Bible Economics



“And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; that ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.”

I Thessalonians 4:11-12

The INTRODUCTION OF BIBLE ECONOMICS Defines the Subject and Shows Its Biblical Basis.

  1. Bible economics is the study of God’s ordained methods for achieving financial success.
  2. God designed and inspired all of scripture to make the man of God perfect (II Tim 3:16-17).
  3. Paul preached the whole counsel of God for the profit of the Ephesian saints (Ac 20:20,27).
  4. Consider the many references in scripture to money, riches, poverty, business, work, etc.
  5. The scriptures assume an understanding of supply and demand curves (Proverbs 11:26).
  6. God has given us richly all things to enjoy (I Tim 6:17). He gives every good gift (Jms 1:17).
  7. Regardless of what the rich may say, a poor man can know more with his Bible (Prov 28:11).
    1. The wisdom of financial success is simple – too easy for the proud – so be wise and hear.
    2. The sluggard thinks himself wise, but God will leave him ignorant (Pr 26:16; I Co 14:38).
    3. Success must be by God’s rules, not by measuring worldly gain contrary to God (Pr 1:32).
  8. It is sad that an antichristian cult like Mormonism shames Christianity in financial affairs.

The IMPORTANCE OF BIBLE ECONOMICS Covers the Reasons As to Why It Should Be Taught.

  1. Our introductory text, I Thessalonians 4:11-12, sets it forth as a vital part of sanctification.
    1. Paul further wrote of it to Rome (Rom 12:11), Ephesus (Eph 4:28), and Titus (Titus 3:14).
    2. Solomon and the Old Testament is not the only source of Bible teaching on the subject.
    3. Consider Christ’s parables: talents, laborers, rich fool, unjust steward, lost coin, prodigal son, rich man and Lazarus, hid treasure, householder, pearl of great price, debtors, etc.
  2. It is a well-known fact that 60-70% of problems in the home are financially related.
  3. Financial management is one of the prime indicators of a man’s character (Luke 16:10-12).
  4. Economics, or financial duties to satisfy our wants, takes more time than any other duty.
  5. Jesus taught that those of this world are wiser, but we should learn from them (Lk 16:8-9).
    1. It is good to be thankful we are not as some, but we must regret we are not as others.
    2. Just getting by is not God’s idea of financial success. Observe “prosperity,” “riches,” etc.
    3. It is our privilege to know how to use this world, though we do not abuse it (I Cor 7:31).
  6. Christians often end up in a financial ditch: excessive ambition or total lack of ambition.
    1. It is the gift of God to enjoy the fruit of one’s labor and eat his riches (Eccl 5:18-20).
    2. God Himself rewards righteous men with riches (Pr 22:4 cp I Chr 29:28; II Chr 1:11-12).
    3. God calls mostly poor, but sometimes the rich: Abraham and Job (Jms 2:5 cp I Tim 6:17).
    4. Some churches, like Thessalonica, need more emphasis on ambition than avoiding care.
  7. Considering natural things only, money answers every situation and problem (Eccl 10:19).
  8. Doing a good job as a servant is a means by which we serve the Lord Christ (Col 3:22-25).
  9. Our goal is to (1) please God in our stewardship and (2) enjoy life the way God intended.

The BASIS OF BIBLE ECONOMICS Are Those Principles of God’s Dominion that Influence Us.

  1. God has given this world to man to subdue and have dominion over for his benefit (Ge 1:28).
  2. God makes differences in ability and opportunity that greatly influence economic success.
    1. All men are not created equal. That is an ungodly statement by our nation’s founders.
    2. God Himself is the basis for the difference in ability among men (I Corinthians 4:7).
    3. God requires more from those who have received more – based on ability (Luke 12:48).
    4. God will commend you for your performance with what He gave you (Matthew 25:14-30).
    5. Though God expects from each according to his ability, He does not require distribution.
    6. Promotion is not simply a reflection of your ability; God gives it (Psalm 75:4-7).
      1. Though God does give the ability to perform, we must perform diligently (I Cor 15:10).
      2. Solomon taught the reality of time and chance in the affairs of men (Eccl 9:11-12).
      3. Considering chance and ability, the Lord is maker of rich and poor (Pr 22:2; I Sa 2:7).
  3. God gives ability to know how to produce efficiently. Consider farming (Isaiah 28:23-29).
    1. Whole nations, continents, and races have been ignorant of basic means of production.
    2. Economic blessings will follow the word of God (Proverbs 8:12,18-21; 14:34; Ps 33:12).
    3. The nations under the dominion of Roman Catholicism are generally in abject poverty.
  4. God has arranged circumstances so that we may find nothing after Him (Ecclesiastes 7:14).
  5. Scripture and experience deny an “absoluter” to be consistent regarding fate (Eccl 11:5-6).

The PRINCIPLES OF BIBLE ECONOMICS Are God’s Guidelines Taught for Economic Justice.

