What Does the Bible Say About Fraud?

Fraud is generally defined as intentionally deceiving someone for personal gain. It involves deliberately misrepresenting facts or lying in order to cheat someone out of money, property, or other assets. Fraud can take many forms, including identity theft, embezzlement, forgery, false advertising, and Ponzi schemes, among others. As followers of Christ, it’s important that we have a biblical perspective on fraud and related issues of honesty and integrity. In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore what the Bible teaches about fraud and how we as Christians should respond.


The Bible has a lot to say about being honest, truthful and avoiding deception. Fraud is fundamentally dishonest – it involves concealing, omitting or perverting the truth for one’s own advantage. Scripture condemns such behavior in strong terms and makes it clear that those who engage in fraud will ultimately face negative consequences.

At the same time, the Bible offers hope and redemption even for those guilty of fraud. Through confession, repentance and restitution, fraudsters can receive God’s forgiveness. As Christians, our role is to speak the truth with love, pointing fraudsters to the transforming power of Christ.

Here are some key takeaways on what the Bible teaches about fraud:

  • Fraud is strongly condemned in Scripture as deceptive, unrighteous behavior
  • God hates dishonest practices like fraud that take advantage of others
  • Fraudsters face dire spiritual and material consequences unless they repent
  • Restitution and reconciliation are biblical responses to fraud and dishonesty
  • As Christians, we must reject fraud and value honesty and integrity
  • Forgiveness and redemption are available even for fraudsters through Christ

In the remainder of this post, we will explore these themes in greater depth by looking at various biblical passages that address the issue of fraud. Let’s dive in!

What Does the Bible Say About Fraud?

Fraud is Strongly Condemned in Scripture

The Bible contains many verses that condemn fraud, dishonesty, and exploiting others for personal gain. Scripture makes it abundantly clear that God hates such practices. Here are some of the clearest passages on fraud:

Proverbs 11:1 – “Dishonest scales are an abomination to the LORD, But a just weight is His delight.” (NKJV)

This verse compares fraud to dishonest scales, rigged to cheat customers. God takes delight in honest business practices but hates fraud.

Leviticus 19:11 – “‘You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another.” (NKJV)

Here false dealing and lying are grouped together with stealing as sins God prohibits. All involve a form of fraud or deception.

1 Thessalonians 4:6 – “that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified.” (NKJV)

Defrauding others is sinful and provokes the judgment of God. As Christians we must avoid defrauding others.

Proverbs 20:23 – “Diverse weights are an abomination to the LORD, And dishonest scales are not good.” (NKJV)

Once again, God expresses his hatred of dishonest business practices that use false weights and measurements to defraud.

Micah 6:11 – “Shall I count pure those with the wicked scales, And with the bag of deceitful weights?” (NKJV)

This rhetorical question implies God will punish those using deceptive weights to defraud customers.

These and other verses make it clear that fraud is strongly condemned in Scripture. It is listed together with sins like theft that violate God’s standards. Now let’s look at why fraud is so displeasing to God.

God Hates Dishonest Practices Like Fraud that Take Advantage of Others

Fraud is detestable to God because it involves exploiting other people and violating their trust. Fraudsters show a blatant disregard for ethics and fairness. Their scheming nature displeases God, who desires truth and righteousness. Consider these verses:

Proverbs 12:22 – “Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, But those who deal truthfully are His delight.” (NKJV)

God delights in honesty and abhors lying, a key component of most fraud.

Psalm 5:6 – “You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; The LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.” (NKJV)

Deceitful actions like fraud earn God’s hatred. He will ultimately judge unrepentant fraudsters.

Proverbs 3:32 – “For the perverse person is an abomination to the LORD, But His secret counsel is with the upright.” (NKJV)

Since fraud is perverse behavior, God finds it repugnant. He favors the upright who reject fraud.

Exodus 20:16 – “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” (NKJV)

Bearing false witness usually involves deception, exactly what fraud relies upon.

God’s hatred of dishonest gain explains why fraud earns such stern condemnation in Scripture. But mere condemnation is not the end. The Bible also warns fraudsters to repent or face dire consequences.

Fraudsters Face Dire Spiritual and Material Consequences Unless They Repent

Scripture makes it plain that unrepentant fraudsters face negative repercussions in this life and the next unless they turn from their sin. God judges such ongoing deception harshly. Consider the following warnings:

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 – “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” (NKJV)

This verse lists thieves with fraudsters, warning that they will be excluded from God’s kingdom.

Revelation 21:8 – “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”” (NKJV)

Since fraud relies on lying, unrepentant fraudsters risk eternal judgment.

