Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

Sermon: The Establishment of Christ’s Kingdom

ImageA number of scriptures are examined to show that the Kingdom of Christ was established following His death and resurrection, upon His exaltation in Heaven.

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Sermon: Our Call to Preach the Word

ImageGod calls each of us to share the gospel of our Lord, despite opposition, in an attempt to save souls. If we won’t, no one will!

Text: Acts 4 & 5

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Angry Words and Actions

ImagePerhaps you have read the following story:

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

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From the Preacher’s Pen: Selfishness

ImageSelfishness is perhaps the single human characteristic most destructive to the unity of God’s people. When men are more concerned with their own desires and will, and less interested in the welfare of the many, division is the natural consequence.

In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he wrote, “I implore Euodia and Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord” (4:2). These words strike the only sour chord in Paul’s letter of love to that congregation. It seems that strife existed between the two women, and Paul admonished them directly.

Earlier in his letter there is a possible explanation for the conflict, as Paul expressed in the second chapter the basis for unity among believers. He wrote, “Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others (2:1-4). The ladies may have been acting selfishly.

Selflessness is the example set by our Lord (cf. 2:5-8). If Jesus had acted selfishly, not mindful of our needs, He would have remained in Heaven with the Father. If He had, He would not have secured our redemption. We rejoice that our Lord was more concerned for us than for His own welfare. And, we should follow His example.

From the Preacher’s Pen: Self-Deception

Image“Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise” (1 Corinthians 3:18).

It is very easy to deceive yourself in this life. It can happen in several ways. It may be that you compare yourself with another rather than the inspired standard (cf. 2 Corinthians 10:12). It may that your problem is arrogance, and you are dismissive of views other than your own. (cf. Proverbs 16:18). It may be that ignorance or prejudice leaves you vulnerable to being “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14; cf. 2 Peter 3:14-16). Regardless, self-deception is rampant.

The apostle Paul, in our text, shares the secret to avoiding self deception. Become a fool. The idea parallels his words in 1 Corinthians 1:8, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

It is only when we submit ourselves to the will of God that we can be assured we have a firm grasp on our relationship with Him. God has revealed Himself to us so that we have a full and complete understanding of what He requires of us. We can examine our lives and hearts, holding them up to the light of God’s word, and be either confident in our standing, or aware of the changes we need to make to be pleasing to Him. “Lean not on your own understanding!” (Proverbs 3:5).

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The Patternists: Unless the Lord Builds the House

Patternist

“Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain” (Psalm 127:1).

The Psalmist declares an axiomatic truth. We simply can’t prosper without God’s approval. It is such an important thing that it is foolish to presume that God is pleased with us. And yet, presumption is the norm. It is said time and again: “I know the Lord is happy with my worship.” “I am confident that the Lord is pleased with my ministry.” “I am certain the Lord approves of my lifestyle.” These sentiments and their ilk are commonly expressed with absolutely no basis other than the opinions and subjective emotions of the speaker.

The only way we can be certain that the Lord approves of our lives, faith and worship is if He has revealed His approval of these things. The only place that God has revealed His will to man is through the Holy Scriptures. Remember, assumption is presumption. Instead, make sure that it is the Lord that is building your house!

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FB: State of Your Life

West Side on FB

This evening the President is set to deliver his final state of the union address to the combined houses of Congress, and the American people.

It is appropriate from time to time to take stock of where we are as a nation, to set goals, to correct mistakes, and to resolve to do better in the future.

It seems equally appropriate that we do the same with our individual lives. Paul wrote, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? —unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Corinthians 13:5).

So, how about it? What is the state of your life? What spiritual goals do you have? What mistakes do you need to correct? What are your specific resolutions as you seek to live “soberly, righteously and godly in the present age”? (cf. Titus 2:12).

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Sermon: Derailed While Young

ImageThere are many pitfalls that may befall a young person who is not sufficiently spiritually minded. The sermon considers 10 such dangers.

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Sermon: The Capabilities of God

ImageDaniel 3 is an arresting example of God’s capabilities to protect and reward those who are His. He has the power, and the mercy to be faithful in His promises to us.

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From the Preacher’s Pen: Conformation, not Vindication

Image“These were more fair- minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).

The Bereans were fair-minded. Why? It is because they had the right attitude toward the Scriptures. For us to emulate their example, we must as well.

First, realize that the truth is the truth. That is, it is revealed, absolute and unchanging. While men’s perceptions may vacillate, the truth remains inviolate.

Our approach to truth should be a desire for conformity. We do not go to the Scriptures to rationalize and validate our settled practice or teaching. We use the Scriptures as a standard to which we compare our practice and teaching. If we find the two to be identical, we are vindicated; if we do not, we must change our practice or teaching.

We make a mistake if we go to the Scriptures with settled convictions regarding our practice or teaching. If that is so, and the two do not agree, our tendency will be to twist the Scriptures to our practice rather than to conform our practice to the Scriptures.

The question must be, what do the Scriptures teach? We then compare our own practice and teaching to the light of that divine standard, with the purpose of conforming our practice and teaching to it.

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The Patternists: Contending for the Truth

Patternist

Recent forays into blog and Facebook comments have again uncovered the idea that those who have the audacity to point out religious error are uncharitable, un-Christian, stubborn, and bizarre.

Some comments come from people who ridicule the concept of divine inspiration and the veracity of the Bible. Too often, however, those who show such animosity toward a defense of truth are themselves claimed followers of Christ.

To the former we confess no surprise. The idea of contending over a book which is the product of men is nonsensical, and we understand their disdain.

To the latter we defend ourselves with the following words from the pen of Jude:

“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (verse 3).

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FB: Resting Fully in Grace

West Side on FB

“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy'” (1 Peter 1:13-16).

People today have peculiar ideas about the grace we receive from God through Jesus. Never in scripture does the concept of grace bring with it the idea we are not obligated to obey God. Paul condemns the idea (cf. Romans 6:1). Paul also told Titus that grace teaches us to live soberly and righteously (cf. Titus 2:11-12).

Peter, in the text above says the same. Trusting in God’s grace is here illustrated as sober and holy living. As seen in the phrase, “gird up the loins of your mind” it takes diligent and concerted effort on our part. Because of grace, we must obey!

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Invitation: Gird up the loins of your mind

Image Invitation delivered by: Stan Cox

1 Peter 1:13-16 teaches that we rest our hope fully on the grace of God by preparing ourselves to live righteous lives.

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Sermon: One Body, One Spirit

One Body, One SpiritSermon by Jeremiah Cox.

A textual study of 1 Corinthians 12-14, expressing the purpose of spiritual gifts (edification), and discussing unity in the Spirit.

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Sermon: Beer Lahai Roi

ImageSermon by: Jeremiah Cox

In Genesis 16, Hagar called the well where she talked with God, “Beer Lahai Roi”, asking “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?”

From this story we learn: 1) God sees our affliction; and, 2) God also makes Himself seen/known.

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