  1. The scriptural medium of exchange is a commodity unit traded by weight (Genesis 23:16).
    1. The Egyptians under Joseph were wise enough to limit their money supply (Gen 47:18).
    2. Jeremiah during the last days of Judah, bought a field by weighing money (Jer 32:9-12).
  2. God granted masters – employers – great property rights to show His judgment (Ex 21:20-21).
    1. Jesus in a parable defended wage differences by contract with employees (Mt 20:10-15).
    2. Yet masters were accountable to provide certain benefits to their servants (Ex 21:7-11).
    3. Paul required masters to provide things just and equal for their servants (Colossians 4:1).
  3. Diligent and wise workers are under no divine obligation to give to sluggards and fools.
    1. Paul clearly commanded that those not providing their own food must starve (II Ths 3:10).
    2. The poor provided for themselves by working, not by charity (Lev 19:10; Deut 24:21).
    3. While loans were made to the poor, the use of security limited the amount (Ex 22:25-27).
  4. God esteems the value and right of property highly; His law provides for its protection.
    1. The eighth commandment is designed to protect property; God values it right beside life.
    2. Theft required restitution to be made from two to five times the value (Exodus 22:1,4).
    3. God justified taking a thief’s life when he was caught in the act of stealing (Ex 22:2-3).

The JUDGMENTS OF BIBLE ECONOMICS Are the Punishments to Be Given to the Foolish.

  1. Those who do not take advantage of opportunity are to be given nothing in need (Prov 20:4).
    1. Paul said, “But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant” (I Corinthians 14:38).
    2. Those who do not work their own business with their own hands must starve (II Ths 3:10).
  2. Financial gain is not always a blessing; it is often a judgment of God (Prov 1:32; Rom 11:9).
  3. God gives riches to some yet keeps them from ever enjoying their own wealth (Eccl 6:1-2).
  4. It is the wicked who make up the vast majority of the rich in this world (Psalm 73:3-12).
  5. God judges nations with oppressive governments that take riches (I Samuel 8:6-18; Pr 28:2).
  6. If you think you or America have it rough now, it can get much worse (II Kings 6:24-29).

The OBJECTIVES OF BIBLE ECONOMICS Are the Goals Every Christian Family Should Have.

  1. Good men will be able to give good things to those that teach the word (Galatians 6:6).
  2. Good men will leave an inheritance for children and grandchildren (Prov 13:22; II Cor 12:14).
    1. Every child of God is responsible to adequately provide for his family now (I Tim 5:8).
    2. If God’s saints would pursue this goal, they would increase each generation to come.
    3. Children supporting parents is not the ideal, but we must be able to do it (I Tim 5:4,8).
  3. Good men will be at least as smart as ants and set aside means against difficult times.
    1. Solomon tells us that the wisdom of ants ought to be emulated (Proverbs 6:6-8; 30:24-25).
    2. The least financial difficulty sends many families into panic, hysteria, and fear.
  4. Good men will have to be able to give to those in need (I Thes 4:11-12; Eph 4:28; Ps 112:5).
  5. Good men will manage their economic affairs to avoid church judgment (II Thess 3:6-15).
  6. Comparing actual to expected results shows behavior; knowledge should follow (Pr 24:30-34).
    1. Success must begin with proper measurement of where you are and where you must go.
      1. Many Americans, and especially Christians, simply get in a rut and never consider.
      2. It is a Christian’s duty to consider his ways and adjust them to God’s revealed plan.
    2. Your net assets should be about $1000 times your age. Houses are usually not included.
      1. The younger you are the more mercy you may have, though the rule is still lenient.
      2. If a man at seventy does not have $70,000, what has he done with his life and duties?
    3. Your annual income should be about $1000 times your age. Gross income should be used.
      1. The older you are the more mercy you may have, though the rule is not unreasonable.
      2. If college graduates are starting above this rule today, where should workers be?

The RULES OF BIBLE ECONOMICS Are Those Guidelines for Achieving Financial Success.

