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

In the News: A False Dichotomy

Image I don’t know about you, but I’m afraid I might throw a rock through my television screen before the ongoing Presidential race is settled more than a year from now.

The political discourse in our nation is full of partisanship. It is commonly charged that if you hold a particular view, you automatically are diametrically opposed to another precept that all hold dear. The partisanship is found on each end of the spectrum. A part of it is seen in the view that “our guy” can do no wrong, and if he is proven to have done so, he is to be excused; while “their guy” is obviously worthy of being horsewhipped at the slightest suspicion of wrongdoing.

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From the Preacher’s Pen: “You did not tell me the truth”


Consider the following quote from one preacher:

I would rather have thousands say to me at the judgment, “We heard you preach, and you hurt our feelings,” than have just one lost soul to say, “I heard you preach, but you did not tell me the truth.”

John T. Lewis

I understand the importance of tact in preaching the gospel of our Lord. It does no good to couch truth in terms that are unpalatable to the ears of the lost. If we can speak the truth in a way that will lead the hearer to receive it rather than reject it, we should. However, in all things, the truth must be taught!

It also is important to consider that no matter how the truth is preached, the rebellious will not accept it. When Stephen was stoned to death by an angry mob (cf. Acts 7), the fault was with the hearts of the hearers, not Stephen. For some men, no matter how careful our words, they will be offended. Jesus taught his disciples that as servants, they were not above Him as their Master. Jesus was hated, and sent to the cross. He told them when they went forth to teach His gospel “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:22).

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The Patternists: Bible Based Unity


The Bible reveals discord and division to be sinful. When the Corinthians showed themselves to be divided, Paul wrote, “for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?” (1 Corinthians 3:3).

There are two ways to avoid discord. The first is commonly practiced by religious groups today. It is through compromise, setting aside doctrinal disagreements in order to get along. This is a tenet of those denominations that count themselves part of the ecumenical movement, a movement dedicated to “universal Christian unity” based on an acceptance of diverse beliefs and practices.

The second way is the Biblical philosophy of unity, based on mutual acceptance of the divine standard, the truth of God’s word. This way is identified clearly in Jesus’ prayer to God, recorded in John 17:20-21, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 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.” Our unity must mirror the unity of Jesus and His Father. Jesus stated clearly in John 5:30, “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.”

As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1:10). This unity in speech, thought and judgment can come only when all agree with and submit to the will of God.

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FB: Keep Your Heart with Diligence

West Side on FB

The book of Proverbs has many wonderful nuggets of wisdom. A favorite of mine:

(Proverbs 4:23), “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.”

The concept is very simple. If we are not careful, our heart will be corrupted by the ungodly culture in which we live. In every generation the majority choose to rebel against God (cf. Matthew 7:13). It is the classic case of light versus darkness, righteousness verses lawlessness, Christ versus Belial (cf. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18).

Since the majority reject God, it should not surprise us that the influences that rule are predominately evil. In the face of this we must be diligent (vigilant, ESV). The term involves the idea of a guard who is at his post.

Considering the importance of the task, Albert Barnes wrote, “The heart is such a fountain, out of it flow the ‘issues’ of life. Shall men let those streams be tainted at the fountain-head?”

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In the News: Is the Pope Humble?

Image I am sure some who read this would object to the question. They might first object to any question of his humility as absurd. It has, after all, been his most commonly acknowledged attribute, proclaimed by the media which has covered each of his appearances in America. Others might object to the idea we might “judge” the heart of another. Who are we to deem the Pope as being anything other than what he “appears” or “claims” to be.

Of course, the judging of hearts is not appropriate. And, I freely admit that despite the adulation supplied him, his cloistered lifestyle, and his privileged existence, he continues to speak to and show compassion toward those who are poor and destitute.

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From the Preacher’s Pen: On Worship and Football

ImageI have read, heard and even opined myself on the willingness of so many to attend a football game, or other sporting event or entertainment event, and willingly suffer from weather or other discomforts for the joy of the occasion.

People routinely get up in the wee hours of the morning, or stand in long lines, or suffer through extremes of heat, cold or other weather related trials to cheer on their teams, or play their games, or listen to their music. And, if the game or concert were to go into “overtime”, they consider it a positive development.