Proverbs 21:6 – “Getting treasures by a lying tongue Is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death.” (NKJV)

Dishonestly gained wealth brings negative repercussions, not lasting prosperity.

Proverbs 22:8 “He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow, And the rod of his anger will fail.” (NKJV)

Fraud is iniquity that ends in negative results for the perpetrator.

Without repentance, fraudsters face dire spiritual consequences according to these verses. But Scripture also indicates they may suffer materially in this life through fines, imprisonment, clawbacks, seizures, or other means permitted by law. The fruits of fraud are bitterness, not sweetness.

Restitution and Reconciliation Are Biblical Responses to Fraud and Dishonesty

Given the gravity of fraud, Scripture outlines proper responses for perpetrators and victims. These aim to restore broken relationships and make restitution for wrongs. Consider the following principles:

Luke 19:8 – “Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”” (NKJV)

Zacchaeus committed to generous restitution, an example for fraudsters.

Numbers 5:6-7 – “”Speak to the children of Israel: ‘When a man or woman commits any sin that men commit in unfaithfulness against the LORD, and that person is guilty, then he shall confess the sin which he has committed. He shall make restitution for his trespass in full, plus one-fifth of it, and give it to the one he has wronged.” (NKJV)

Restitution plus a penalty was mandated under God’s law for sins like fraud.

Ephesians 4:28 – “Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.” (NKJV)

Repentant fraudsters should work ethically to share with victims.

Luke 6:37-38 – “”Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”” (NKJV)

Forgiving others for fraud allows God’s grace in our lives.

These principles provide guidance for making restitution and restoring relationships damaged by fraud. Such actions can help bring healing and demonstrate repentance.

As Christians, We Must Reject Fraud and Value Honesty and Integrity

Given Scripture’s staunch opposition to fraud, as followers of Christ we must reject fraudulent practices and instead model integrity to the world around us. Consider the following exhortations:

Romans 12:17 – “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.” (NKJV)

We should pursue honest business practices without any revenge motive.

Philippians 4:8 – “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (NKJV)

Focusing on virtue keeps us from contemplating fraud.

Proverbs 11:3 – “The integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.” (NKJV)

Integrity should characterize Christians, distinguishing us from the unfaithful.

Titus 2:7-8 – “in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.” (NKJV)

Our lives should be above reproach, devoid of fraudulent deeds.

Proverbs 21:3 – “To do righteousness and justice Is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” (NKJV)

Ethical living pleases God more than religious acts. We must reject fraud.

Through virtuous living and honesty in all dealings, Christians can be lights exposing the darkness of fraud. Our lives should stand in stark contrast to fraudsters’ deception.

Forgiveness and Redemption Are Available Even for Fraudsters Through Christ

Though Scripture contains dire warnings against fraud, the Bible also offers hope for redemption even for fraudsters. Through confession, repentance and restitution, they can receive complete forgiveness through Christ. Consider the following truths:

1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (NKJV)

God will forgive any fraudster who confesses and repents.

Ephesians 1:7 – “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (NKJV)

Christ’s death provides redemption even for dishonest deeds like fraud.

2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (NKJV)

Fraudsters can become new creations through faith in Christ.

Luke 15:7 – “I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.” (NKJV)

Heaven rejoices when fraudsters repent and turn to God.

Acts 3:19 – “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” (NKJV)

Sincere repentance brings forgiveness and restoration.

No matter how grievous the fraud, redemption is available through Christ to all who truly repent, make restitution, and seek God’s forgiveness in faith. For Christians guilty of fraud, confession and repentance are the pathway back to righteous living. Though fraud remains condemned in Scripture, God’s grace is greater.


In summary, the Bible contains stern warnings against fraud, dishonesty and exploiting others for personal gain. Scripture condemns such behavior in strong terms as unrighteous and detestable to God. Unrepentant fraudsters face dire spiritual consequences, with forfeiture of the kingdom. However, through confession, repentance and restitution, God’s grace and forgiveness are available even to fraudsters. As Christians, we must reject fraud entirely and value honesty and integrity in all dealings. Our lives should be above reproach. By God’s grace may we shine as lights exposing fraud through righteous living.

Key Takeaways:

  • Fraud is strongly condemned in Scripture as deceptive, unrighteous behavior
  • God hates dishonest practices like fraud that take advantage of others
  • Fraudsters face dire spiritual and material consequences unless they repent
  • Restitution and reconciliation are biblical responses to fraud and dishonesty
  • As Christians, we must reject fraud and value honesty and integrity
  • Forgiveness and redemption are available even for fraudsters through Christ

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