  1. RULE #1: OBEY GOD. Essential to financial success is to have God’s blessing on your side.
    1. If you violate this scriptural rule, He will cancel the other rules (Haggai 1:5-11; 2:15-19).
      1. God has promised life to go well for those who will honor their parents (Eph 6:1-3).
      2. The man who fears God and careful walks in His ways shall be blessed (Ps 128:1-4).
    2. The Old Testament teaches God’s financial judgment for disobedience (Jeremiah 5:25).
      1. God promised Israel blessings (Deut 28:1-12) and curses (28:15-20,33-34,38-40,43-44).
      2. In the days of Gideon, God sent Midian to economically destroy Israel (Judges 6:1-6).
    3. Prosperity and success require obedience to God (Josh 1:7-8; Job 36:11; Ps 1:3; 84:11).
      1. God prospered Joseph in Egypt dramatically (Gen 39:2). Are you as faithful as he?
      2. God prospered Daniel in Babylon significantly (Daniel 1:19 cp Daniel 1:8 cp Dan 2:48).
    4. The confession of sins before God is necessary to prosperity in life (Proverbs 28:13).
    5. Obedience to God includes the right attitude toward work, promotion, and financial gain.
      1. You must be seeking righteousness and God’s kingdom first (Matt 6:33; I Kgs 3:11-13).
      2. You must be thankful and acknowledge God’s hand in prosperity (Ps 75:4-7; Eccl 7:14).
      3. Do you delight yourself in the Lord? Do you make Him your joy (Ps 37:4; Is 58:13-14)?
  2. RULE #2: PAY GOD FIRST. The first use of income must be to give a portion back to God.
    1. God expects to be honoured with the firstfruits; prosperity follows this rule (Pr 3:9-10).
      1. How many violate this rule by giving only a few bucks back to God? Is this honour?
      2. How many violate this rule by giving only what is left? Is this honour and firstfruits?
      3. How many violate this rule by promising gifts if God will bless? Is this firstfruits?
      4. How many violate this rule by giving of income after taxes? Is this firstfruit giving?
      5. God owns everything; He has given us every good gift; shouldn’t we return a portion?
    2. God is paid by supporting the ministry and church and by helping poor saints in need.
      1. A minister and church have regular weekly needs, if possible giving should match.
      2. A further sum should be laid up in store for the poor saints each week (I Cor 16:1-2).
    3. God calls His people to test His bountiful response to obedient giving (Malachi 3:8-12).
      1. God made David rich (I Chr 29:28), but observe how David treated God (II Sam 24:24).
      2. God made Isaac rich (Gen 26:12-14); we must assume he tithed as father and son did.
      3. God made Jacob rich (Gen 30:43), but see the vow Jacob made to the Lord (28:20-22).
    4. The New Testament does not require a tithe, but an honest heart will do at least that.
      1. Abraham before the Old Testament was given gave tithes to Melchizedek (Gen 14:20).
      2. The Old Testament required three tithes totaling 23 1/3% (Nu 18:20-32; Dt 14:22-29).
      3. Since God is more liberal with us, we should also be more liberal (Heb 8:6; Lk 12:48).
      4. If you give liberally, you shall reap the same (II Co 9:6; Ga 6:7; Pr 11:24-25; Lk 6:38).
      5. Even under the Old Testament, there were additional freewill offerings (Deut 12:6).
    5. Even if you are financially not in good shape, the Lord requires and deserves your giving.
      1. While some say they cannot afford to give, God teaches they cannot afford not to.
      2. While the tithe required more of the rich, tabernacle service did not (Exodus 30:15).
      3. Even if you are in poverty, God will accept your gifts as well (Lk 21:1-4; II Co 8:1-2).
    6. Giving must be done cheerfully, willingly, and according to ability (II Cor 8:12; 9:7).
    7. Paying God includes the responsibility to financially care for the poor saints and widows.
      1. Giving to the poor is lending to God, and He always pays (Prov 19:17; 22:9; 28:8,27).
      2. Paul was forward to remember the poor (Gal 2:10). He commanded it (I Cor 16:1-3).
      3. A characteristic of a spirit-filled church will be their care of the poor (Acts 2:44-45).
      4. Christian charity is an action that proves the love of God within us (I John 3:17-19).
      5. Christian charity only supplies true need. Lazy Christians must starve (II Thess 3:10).
      6. Christian charity only supplies necessities: food, clothing, and shelter (Isaiah 58:7).
      7. You do not know how and when God works in our finances, so give freely (Ec 11:1-6).
      8. If you have nothing laid aside to give, then sell assets (Luke 12:33; Acts 4:34-37).
      9. Giving to the Lord may not be used as an excuse for other duties (Matthew 15:1-6).
    8. Did Jesus speak the truth in ascribing more blessing to giving than receiving (Ac 20:35)?
  3. RULE #3: PAY YOURSELF SECOND. The second use of income must be personal savings.
    1. Consider that Americans save about 4%, West Germans 14%, and the Japanese about 20%.
    2. Saving is not a recommendation or suggestion; it is a commandment of Almighty God.
      1. Remember the purposes for having savings: inheritance, emergencies, and poor saints.
      2. A fool cannot save and has nothing; a wise man saves and has possessions (Pr 21:20).
      3. We are taught by Solomon to learn the savings principle from ants (Prov 6:6-8; 30:25).
      4. Saving is the way to hide yourself from coming evil; the simple ignore this (Pr 27:12).
      5. Not saving when God has provided opportunity and substance is sin (Pr 27:24; 12:27).
      6. Solomon taught a time to gain and a time to lose (Eccl 3:6). How do you use the two?
    3. Saving must be a priority in life, not an option for money left after other expenses.
      1. Work expands to fill the time available for its completion, so do expenses income.
      2. If a commitment to savings is not made before spending is allowed, it won’t be done.
      3. How much do you have for the years of sweat, toil, deprivation, and frustration?
    4. Anything less than ten percent shows a lack of sincerity and defeats the purpose.
      1. Living on half your income is a rule that certainly has much merit, if it can be done.
      2. Losing ten percent of your time or money will not noticeably affect your lifestyle.
    5. Doing with less increases appreciation for one’s possessions and sets priorities (Pr 27:7).
    6. Let your savings accumulate and grow; do not use them short of an absolute emergency.
      1. Savings allows you to have employees working for you while you sleep (Mat 25:26-27).
      2. Financial success requires time and consistency, which takes discipline and sacrifice.
      3. The time value of money, illustrated by the “rule of 72,” rewards consistent savings.
    7. Savings makes it possible for a man to take advantage of opportunities that will come.
  4. RULE #4: MINIMIZE EXPENSES. Learn to use income as wisely as possible for other goals.
    1. Remember that a major problem with the foolish man is his spending habits (Prov 21:20).
      1. The most important factor in corporate decline today is undisciplined spending.
      2. It is not usually the high cost of living, but the cost of high living that ruins men.
    2. A penny saved used to be a penny earned; in a 30% tax bracket it is 1.5 pennies earned.
    3. Live sacrificially: learn that financial success means discipline and giving up desires.
      1. Impulsive, foolish, and wasteful spending makes you brother to the slothful (Pr 18:9).