In contrast, they may view a 9:00 am Bible study to be too early, a bit warm or slightly cool auditorium not sufficiently comfortable, and a 45 minute lesson an inappropriate imposition upon their time and attention.

The issue is not the relative entertainment value. I know well that a nip and tuck football game is far more entertaining than a long winded preacher. The issue is the extent of your desire to be with God and His people!

So, how about it? Can you say with David, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord'” (Psalm 122:1)?

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The Patternists: Christ as Savior, but not Lord?


The apostle Peter proclaimed at the climax of his sermon on Pentecost, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36).

Unanimously, those who purport faith in Jesus trumpet Him as their Christ. He is the anointed of God, the Savior of mankind. They claim a “personal relationship” with Him, and give Him credit for securing the forgiveness of their sins, and their relationship with God the Father. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6), and they believe it.

Much less common is the willingness to accept the Lordship of Jesus. The greek word translated “Lord” (kurios) denotes authority. The question Jesus asked of His listeners 2000 years ago is relevant today, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).

Many who claim Jesus to be the anointed of God routinely disregard His will for them in matters of worship, work, morality and relationships. In so doing, they show their claim that Jesus is their personal Savior is fraudulent.

Simply put, you can’t accept Jesus as your Christ unless you accept Him as your Lord! Do His will!

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A church for people who don’t like church?

Culture ClashA few weeks ago I came across a website for a “Cowboy church” in the metroplex which trumpeted that they were “A church for people who don’t like church!” It is an interesting phrase. An internet search shows it to also be a popular one, being adopted by different groups who want to reach out to the lost by inappropriately accommodating their discomfort with the practice of religion.

Note this quote from VERVE, a non-denominational church in Las Vegas, NV:

“But the reality is that there are a lot of people who are looking for God and seeking a spiritual dimension to life, but just don’t want to go to church to find it.

And who can blame them? Most churches seem judgmental and holier than thou. They make you wear your Sunday best, play music from the 1800s, and are too into politics. And they seem to care more about people’s money than people.”

Continue reading » A church for people who don’t like church?

Sermon: Anatomy of Institutional Apostasy

Image Many denominations have departed from any semblance of Biblical faithfulness. From Heresy to Sectarianism to Denominationalism to full blown Humanism, the process of the institutional apostsy is explained.

Those who are faithful must learn from history, and heed the warnings to remain faithful to the standard, God’s word.


Sermon: Steps of Salvation

Steps of SalvationA simple lesson, using a chart for personal work (Slide #2) of the PPTX file. Explains both God’s Part, and Man’s Part in the salvation of any individual.


Powerpoint Slides

Invitation: The Antichrist

Image Invitation delivered by: Stan Cox

In 1 John 2:18 and following, John mentions the antichrist. A proper understanding of the concept of antichrist recognizes that it correctly describes anyone who opposes the Lord.


Sermon: Drawing Near to Christ Through Song


Sermon by Josh Cox

As a part of our worship to God, we sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. As with all worship, we must sing in “spirit and in truth” (cf. John 4:24).


Sermon: Followers of Christ

Followers of ChristDiscipleship requires sacrifice on the part of the follower. This is especially true as we consider what our Lord expects from us! It is worth the effort to examine, what kind of followers are we?


Powerpoint Slides

Invitation: Pray for Wise Words

Image Invitation delivered by: Stan Cox

In Colossians 4:2-6 we see that Paul petitioned for prayers that he might know how he ought to speak in converting the lost. If Paul needed such help from God, how much more are we in need of such wisdom!


Mining the Scriptures: Galatians 2:1-5


Paul was continually embroiled in conflict with Judaizing teachers, who he here refers to as “false brethren.” Their view of the Christian faith nullified the grace of God. They viewed Christ as continuing the covenant between Jews and God, and viewed any Gentile Christian as a proselyte.

Circumcision, as a token of the covenant between God and Israel became the point of contention, and Paul was not going to compromise the gospel to appease these evil men. He protected Titus (a Gentile) by refusing to allow him to be circumcised. Paul’s correct understanding of the covenant of grace was that both He (a Jew), and Titus (a Gentile) were spiritual Jews, whose circumcision was not of the flesh, but of the heart! (cf. Romans 2:28-29).

We have liberty in Christ. Our appeal is to God’s grace. An appeal to the Old Law brings men into the bondage of sin.