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

Invitation: Paul’s Prayer for the Ephesians

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In Ephesians 3, Paul’s prayer for them was that they might know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge.

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FB: Paul’s Fear

Saint Paul, Rembrandt van Rijn (and Workshop ), c

“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3).

Paul noted instances of corruption during his ministry. They included:

  • Judaizing teachers who sought to impose circumcision upon the Gentiles (cf. Acts 15:1).
  • A sectarian spirit at work among fellow Christians (1 Corinthians 11).
  • A corruption of the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:20-21).
  • A denial of the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:12).
  • A contention that the resurrection was already past (2 Timothy 2:16-18).

Consider first Paul’s fear. Consider second that his fear was not unfounded. Do not be deceived by any who would seek to minimize or explain away any departure from truth in our time.

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The Patternists: The Pedagogue

pedagogue

In ancient times, wealthy Romans and Greeks commissioned a slave to care for the well being and morals of their sons. This trusted slave was called a pedagogue (from the Greek pais – a boy; and ago – to lead).

In Galatians 3:23-24, Paul used the term to refer to the Old Covenant that God had with Israel. The NKJV translates the term “tutor.”

“But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”

The purpose of the pedagogue (the law) was to guard, protect, and lead to the Christ. It served its purpose well. Faith has come, and Christ is our Teacher, Savior and Lord.

Much can be gleaned about God and His interactions with men even today by perusing that previous covenant. But, it is the previous covenant. Verse 25 states, “But after faith has come, we are no longer under the tutor.”

Some Jewish Christians were seeking justification by an appeal to that previous covenant. With these words, Paul explained clearly that such efforts were vain and misguided. In chapter 5, Paul wrote, “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace” (vs. 4).

Some today seek similar justification from that covenant. Whether it be the observance of the Sabbath, tithing, or the use of mechanical instruments of music in worship, they should consider carefully the words of Paul before seeking such validation.

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Sermon: Marks of True Devotion

Marks of True Devotion

A discussion of Romans 12:1-8, indicating the need for self examination to ensure we are diligently sacrificing ourselves to our Lord as transformed individuals. This requires us to be active in our service to Him.

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Sermon: Ethics (God VS Man)

Ethics

The views that men hold regarding what is right and what is wrong often are at odds with what the Bible teaches. This lesson seeks to note those differences in the realm of man’s treatment of animals. Emphasis is made on what the word of God teaches regarding man’s responsibility toward the rest of creation.

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Invitation: Now is the Day of Salvation

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In 2 Corinthians 6:2, Paul expresses the immediate nature of the need to get right with God, “Behold, now is the day of salvation.”

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“Speak to us smooth things”

Speak to us smooth things

Some people have a problem with truth. Not all truth, just truth they find objectionable. By refusing to listen to it, they fail to hear what is needed to convict and convert them from sin to righteousness. Are you one of those people? Am I?

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“Cannot See Afar Off”

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In 2 Peter 1:9, Peter describes a state of spiritual myopia. Those who have this condition have trouble seeing far behind or ahead, which is necessary to see far within, and effect change that will benefit their soul.

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Invitation: Be Patient, Brethren

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James describes rich individuals in James 5 who were guilty of oppressing the poor, and perpetrating fraud. He assures their righteous victims that the Lord will settle accounts in eternity. We, as they, must simply be patient.

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Sermon: “Such as I am”

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In Acts 26:29, Paul told King Agrippa of his wish that the King would become “such as I am.” This was not egotistical. He knew the king needed to accept Jesus, just as Paul had done. What does it mean to be like Paul?

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Sermon: God’s Wisdom

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A discussion of how to implement the wisdom of God into the relationships we sustain in our lives. The key is humility, shown first in our acknowledgement of God, then in the selflessness we exhibit in our response to others.

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The Love of Christ Which Passes Knowledge

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In Ephesians 3:14-19 the apostle Paul uses the language of superlatives (but not hyperbole) to describe the nature of Christ’s love.

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“In Understanding be Mature”

old hands bible

It is interesting how foundational the concept of authority is to the Bible. Almost every page includes the concept, with calls to obey God, warnings about disobedience, and examples of those who experience God’s pleasure or wrath. Often the references are explicit, but there are innumerable implications as well.

In 1 Corinthians 14, the apostle Paul instructs his readers in the matter of spiritual gifts. He there explains that the gift of prophecy is of greater value than speaking in tongues. This is because prophecy can be understood, where tongue speaking can’t (without an interpreter). Paul writes, “Yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue” (vs. 19).

He then writes, “Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature” (vs. 20). One might ask, why is it so important to be mature in understanding? The answer is found in Paul’s contention in verse 37, “If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.”

One wag said, “It is the 10 commandments, not the 10 suggestions. We need awareness of what scripture teaches, because scripture contains God’s commandments to men. These instructions, by nature, are not optional. Remember, Jesus “became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9).

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FB: Dry Bones Come to Life!

Dry bones

In Ezekiel 37, the prophet passed by a valley full of dead men’s bones, “and indeed they were very dry.” The Lord directed Ezekiel to that valley to demonstrate two very important points.

First, He instructed Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones, “Thus says the Lord God to these bones: ‘Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live'” (5). His stated purpose for bringing the bones of these dead men back to life? “Then you shall know that I am the Lord.”

Second, He taught Ezekiel that this miracle was a metaphor for His intercession for Israel. “Then He said to me, ‘Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel.” As Israel was “dead” in captivity to Babylon, Jehovah stated, “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel” (vs. 11-12).

Consider:

  • God brought a remnant back from captivity (Ezra 1:1-3).
  • God brought Israel to spiritual life through Jesus (Acts 2:36).
  • God has promised life after death to spiritual Israel (1 Corinthians 15:51-57).

How true the sentiment, “Then you shall know that I am the Lord.” “Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that the Lord Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other” (Deuteronomy 4:39)..

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Sermon: A Father’s Duty

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King Hezekiah’s efforts to teach God’s truths to his son Manasseh were not particularly successful. However, fathers can, by diligent effort, instill in their children a proper and fruitful faith in God.

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