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A contract is a written or spoken agreement between two or more people to do or achieve something specific. It generates legally binding duties. A contract is typically interpreted by the court based on the common meaning of the language used. Typically, the meaning of a contract is determined by going over the parties' aims at the time the agreement is established. The key factors that should be established to verify the construction of a legally enforceable agreement are as follows: offer, consideration, mutuality of obligation, acceptance, competency and capability, and intention to create legal relations.
An offer refers to a promise to do or desist from undertaking a stated action and is made for another party to do the same or approve the action. Acceptance is the expression of agreeing to the terms of an offer and must be done in a way stated by the offer. In case the offer does not specify the manner of acceptance, then it is imperative to make it in a manner reasonable under the conditions. It can only be valid if the party being given the offer shows an intention of accepting it.
Consideration indicates that all parties to a contract should give something of value, which encourages the other party to enter the contract. It is an exchange of values and the exchanged value need not be made of currency. Mutuality of obligation is a doctrine that requires both parties to be bound to carry out their responsibilities for the law to treat the agreement as if both sides are obliged to perform particular obligations. When both sides exchange promises to do specified actions, one party cannot have the unlimited and absolute right to terminate the contract.
Competency and capacity is an element that requires a natural person entering a contract to possess legal capacity and skill to be liable for the actions he or she approves, unless he or she person is mentally incapacitated, a minor, or intoxicated. Intention to create legal relations shows that a contract does not just exist because people have made an agreement. The parties to the agreement must have the intention to enter into a lawfully obligatory agreement. That will hardly be set forth openly but will usually be inferred from the conditions in which the contract was created. For instance, offering a friend a ride is not normally intended to form a legally binding agreement (Halson, MacMillan, and Stone).
Indeed, a contract is different from a covenant since a contract is a valid agreement between two or more parties specifying what they intend to do or not do, while a covenant is an agreement between God and a human being. In a contract, any party can make an offer to the other party, while in a covenant, God sets the terms and conditions and makes an offer to a human being, which he or she can accept or reject. God blesses those who accept the offer and punishes those who reject it for disobedience. A person cannot set terms or make an offer to God (Intellectual Reserve, Inc.).
Property ownership refers to possession of something of value, for instance, a piece of land, building, or machinery. From the biblical point of view, owning property is not wrong, what matters is the means used to acquire property and what one intends to do with it. God condemns hoarding wealth greedily for oneself and making it their god. That is considered a sin. God approves of using a property for the right purposes (Littlejohn). Without a doubt, God is the ultimate owner of every property on earth and humanity is the steward of the ownership; therefore God requires humankind to manage and take good care of this property. The Bible states that the whole earth including the gardens belongs to God and that he owns the herds of cattle on thousands of hills (Psalm 50:10). It states in Psalm 24:1 that God owns the earth and everything in it. Even though humankind has a right to own property, they do not have an absolute ownership of it because God is the sovereign owner of all things and has the absolute right to them (DeMar). God created the earth and everything in it and gave humankind dominion over it to extend His kingdom’s boundaries.
God condemns acquisition of property via robbery or defrauding and commands humanity, via the scriptures, to work hard and acquire property in the right way (Exodus 20:15). He warns government officials against using governmental decree to confiscate property owned by the citizens (1 Kings 21). He puts forward that willful destruction of property belonging to other people or coveting what others own is a barbarous act (Genesis 26:12, 17). He also reminds the society that His will is always decisive everywhere, meaning he owns everything on earth; therefore, no human being should claim absolute ownership of any property on earth. Rather, they should be aware that their assets ownership is a stewardship that is governed by God’s word. Over and over again, the scriptures mention the sovereign will of God (DeMar).
The number of Christians in the corporate world has been increasing gradually. They occupy various positions in businesses and take part in a broad range of activities. The business community is very dynamic, and the level of competition among businesses is very stiff; therefore, companies are often forced to make critical decisions some of which have an adverse impact on the society. Many a time, Christians holding key positions in various companies or who manage their enterprises face many challenges, which tend to weaken their faith.
Their role in businesses is far-reaching and unique, and they are very instrumental in wealth creation and distribution. Besides, they exert immense influence on public policy (da Silva). As they exercise the dominion mandate of God, they subscribe to rigid standards for performance. As they take part in their day-to-day activities, they are obliged to perform their tasks well, no matter how trivial they seem, as unto the Lord. Despite the fact that productive results may vary based on the abilities and talents of every person, Christians in businesses are required to carry out their tasks according to what the Scriptures command and produce excellent results. Thus increasing expanding and growing the dominion of the Kingdom of God on earth (da Silva).
Christians in businesses have an obligation to pursue their goals in an extremely ethical manner, avoiding all procedures and practices, which are immoral, even if they are considered by the majority of the players in the industry to be legitimate (Wong and Rae). The Scriptures state that they should promote ethical practices in their domains of influence, and expose acts that are contrary to the Law of God (Lim). They have an obligation to avoid and condemn business activities, which are manipulated or controlled for personal gain through illegal means as well as methods that would destroy the free market, increase poverty, increase strong-arm regulation, and decrease freedom under God (Beckett and DeMoss). They are also obliged to subdue the earth as they serve humanity in activities that are productive to establish God reign in their fields of stewardship. They should make good use of their God-given energies and creative abilities to serve the Lord by serving other people and helping them to achieve their goals.
Christians in business are subject to the law of the land and are thus obligated to abide by the rules and regulations guiding humankind, except in situations when the law of the land when it apparently infringes God’s Law. Indeed, humankind’s law does not outstrip God’s Law. Therefore, it is imperative for Christians in business to seek the Lord’s guidance daily through prayers, studying the Bible, and pursuing Godly advice at each stage of their business activities. They should also glorify God in whatever they do. They cannot find the ongoing favor of God and blessings if they forsake the daily direction of the Lord in their business activities (da Silva).
Beckett, John and Ted DeMoss. The Christian World View of Business and Occupations. Sunnyvale, California: The Coalition on Revival, Inc., 2012.
da Silva, Laura. "Why Christians Should be in Business." Journal for Pentecostal Ministry (2013): 1-9.
DeMar, Gary. "A Biblical View of Private Property." 23 November 2012. American Vision. 23 November 2012. .
Halson, Roger, Catharine MacMillan and Richard Stone. Contract Law. London: University of London, 2016.
Intellectual Reserve, Inc. "Covenant." 18 March 2014. Intellectual Reserve, Inc. 9 January 2016. .
Lim, Steve. Transforming Believers into Growing Disciples. Springfield, MO: Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, 2012.
Littlejohn, Brad. "Private Property in the Bible." 27 March 2013. Political Theology. 27 March 2013. .
Wong, Kenman L. and Scott B. Rae. Business for the Common Good . Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press Academic, 2012.
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