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

Wait On Your God


“So you, by the help of your God, return; observe mercy and justice, and wait on your God continually” (Hosea 12:6).

It is hard to be patient. This is especially so when you perceive injustice. While you are striving to be good and righteous, the ungodly prosper. The Psalmist knew this, and counseled:

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Reading a Lump of Coal


Bible believers have long defended the text of Scripture against the attacks of skeptics. For a long while this defense, specifically regarding the text of the Old Testament, was made more difficult by relatively recent manuscript evidence that formed the basis of the Hebrew text.

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Video Transcript: The Christian Faith is Under Attack!


The national elections are less than two months away. While it is not my place as a preacher to tell anyone who to vote for, it is my place to defend the Christian faith against attack. In fact, all Christians have that same imperative!

Remember the words of Jude. He wrote to his brethren, “…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” (Jude 3).

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The Christian Faith Is Under Attack!

Making Good Choices


Our lives consist of a series of choices. The choices we make determine the path that our life will take. Wrong turns can have tragic consequences, but good choices can make for a joyous and fulfilling tenure here on earth. Of course, our choices can also impact our eternal standing with God. The mansion prepared for us by the Lord (cf. John 14:1-2) hangs in the balance, dependent upon the decisions we make.

The life of Moses serves as a wonderful example in this regard. His life was first influenced by the decision made by his mother. “So the woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months” (Exodus 2:2). When she could hide him no longer, her desperate act to save her son resulted in Moses being raised by the daughter of Pharaoh.

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FB: A Broken Spirit


“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin” (Psalm 51:1-2).

This text from David’s psalm shows his truly penitent spirit following his adultery with Bathsheba. Though it took a direct admonition from Nathan to bring him to his senses, there is no doubt that David felt remorse for his sin.

He said, “I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me” (3). This confession, accompanied with his godly sorrow provoked God’s tender mercies.

The Christian too, if he is truly sorrowful for the sins he commits, can receive forgiveness from God. He must acknowledge his sins, repent, and pray God’s forgiveness.

May each of us remember, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
a broken and a contrite heart — These, O God, You will not despise”

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The Patternists: The Way of the Fool


“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise” (Proverbs 12:15).

Perhaps we live in a foolish culture, but it is typical of the religious individual today to do what “is right in his own eyes.” We have been told time and again of the confidence the fool has that “God is pleased with what I do.”

Men justify immodesty because “God created me this way, and there is nothing wrong with celebrating the beauty of our bodies.” This despite the fact that the Holy Spirit reveals that to “uncover the thigh” constitutes a nakedness that is shameful to expose (cf. Isaiah 47:2-3).

Men justify willful worship, because “God gave me this gift, and so it is pleasing to Him for me to use it.” This despite the fact that the Lord said that such worship is vain and iniquitous (cf. Matthew 7:21-23; 15:9).

Men justify the existence of denominations (division) because “God doesn’t care which church you are a member of, or what they teach, so long as you love Him.” This despite the fact that Jesus prayed to His Father, “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:21; cf. 1 Corinthians 1:10).

We could go on and on with examples of such foolishness. Truly the wise man “heeds counsel” especially the Divine counsel of God’s word.

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The most potent weapon Christians have in combating life’s difficulties and the despair that accompanies them is the realization that our ultimate victory has already been secured through the work of our Lord. Paul acknowledged this reality in 1 Corinthians 15 as he wrote of the significance of Christ’s resurrection.

If Christ has not been raised from the dead after dying for our sins, Paul noted, “your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished” (17-18). But, because Christ has gained victory over death, the reality is far different! “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (19). Our confidence lies in the fact of Christ’s accomplishment. Because Christ was raised from the dead, we know that the faithful will be as well, as He promised! Paul wrote, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (57).

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“We are … the thought leaders”


It is a bit disconcerting how far our world has strayed from the paths of righteousness. The wise man once wrote, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). These words are true wisdom, and the sinfulness of our society certainly is a reproach to our nation.

It is hard for the Christian to understand how the world has reached the state it is presently in. We are truly living in a time similar to that which existed during Isaiah’s tenure on earth, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:20-21). How did we get here? Consider the following anecdote.