      2. Men that love pleasure and the good things of life too much will be poor (Prov 21:17).
    4. There are many wise practices that will help you minimize expenses in your family.
      1. Learn how to be a smart shopper. There are a number of helpful hints to protect you.
        (1) Limit the opportunities advertisers have to seduce you for their goods and services.
        (2) Question “sales,” and avoid buying things not needed in order “to save” money.
        (3) Shop less; purchase only what you need; and buy groceries weekly after eating.
        (4) Destroy credit cards, if you are not disciplined. Make no provision for the flesh.
        (5) Don’t be too proud to buy used cars, furniture, homes, appliances, clothing, etc.
        (6) Vacations are only justified for those who are getting their finances in shape.
        (7) A few minutes on the phone comparing prices can save many dollars on most items.
      2. Use insurance only to protect against catastrophic losses. Consider auto and medical.
      3. Use doctors and dentists only for emergencies unless you can afford cosmetic extras.
        (1) They are in business to make money. They cause more expense than they ever save.
        (2) Put up with a little pain before running to a clinic. Medicine does not prolong life.
        (3) Learn about your body and health so you can understand and protect yourself.
      4. If you have large food bills, give your wife an incentive plan for grocery purchases.
      5. Set a limit on eating out; carefully manage this source of great financial waste.
    5. Foolish ways of saving include baking bread, sewing clothes, imprudent canning, buying exorbitant “quality,” buying unnecessary quantities, using deceptive coupons, etc.
    6. You must allow infrequent opportunities to spend to avoid vexation of spirit (Ec 5:18-20).
    7. A budget is not crucial, if you pay God and yourself first – expenses are already limited.
  5. RULE #5: WORK HARD. It is patient diligence over time that by God’s rule will bring gain.
    1. The foolish despise this advice, because they are ignorant and lazy (Pr 26:16; Ec 10:15).
      1. There is less hope for a man wise in his own conceit than for a fool (Proverbs 26:12).
      2. Lazy and ignorant fools think they are right, but scripture proves otherwise (Pr 12:5).
      3. Though all men think they know this rule, the evidence speaks otherwise (Eccl 10:18).
    2. God doesn’t suggest hard work; He commands it (Ec 9:10; Ro 12:11; Ep 4:28; II Th 3:7-9).
    3. Diligent labor has the promise of many blessings and rewards in scripture and experience.
      1. The diligent shall gain in authority, but the slothful to greater servitude (Prov 12:24).
        (1) A man diligent in business shall stand before kings instead of mean men (Pr 22:29).
        (2) Rehoboam was promoted to great honor by Solomon for his industry (I Kings 11:28).
      2. Thoughts of diligence are far superior financially to creative ideas of riches (Pr 21:5).
        (1) Boring work engaged in diligently and wisely will bring success (Prov 12:11; 28:19).
        (2) It is much better to get to work, than to talk of being successful (Proverbs 14:23).
      3. God promises clearly that the soul of the diligent shall be made fat (Proverbs 13:4).
      4. God’s word is that the hand of the diligent maketh rich instead of poor (Prov 10:4).
    4. Forty hours of work in a five-day work week will not bring prosperity. God intends more.
      1. God called men to rest one day a week, not two or more (Gen 2:2-3; Exodus 20:9-11).
      2. Jesus put twelve hours in a day and spoke of working all day (John 11:9; Mt 20:1-12).
      3. A forty hour week is for an idle and pleasure-mad generation (II Tim 3:4; Ezek 16:49).
      4. Increased work responsibilities will keep women out of trouble (I Timothy 5:11-14).
      5. A forty hour work week is not even one-quarter of the hours in a week (40 vs 168).
      6. The quality of time with your family is far more important than the quantity of time.
      7. Even though forty hours today is the standard, what quality of work is usually done?
      8. If your present job does not offer more hours, then get a part-time job to work at.
      9. Fully utilize the seventh day, which God created for the purpose of productive rest.
    5. Slothfulness leads to more laziness; you must break this sinful cycle (Proverbs 19:15).
      1. Open your eyes and get up. Do not learn to love or get used to sleep (Prov 20:13).
      2. Energy comes from activity, not sleep. The body needs sleep, but less than most think.
    6. God mocks lazy men with sarcasm and hyperbole for their sloth (Pr 19:24; 26:15; Ec 4:5).
    7. If you give up because a job is difficult, it shows you have little strength (Prov 24:10).
    8. How many would be guiltless before God and His word (Eccl 9:10; Col 3:23; Matt 25:26)?
    9. The righteous should be bold as lions; guard against fear of obstacles (Proverbs 28:1).
      1. Adversity or difficulty in labor is not reason whatever to procrastinate (Prov 20:4).
      2. An excessive concern over possible failure or obstacles is slothfulness (Prov 26:13).
  6. RULE #6: WORK SMART. Diligence only will not bring promotion, but diligence and wisdom.
    1. Diligence is good and goes a long way, but wisdom can increase profitability (Ec 10:10).
      1. While the poor often have enough food, lack of judgment can lose it all (Prov 13:23).
      2. A wise and positive attitude toward labour reduces fatigue and earns gain (Ec 10:15).
      3. A faithful, loyal, and hardworking clerk will retire as a clerk without showing wisdom.
    2. Wisdom, understanding, and knowledge are necessary for financial success (Prov 24:3-4).
      1. A wise man carefully manages his assets and plans; he will have purpose (Pr 27:23-24).
      2. The wisdom of a prudent man is to understand his way (Pr 14:8). Do you understand?
      3. War should be waged by wise counsel, and many counselors provide safety (Pro 24:6).
      4. A wise man will seek to establish his purposes with many counselors (Pr 15:22; 20:18).
      5. A wise man will carefully consider the cost of an action before starting (Lk 14:28-29).
      6. Disadvantage of color, age, or sex may be overcome by wise work habits (Prov 17:2).
      7. It is slothful men who are unwilling to manage opportunity and success (Prov 12:27).
    3. Consider some wise and prudent rules for managing one’s career and professional growth.
      1. Do you have a defined career plan, approved by counsel, with steps to achieve it?
      2. The scriptures even acknowledge the mentor-sponsor theory of promotion (Prov 27:18).
      3. A wise man will not believe everything he is told; he will prove all things (Pr 14:15).
      4. How enthusiastic are you on the job? Paul commands fervency in spirit (Rom 12:11).
      5. Do you know what careers are open and what interests you? Try a career scrapbook.
      6. While much could be said on career planning, we will preserve most for another time.
    4. Do you fully realize and appreciate the standards used to measure a successful person?
      1. Do you appreciate the importance of image? Many aspects of individuality are foolish.
      2. Do you understand advertising and packaging? Paul knew how to adjust (I Cor 9:22).
    5. Consider some prudent rules for managing miscellaneous aspects of your economic life.
