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Thoughts From Ephesians-thought # 35 How To Live Out Your New Identity (Eph. 4:25-32) Replace Stealing with Working and Giving

by Larry Miles

     Stealing violates the eighth commandment. Also, historians tell us that stealing was rampant and typical in the  1st  century in Asia Minor. Paul informs the Ephesian Christians that  since they are “in Christ,” they  must not be involved any longer in this sin, no matter how common it was.

     The Word of God  never tells us to give something up unless it tells us to replace that with wholesome, godly and  holy activities.  This admonition to  quit stealing  is no exception. That is why Paul writes, “The thief must no longer steal,” rather, “Instead, he must do honest work with his hands, so that he has something to share with anyone in need.”

     Here are a few applications of this teaching:

     John Wesley is quoted as saying, “Work as hard as you can, make as much as you can, then give as much as you can. ”An example in the New Testament of one whose radical encounter with Jesus led him to be a giver was a man named Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10).

 

Larry Miles is Co-Editor of Word and Work. He lives in Louisville, KY and worships at Cherry St. Church of Christ in New Albany, IN.




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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

2 corinthians 1:3-4