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

The Patternists: We Walk by Faith

Faith

The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:7, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” Contextually, these words were a reference to his surety about life after death. “So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord” (vs. 6). Men wonder, “What happens after we die?” Paul was a Christian. He knew. God told him. He was confident that after death he would be rewarded with eternal life (cf. 2 Timothy 4:8).

Since judgment was certain, and an eternal existence after death was his lot, how did Paul react? “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him” (vs. 9).

It is unwise to live your life to please yourself. If you make it your aim to please Him, then you too can look forward to an existence in the presence of God!

God has revealed to us what pleases and displeases Him. It is foolish to take chances, presuming to know what pleases God. Instead, make it your aim to learn God’s will, and do what is “pleasing to Him.”

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Sermon: The Birth of Jesus

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The first in a series of sermons following our Bible Class cirriculum.

What does the birth of Jesus mean to us?

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Sermon: Perfect Hatred

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There is a sense in which Christians not only can “hate”, but must. However, this hatred must be in accord with God’s word and will. A proper understanding of the principles will assist the Christian in pleasing God.

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Sermon: What if I am a One Talent Man?

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Regardless of my talent, I have value to the Lord. I am to be a good steward, and I am promised a wonderful reward!

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Sermon: Reverence in Worship

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The Psalmist (Psalm 89:7) calls for fear and reverence in the assemblies of the Saints. The lesson emphasizes the benefits of joy, gladness, quietness and orderliness in attaining this ideal.

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Urgent Need

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We are praying for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. The power of nature has been amply demonstrated. It is alarming how impotent man is when the elements unleash with fury.

The response to this tragedy is appropriate. Men have been talking about God. Prayers are solicited and offered, and the expressions of love that should be the default practice of all men has come to the forefront. For this we are thankful.

We have a Savior who showed power to still the wind and waves, “Peace, be still!” (Mark 4:39). This power is not surprising, as He is the Creator of all things! “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3).

While we thank God for all the petitions made in His Son’s name, for protection and healing in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, we are mindful of a multitude of souls floundering in the morass of sin. Let us never forget the tragedy that is greater than a loss of property or life — the loss of the soul. “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Matthew 16:26).

You are praying for your fellow man, and offering help in time of need. Have you considered the urgent need of spiritual healing for those same souls? Are you as willing to share the gospel of our Lord? Something to think about!

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Sermon: Who Wants to Know What God Thinks About Divorce?

Divorce

Some people don’t care what God thinks. Others are curious, looking for a loophole, and some accept what God says, no matter the cost of discipleship.

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Sermon: Wise Counsel

Wise Counsel

Wise counsel comes ultimately from God’s word. So, those we ask for counsel: our parents, our friends, our elders, can be depended upon if they couch their advice in righteousness!

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Stand in the Gap

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Ezekiel prophesied during the days of Babylonian captivity, and one reason for the fall of the Jews was a lack of leadership for the people. The prophets, priests and princes were all singled out for their ungodliness. Of them, the Lord said:

“So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one” (Ezekiel 22:30).

The dearth of righteous leadership is destructive to any people. This was true of Israel, is true in our country today, and can be true in the church.

In the Lord’s church today, we need men to “stand in the gap” on behalf of God’s people. We need preachers who will declare the whole counsel of God, and serve as righteous examples to the flock (cf. 1 Timothy 4:12-16). We need elders whose maturity and godly example will protect the flock against the “savage wolves” that are about (cf. Acts 20:29). We need deacons of good reputation and wisdom (cf. Acts 6:3) to assist the flock.

We need these men and others “for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (cf Ephesians 4:12). God today is looking for men and women to “stand in the gap.” When He looks in your direction, will you bravely and boldly stand for Him?

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“Abolished in His flesh the enmity”

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The apostle Paul acknowledged the hostility that existed between Jew and Gentile in the first century. He also acknowledged that such enmity was a result of the Law of Moses. This Law placed a barrier between the Jew (the chosen people of God), and the rest of humanity.

That Law was special, even necessary to prepare the world for the Messiah of God. In Galatians 3:24, Paul wrote, “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” The Law of Moses was wonderful, but never intended by God to be the means of mankind’s redemption. The promise that God made to Abraham that He would make of his descendants a great nation, was accompanied by the promise that “…in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3).

This promise was realized when that Law of Moses ceased its authority over men (cf. Romans 7:1-6). When Jesus paid the price for the sins of all mankind, Paul wrote that He, “abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity” (Ephesians 2:15-16).

We do not mourn the loss of Moses’ law. Instead, we rejoice that it served its purpose, to “bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” Now, we state with joy, “But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor” (Galatians 3:25). “For through Him we both [Jew and Gentile] have access by one Spirit to the Father” (Ephesians 2:18).

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Parable of the Two Sons

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In Matthew 21:28-32, Jesus condemns the Jewish leaders for their disobedience by using this parable to illustrate their sin. Other observations, on pride, prejudice, the Lordship of Jesus, and true repentance are included in the discussion.

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FB: The Cure for Despair

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Despair is a condition common to man. Even those who are strongest spiritually come across circumstances and times where they can cope only with the help of the Lord. The Psalmist felt this way, and said:

“To You I will cry, O Lord my Rock: do not be silent to me, lest, if You are silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit” (Psalm 28:1).

Can you imagine crying out to a God who has no concern for your welfare? To make your petition known, only to expect and receive no help? Fortunately, we know and understand that God loves His children. Those who are His can:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

The Psalmist knew of the tender mercies of His God. In the midst of his despair he cried out, expected and received an answer from His God:

“Blessed be the Lord, because He has heard the voice of my supplications! The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him” (Psalm 28:6-7).

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How My Self-Identity Influences My Actions

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Merriam Webster defines self-identification: “the act of identifying yourself as a particular kind of person.” It is a term that has only recently gained prominence. Typically, it is used with regard to race, gender or sexual attraction. A dictionary example given is that of a man who has one parent who is black and another who is white, who self-identifies as black.

Most examples of self-identification are logical. I have children, thus self-identify as a father. I also self-identify as a husband, as a grandfather, as an American, and proudly, as a Texan. These examples are fact based. However, some other recent examples of self-identification defy logic and fact.

Continue reading » How My Self-Identity Influences My Actions

Sermon: Jesus’ Call – “Follow Me”

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The concept of discipleship, with its sacrifices as well as its rewards, is summed up in words Jesus spoke numerous times in Matthew’s gospel, “Follow Me.”

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Sermon: God’s Pattern For Our Whole Life

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God is our Creator, and deserves our respect and obedience. His revealed will impacts us in every aspect of our lives.

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