      1. Learn the value of “cutting your losses and letting your profits run” as a wise rule.
      2. The wicked are afraid of many things that should not frighten the righteous (Pr 28:1).
      3. Making money often takes spending money? An ox brings increase, but costs (Pr 14:4).
        (1) An education, tools, and clothes are investments that may well bring increase.
        (2) Prudent repair of an automobile or renovation of a house is wise before selling it.
    6. Apparent financial opportunities that counter God’s will are not God’s will (Eph 5:15-17).
    7. Consider quality in major necessities: it will last longer and increase your sense of pride.
  7. RULE #7: WORK PATIENTLY. Learn life’s wise lesson that there are no free lunches.
    1. Poverty will come to the man who hasteth to be rich in an evil way (Proverbs 28:19-22).
    2. In all labor there is profit, but talking of financial success leads to penury (Prov 14:23).
    3. Wealth acquired through labor increases, but vanity diminishes wealth (Proverbs 13:11).
    4. Greed of gain is an evil approach that brings much evil and trouble (Prov 1:19; 15:27).
      1. While bulls and bears may make money in the market, pigs end up eating garbage.
      2. Greed destroys the ability to work and invest wisely, so be content (I Timothy 6:5-10).
      3. As young birds suffer by parents wandering, so do families of the impatient (Pr 27:8).
    5. It is better to have your sight fixed on labor than dream of new opportunities (Eccl 6:9).
    6. Establish your career and income before building your house (Pr 24:27 cp Luke 14:28-30).
    7. Haste for riches by vanity indicates laziness and no faith; give labor and time a chance.
    8. Multi-level marketing programs are a popular and deceptive way of teaching hasty riches.
      1. The concept of marketing a product this way is legitimate: there is no defrauding.
      2. Most participants are attracted through great promises of easy success and riches.
      3. A free market guarantees that all wealth opportunities are approximately equal.
      4. Multi-level marketing programs rely on seducing suckers rather than superior products.
    9. Part of too much haste are financial goals that are unrealistic and cause frustration.
    10. Patience in making discretionary purchases will reduce impulsive purchases and price.
  8. RULE #8: MINIMIZE DEBT. Wise men will minimize the amount of financial debt incurred.
    1. A borrower is servant to the lender (Pr 22:7). And Christians should be free (I Cor 7:21).
    2. God considers indebtedness a great curse (Deut 15:5-6; 28:11-13,37-46; Nehemiah 5:1-5).
      1. The Holy Spirit describes a borrower as one poor and in decay (Leviticus 25:35-36).
      2. What does that lead us to conclude regarding the apparent prosperity of the U.S.A.?
    3. Borrowing at interest will always cost you more than saving with interest to buy a thing.
      1. A clear sign of a corrupt society are tax laws penalizing thrift and rewarding debt.
      2. Even in a high tax bracket, you do not win in the long run by borrowing to buy.
      3. While leverage can generate huge profits, it just as easily generates huge losses.
        (1) Leverage should not be used financially unless you can afford to buy it outright.
        (2) Those using leverage unable to purchase outright are guilty of ungodly haste.
      4. The more convenient the borrowing – the higher the cost of the debt. Consider Visa.
      5. The poor should borrow less than the rich: interest is higher and they cannot pay off.
    4. Borrowing is justified for those things that you would otherwise have to rent for use.
    5. If you do borrow money for a necessary thing, make sure you make your payments timely.
      1. Bankruptcy is not something undesirable or unpleasant; it is sin against a holy God.
      2. Not paying debts involves lying, covenantbreaking, and stealing among other crimes.
      3. The wicked borrow and do not pay again (Psalm 37:21). Consider Chapter 11 filings.
      4. True salvation involves the repayment of previous financial wrongs (Luke 19:8-9).
      5. God requires the payment of debts. He required the death of His own Son (Is 40:1-2).
      6. The regularity and promptness of debt payment is an easy proof of one’s diligence.
      7. Do not be guilty of ignoring your debts when you have the ability to pay (Pr 3:27-28).
      8. Observe those who pay late scream loudest about late payments (Matt 7:12; 18:23-35)?
    6. While Romans 13:8 does not condemn all indebtedness, it does require prompt payments.
      1. Observe that the context of this verse is the paying of due tribute and custom (13:7).
      2. Love of neighbor is something you never fully pay, but other duties should be paid.
      3. Use of this verse to condemn debt ignores mortgages, taxes, leases, employment, etc.
        (1) Nothing is owed on a mortgage if all the payments required have been made.
        (2) Renting a house obligates the lessee to the full terms of the rental contract.
    7. Unjustified debt is either (1) a net debtor situation and/or (2) having debt payments due.
      1. God condemns financial situations where your bed could be taken away (Pr 22:26-27).
      2. Paying late is lying, covenantbreaking, and stealing: you have another’s money.
    8. A wise man will make an effort to establish credit, since it may protect him (Prov 22:3).
  9. RULE #9: WORK HONESTLY. A man’s work must be free from dishonesty or its appearance.
    1. God searches the hearts, and He rewards every one who gets riches wrongly (Je 17:9-11).
    2. Solomon emphasized repeatedly the importance of economic honesty (Pro 20:10,23; 22:28).
      1. Even when buying you must show great care to avoid extortion (Proverbs 20:14).
      2. The use of lying in securing wealth is a foolish act by those seeking death (Pr 21:6-7).
      3. A little acquired rightly is better than great riches acquired wickedly (Proverbs 16:8).
    3. Paul emphasized the importance of economic honesty (Ro 12:17; Eph 4:28; I Ths 4:11-12).
    4. You will not get ahead by using unjust methods to increase your riches (Pro 22:16; 28:8).
    5. While large tax burdens are a great evil, we are not to stop paying them (Matt 22:21).
    6. Prompt payment of debt is an easy way to show the world godly character (Psalm 37:21).
    7. Be very careful in business dealings with widows and orphans (Ex 22:22-24; Pr 23:10-11).
    8. God requires that we pay our brethren for significant services (Jer 22:13; I Thess 4:6).
  10. RULE #10: MINIMIZE RISK. Wisely protect your labor, savings, and plans from catastrophe.
    1. Do not assume unnecessary risks such as suretiship, gambles, ignorant investments, etc.
      1. Suretiship must consider the ability to pay of you and your friend (Pr 6:1-5; 22:26-27).
      2. It is often the poor that fall for lotteries, bingo, poker, Vegas, etc. (Pr 13:23).
    2. A lack of carefulness and sound judgment can quickly destroy increase (Proverbs 13:23).
    3. A prudent man will see the potential of risk and take measures of protection (Pr 22:3).
      1. Life insurance protects your ability to provide for your family in case of death.
      2. Medical insurance protects your family from the burden of catastrophic medical bills.
      3. Auto and home insurance protect them from loss. Consider your inheritance (Pr 19:14).
      4. Make a will to save legal problems, estate taxes, and proper distribution of assets.