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Abraham – A Committed Faith


Abraham is a wonderful example of a man who had a total commitment of faith toward God. “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:8-10).

The obstacles he encountered during his pilgrimage were formidable. His response of faith necessitated his remaining life be spent as a nomad in a land that was not his own. He suffered through famine, and danger because He believed the threefold promise God had made to him. God had promised that land where he dwelt in tents would be given to his descendants. He had promised that those descendants, (from Isaac, the son of promise), would become a great nation (Israel). Finally, God promised that through Abraham’s seed a Savior of all nations would come (cf. Genesis 12:1-3).

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FB: Worship the Lord

Worship the Lord

In the 29th Psalm, we have a beautiful description of the power of the voice of the Lord. Consider the following sentiments:

The Voice of the Lord

  • “is over the waters” (3)
  • is powerful” (4)
  • “is full of majesty” (4)
  • “breaks the cedars” (5)
  • “splinters the cedars of Lebanon” (5)
  • “divides the flames of fire” (7)
  • “shakes the wilderness” (8)
  • “makes the deer give birth” (9)
  • “strips the forests bare” (9)

This description is given within the context of a call to worship Him. “Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” (2). Because of who God is, because of His character, wisdom, power and position, He is due (or worthy) honor.

He requires His worshippers to be holy. “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 1:15-16). May each “purify your hearts” (James 4:8), and “Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”

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The Patternists: The Rule of Law

The Rule of Law

In the midst of all the rhetoric heard concerning immigration, protest and racial tension that is troubling our country, the voice of scripture is seldom heard. Consider these words from the pen of the apostle Peter:

“Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good” (1 Peter 2:13-14).

Obviously, the worldly disregard scripture. They could care less what God has to say regarding citizenship. However, the true Christian is constrained by the Holy Spirit. Scripture tells us that we are to obey the laws of the land, “for the Lord’s sake.” Those who disregard the rule of law do so to their soul’s detriment.

Yes, there is a limit to the obedience we proffer to our government (cf. Acts 5:29). But that threshold is far above the lawlessness that has gained the acceptance and even approval of a large segment of our nation. Both the laws of God and of man must be respected. God said so!

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The Path to Joy


The wise man of Ecclesiastes had it right in despairing of a contemplated life without God’s presence. “‘Vanity of vanities,’ says the Preacher; ‘Vanity of vanities, all is vanity’” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). Life only has meaning if God is in the picture. Otherwise, it is without any lasting value or purpose. Men everywhere live out their short existence on earth without hope beyond the grave. Such an existence is truly vain. “One generation passes away, and another generation comes; but the earth abides forever” (1:4).

Many of the problems we have with sorrow and despair come from this flawed perspective on life. Above all other things, we must recognize our purpose on earth is to serve God. If we do, we can with that realization have a happy and productive life, and after, a sure hope of eternal bliss. As the wise man concluded in his contemplation of life, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil” (12:13-14).

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The Bible View of Sexuality

Bible and Sexuality

We live in a promiscuous society. According to a 2008 survey reported by the Guttmacher Institute, 90% of single women between the ages of 20 and 44 are sexually experienced. 70% identified themselves as currently sexually active. Among teenagers for the past 15 years, the percentage of teenagers (15-19) who have had sex has remained fairly constant (44% of girls, 49% of boys, Resource Center for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention).

It should not be surprising that some churches are changing their teaching regarding premarital sex. One example of this is a recently published book by Bromleigh McCleneghan, a married mother of three, and “associate pastor for ministry with families” at the Union Church of Hinsdale in Illinois. The title of her book is, “Good Christian Sex”, with the subtitle, “Why Chastity Isn’t the Only Option—And Other Things the Bible Says About Sex.”

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FB: Are We Doing Good?

doing good

In Acts 10 we have the record of Peter’s sermon in Cornelius’ house. In verse 38 Peter related how, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”

A major point of Peter’s statement was the power given to Jesus. This power to perform such miracles identifies Him as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

However, you might also note that He went about doing good. Jesus is not only our Master, He is a righteous Master! In this, He serves as our example. We are to do good, because we are to strive to be like Him! “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master…” (Matthew 10:24-25).

Jesus went about doing good! Are you?

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