging people for a product you sell is also a sin. If you operate a store, you must set the prices of all the products fairly according to the market price. If you try to earn more by charging more than the market price, you have sinned by stealing. If you operate a bank or a loan shop and you charge people extremely high interest rate, you are committing usury (Nehemiah 5:1-7). If you are lending people money, you should not charge them interest (Exodus 22:25; Ezekiel 18:8; Deuteronomy 23:19-20; Ezekiel 18:17; Leviticus 25:36-37).


On top of that, taking anything without permission is a sin. For example, if you go into someone else’s house and take all his food, you are stealing because you did not ask permission to take it.


What Does the Bible Says about Stealing?


All the commandments in the bible summed up to love one another as much as you love yourself. If you love your brother, you will not steal from him (Matthew 22:36-40; Romans 13:19). You are lying when you say you are a Christian and yet you steal from people (Jeremiah 7:9-11). In Ephesians 4:28, the thief should no longer steal but work so that he has something to share with those in need. In Proverbs 10:2, treasures gained by wickedness will not profit but righteousness delivers from death.


If you have stolen something in the past, you should confess your sin to God and ask him to forgive you. In 1 John 3:8, he who does what is sinful belongs to the devil because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The son of God, Jesus Christ appeared to destroy the devil’s work. In 2 Chronicles 7:14, if you humble yourself and pray and seek God’s face and turn from your wicked ways, God will hear from heaven and forgive your sin.