The CURSES OF BIBLE ECONOMICS Are the Practices that God Guarantees to Bring Poverty.

  1. TOO MUCH SLEEP: slothfulness, or lack of ambition and initiative, is a sure road to penury.
    1. Poverty and want will overtake the man who enjoys a little sleep too often (Prov 6:9-11).
    2. It is the love of sleep and rest that will surely bring poverty (Pr 20:13; 21:15; 24:30-34).
    3. Drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags: avoid drunkenness and gluttony (Pr 23:20-21).
  2. TOO MUCH PLEASURE: the love and pursuit of pleasure will make a man poor (Prov 21:17).
    1. Associating with drunkards and gluttons will bring drowsiness and poverty (Pro 23:20-21).
    2. Drinking and eating should be done for strength, not for excessive pleasure (Ec 10:16-17).
  3. TOO MUCH HASTE: the lack of patience in finances is an evil bringing poverty (Pr 28:22).
  4. TOO MUCH PRIDE: the reluctance to work hard at boring jobs brings poverty (Prov 28:19).
    1. Stubbornness to acknowledge the instruction of others will make a man poor (Pr 13:18).
    2. Listen to what the word of God has to say regardless of your great wisdom (Prov 26:16).
  5. TOO MUCH SPENDING: spending all or most of one’s labour causes poverty (Prov 21:20).
  6. TOO MUCH HOARDING: not giving enough when you could tends to poverty (Prov 11:24).
  7. TOO MUCH FEAR: intimidation by obstacles and adversity will keep men secure in poverty.
    1. The fear of failure is actually a proof of slothfulness (Proverbs 26:13; Matt 25:26-28).
    2. Fear resulting in inactivity is grounds for starvation when you are in need (Prov 20:4).

