Preacher's Pulpit by Dr. Joe Tims

Ten Commandments #8: Thieves: Plain and Fancy

Exodus 20:15


The eighth commandment recognizes man's right to property.

God in His original commission to man instructed him to have dominion over earth.

(Gen 1:26-28) And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. {27} So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. {28} And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

History is the record of man's execution of this original commission.

We should recognize property as a divine institution and the right to property as a sacred trust.

We want to look at a person's right to possess property, not from the view of the economist or sociologist, but from the teachings of the Bible.

There are four means by which people may come into the possession of property as taught in the Word of God:  inheritance, toil, theft or gift.

We shall look only at theft today.


A. The Eighth Commandment forbids a man to be a PLAIN THIEF.

B. By Plain Thief we refer to a blackmailer, a burglar, a forger, a kidnapper, a pickpocket, a robber, a shoplifter, a smuggler or a swindler.

C. Anyone who simply takes that which doesn't belong to him or her regardless of what it is!


(1 Tim 6:10) "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

A. The temptation to steal springs from various reasons.

1. From a sense of necessity.

2. From laziness.

3. From fast living or living above ones needs.

4. From a love of keeping up with someone else.

5. From a haste to become RICH.

B. How true it is that the love of money is a root of all kinds of EVIL.

C. It is at this point that most all people break the Eighth Commandment.

D. Because of the great temptation concerning money we need to beware of the peril of becoming a FANCY THIEF.


(Psa 24:1) "A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein."

A. Most of us would not dream of stealing the spare tire from our neighbor's car, yet if we place our conscience squarely under the searchlight of God's Spirit and the teachings of the Holy Scripture, it is possible that we will find ourselves to be guilty of something just as serious.

B. One can be guilty of stealing things that are far more valuable than material property.

C. It is possible that our intangible possessions are of greater value than our material property.

D. Fancy stealing can be seen in the following:

1. Men justify a false income tax return by saying, "Nobody tells the truth to Uncle Sam. Why should I?

2. False advertising is a form of fancy stealing. Business is business and they all do it anyway!

3. A mother misrepresents the age of her child so as to pay only half fare or eat a child's plate.

4. Refusal to pay an adequate salary for a day's work.

5. Refusal to give a full day's labor for a day's wage.

6. To degrade one's reputation through talk or gossip is fancy stealing. (Prov 17:9) "He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends."

7. Immorality is a form of fancy stealing

a. He who would seduce an innocent girl is a fancy thief.

b. He or she who would steal the affections of someone else's mate is a thief of the worst kind. (Prov 6:32, 34-35) "But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. (34) For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengence. (35) He will not regard any , Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. {9} Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. {10} Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.


We are our own worst enemies when it comes to robbing ourselves of the estate that God has provided for us. We have all and are all in Christ, yet we steal trying to cut corners with God and wind up in worse shape. Why not repent today and let God provide for us as He promised?