The RESTRICTIONS OF BIBLE ECONOMICS Are the Rules to Keep Financial Pursuits In Line.

  1. MAINTAIN GODLY PRIORITIES: make sure you seek God’s righteousness first (Matt 6:33).
    1. Doing this will bring loss (Mark 10:29) and gain (Mark 10:30) in very different respects.
    2. God never promised success to your plans for your life, but to His plans (Matthew 10:39).
    3. Learn the lesson of emphasizing your treasures in heaven (Matt 6:19-20; I Tim 6:17-19).
    4. Do not be foolish and believe that you can serve both God and mammon (Matthew 6:24).
  2. STUDY TO BE QUIET: order your life to minimize the amount of anxiety (I Thess 4:11-12).
    1. It is a characteristic of the natural man to be disquieted in vain pursuits (Psalm 39:6).
    2. Jesus said that His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30; 6:25-34).
    3. Paul commands us to make sacrifices when possible to reduce carefulness (I Cor 7:32).
    4. How can we pray for political quietness (I Timothy 2:2), when we create financial noise?
    5. Solomon taught that little with quietness is superior to much with travail (Eccl 4:6).
    6. God gives His beloved sleep: we are not called to work ourselves to death (Ps 127:1-2).
  3. HATE RICHES: guard against an inordinate love or obsession with money and riches.
    1. The love of money is the root of all evil which has destroyed many men (I Tim 6:6-10).
      1. Riches can choke the word of God and keep you from God’s kingdom (Lk 8:14; 18:24).
      2. The desire for riches is a great source of temptation (Num 22:7; Josh 7:21; Mt 26:15).
    2. Though wealth itself is not wrong, do not set your heart on it (Ps 62:10; I Tim 6:10,17).
      1. What Luke simply calls riches (Luke 18:24), Mark calls trusting riches (Mark 10:23-24).
      2. Trusting in riches is a vain confidence, since such shall surely fall (Proverbs 11:28).
      3. The rich men condemned by scripture looks at his riches as his safety (Prov 18:11).
      4. We must seek to be innocent of covetousness and be content (Luke 12:15; Heb 13:5).
      5. God has had rich saints who wisely managed their wealth – Job, Abraham, David, etc.
    3. The pursuit of financial riches is the vainest of all human endeavors in the natural realm.
      1. Increase will not satisfy, since expenses will always increase to absorb it (Ec 5:10-11).
      2. Fear of loss is a sickness that brings hurt, sorrow, and wrath (Ec 5:12-17; Ps 39:6).
      3. Inability to spend what one has acquired is vanity and an evil disease (Eccl 6:1-2).
      4. Do not labor to be rich, since riches have a tendency to fly away quickly (Pr 23:4-5).
      5. We brought nothing into this world, and we shall take nothing out (Ps 39:6; 49:15-20).
      6. Riches will not save from God’s judgment (Job 36:18-19; Ps 49:6-9; 52:5-7; Pr 11:4).
      7. Fear riches as the only consolation God shall give you (Luke 6:24; 16:25; Acts 14:17).
      8. How profitable is investment to gain the world, but which costs your soul (Mt 16:26)?
      9. A wise man will pray for God to deliver him from too much success (Prov 30:7-9).
    4. God’s gifts are superior to money, and they cannot be bought for money (Acts 8:18-20).
      1. Remember the true riches lie in things not seen, not in things seen (II Cor 4:18).
      2. Jesus taught that we ought to labor for everlasting life instead of vanity (John 6:27).
      3. Be as Moses, who esteemed Christ’s reproaches greater than Egypt’s riches (Heb 11:26
      4. David described his gladness in the Lord as exceeding economic prosperity (Psalm 4:7).
      5. We should glory in knowing and understanding God, not in our riches (Jer 9
      6. Is God’s word more important to you than riches (Psalm 119:14,162; 19:10; Job 23:12)?
      7. If a righteous man has a little in a godly home, he has more than all riches (Ps 37:16).
      8. Let us remember the inheritance of Christ’s riches in glory (Eph 1:18; 3:8; Rom 9:23).

The OBJECTIONS OF BIBLE ECONOMICS Are Those Arguments Raised Against God’s Teaching.

  1. Christians should not be concerned with activities for securing gain (I Tim 6:5; Lk 3:14).
    1. If that is true, why did James not condemn those who planned to get gain (Jms 4:13-16)?
    2. John the Baptist condemned the practice of confiscating property by foreign soldiers.
  2. Earning interest (usury) on investment funds is sometimes condemned from several passages.
    1. Observe that these passages refer to poor brethren (Ex 22:25-27; Le 25:35-37; Pr 28:8).
    2. God promised lending to Israel (Deut 15:5-6), so the receiving of interest is clearly good.
    3. Lending to strangers was perfectly permissible, but not to brethren in need (Deut 23:20).
  3. Christians should not buy insurance because it shows a lack of faith in God’s protection.
    1. If that is true, what of bread in the refrigerator? trained servants? strategy in battle?
    2. God expects us to avoid danger; anything else is considered tempting God (Luke 4:9-12).
  4. Christians should share their goods in a system of social equality (II Cor 8:11-15; Acts 5:4).
    1. Equality must first be limited to true need – food, clothing, and shelter (Isaiah 58:7).
    2. Equality must also be limited to those things that we are allowed to share (Ex 20:14).
    3. Equality must also be limited to giving, not economic worth (I Corinthians 9:11).
  5. Gambling is not expressly denied in scripture, so I may participate under Christian liberty.
    1. The thought of foolishness is sin (Proverbs 24:9), and gambling is foolish (Prov 21:20).
    2. Wasting one’s substance characterizes a foolish and wicked man (Proverbs 18:9; 12:27).
    3. There are different types of gambling dependent on the degree of chance in the game.
    4. Can you gamble to the glory of God in Christ’s name (I Corinthians 10:31; Col 3:17)?
    5. Does gambling have the appearance of evil? Would it cause others to be offended?

The ENFORCEMENT OF BIBLE ECONOMICS Are Measures to Promote Financial Obedience.

  1. The methods for promoting economic obedience are to work sanctification (I Thess 4:11-12).
    1. As your overseer, your pastor will check periodically with your employer when needed.
    2. As your overseer, your pastor will question you about your financial goals and position.
    3. As your overseer, your pastor may institute individual envelopes for giving (Acts 4:35).
  2. The judgments for economic disobedience should be remembered by all for future fear.
    1. Your pastor may rebuke you publicly for your sins of financial unfaithfulness (I Tim 5:20).
    2. If you end up in financial need, you may not receive charity (II Thess 3:10; Prov 20:4).
    3. Financial disobedience becoming public knowledge may bring exclusion (II Thess 3:6,14).
  3. Sins worthy of judgment are those named in scripture or constituting unrighteousness.
    1. Not paying debts is a characteristic of the wicked and will be judged (Psalm 37:21).
    2. Flagrant and continual late payments constitute lying, stealing, and covenantbreaking.
    3. Losing a job for unfaithfulness, dishonesty, or slothfulness will be judged accordingly.
    4. A sluggardly approach to the meeting of God’s required objectives will be judged also.

The APPLICATION OF BIBLE ECONOMICS Are Those Changes and Practices We Must Follow.

  1. If you have made past mistakes, accept the punishment and seek God’s mercy (Lev 26:40-42).
    1. Do not blame God for your troubles (Prov 19:3). Your own foolishness should be blamed.
    2. There will not be quick results from God’s methods many times; you must learn patience.
  2. If you are in bad condition financially, extraordinary measures may be required for a time.
    1. Nothing good in life comes easily; this is especially true if you are already behind.
    2. If you are severely behind financially, you must reduce expenses and increase income.
      1. Expenses that can be reduced are housing, automobiles, eating out, and entertainment.
      2. Increase income by working more hours, working another job, or working your wife.
    3. If you are being squeezed by a creditor, practice the soft approach (Matthew 5:25-26).
  3. If we are to train our children in the way they should go, we must give financial training.
    1. Children should not be given an allowance; they should earn any money they receive.
    2. Children should be taught about earning, giving, saving, and the time value of money.
    3. Children should be given jobs as early as they are able with requirements for income.
  4. Begin to maintain a family financial notebook to increase knowledge of your situation.
    1. Record expenses on a daily basis, and prepare monthly statements showing your position.
    2. Include the family so they can understand your decisions and begin to learn economics.
    3. Use a budget if you need the discipline of allocating your income to spending priorities.
  5. Establish goals and learn to be goal oriented. He who aims for nothing achieves nothing.
    1. Do not set your goals too high or they will cause frustration and lead you to give up.
    2. Let others know of your goals so they can encourage you or prod you when necessary.
  6. Avoid the influence of those that are rich or covetous in this world (I Cor 15:33; Pr 30:7-9).
  7. Remember the simplicity of wisdom; the importance of basics; and the need to begin now.


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