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: Perilous Men

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Paul warned his protege Timothy of perilous times and evil men in 2 Timothy 3. The characteristics of these men are listed in verses 2-4, but the frightening aspect of that description is the conclusion in verse 5, “having a form of godliness…”

The religious rebel seldom is overt in his ungodliness, which is precisely why so many tend to tolerate and even support him. In verses 8 and 9 of the text, Paul states that such men, “resist the truth”, and are “disapproved concerning the faith.”

Both terms, truth and faith, here refer to God’s revelation to man. There are many religious people who profess godliness, but resist the pattern established by God. Paul assures, “they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all” (9).

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FB: An Image of Salvation

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Though there is a present trend toward more “casual” weddings, it has long been the practice of the betrothed to dress up on their special day. A groom may not have ever seen a cummerbund before, but on his wedding day he straps one on, asking friends and family if the pleats go up or down.

The bride typically wears white, a long dress with lots of lace, and a long flowing train. The veil, hair and jewelry combine to make for a special and beautiful bride, and a wonderful celebration.

These things are not unique to the west or to the present. Consider the special nature of such an occasion, and the wonderful metaphor it supplies for the salvation of mankind. Isaiah wrote:

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a brid adorns herself with her jewels” (Isaiah 61:10).

What a glorious picture of the sublime salvation we enjoy as God’s children!

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Sermon: The Burning Bush

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God’s conversation with Moses at the burning bush in Exodus 3, reveals important lessons about God’s presence, and the importance of a sanctified life in response to His redemptive plan.

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Powerpoint Slides

Sermon: Seven Facts About the Resurrection

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There is a lot of speculation and misinformation concerning the resurrection.
The lesson establishes seven facts about the resurrection from scriptures such as John 5 & 1 Corinthians 15.

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Powerpoint Slides

Bona Fide Religious Purpose?

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In 2007, the state of Iowa updated the state’s Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The statute prohibits “unfair or discriminatory practice” in any public accommodation. However, it contains an exemption for religious organizations. A provision in the law states that the law does not apply to “any bona fide religious institution with respect to any qualifications the institution may impose based on religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity when such qualifications are related to a bona fide religious purpose.” The term “bona fide religious purpose” is nebulous.

In fact, a brochure published by the Iowa Civil Rights Commission interpreted the law in a broad fashion. The brochure stated:

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The Patternists: God Was Not Well Pleased

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The apostle Paul wrote of ancient Israel in her infancy as a nation. “But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted” (1 Corinthians 10:5-6).

The reasons for God’s displeasure, both at the beginning and through Israel’s entire national history are myriad. They can be simply summarized in this statement – They did not obey God’s will for them. At turns they were rebellious, prideful and negligent. Regardless, God told them what He required of them, and they did not follow His will.

Today there are religious people who are guilty of the same thing. They give lipservice to God, but do not follow His will. They have not learned from the example of Israel.

The next time someone tells you that the Bible was not intended by God to be a “pattern” for the Christian, remember God’s dealings with Israel. They were “written for our admonition” (11).

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FB: Support for Our Police

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I am personally appalled and discouraged by the attacks upon the police in the past couple of weeks. While I acknowledge that corruption and abuse of power may exist in certain circumstances, the anti-police sentiment that has led to inflammatory rhetoric, physical assaults and murder of police officers is indefensible.

There is a simple, logical statement from the pen of the Apostle Paul that is appropriate here:

“For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil” (Romans 13:3-4).

Violence and disregard for law in our land is rampant. Evildoers will always exist, but it seems in our time that their destructive efforts are enabled by the ineffectual and misguided efforts of some of our country’s leaders. National leaders need to step up, support and enable the police to maintain peace and protect our communities. Those who threaten the safety of law enforcement officers should be dealt with swiftly and decisively.

As the wise man wrote, “Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” (Ecclesiastes 8:11).

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Sermon: Gaining the Father’s Reward

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The lesson is an exposition of the text of Matthew 6:1-18, with applications. Jesus, in his sermon on the mount, gives instructions regarding the practice of benevolence, prayer and fasting.

Audio – 1 (am)

Audio – 2 (pm)

Powerpoint Slides

Become a Fool

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“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. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God” (1 Corinthians 3:18-19).

Human “wisdom” that denies God or His word is described by Paul here as only illusory, (“seems to be wise”). Interestingly, he also refers to being wise “in this age.” It seems that every generation believes itself to be wiser than the one before. There is an arrogance of time that leads the current generation to disregard the accomplishments and knowledge of the previous one.

An example. Many of the most accomplished Presidents of our nation believed in God, and in the Bible’s inspiration. However, to many today, such a belief in and of itself makes a man unqualified to serve in the office. Such arrogance is disturbing.

The problem is that knowledge is equated with wisdom. Because men gain more and more understanding of technology, science and medicine, they think themselves to be more capable than their predecessors in other realms as well. However, there is nothing in those disciplines that either disproves or invalidates the words of the great apostle Paul, “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things” (Acts 17:24-25).

To gain actual wisdom rather than the illusory wisdom that has its origin with men, we must turn to God and His will. We are fooling ourselves if we don’t. As our text states, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.”

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Invitation: Be Reconciled to God

Image Invitation delivered by: Stan Cox

In 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 Paul speaks of our being a “new creation” in Christ. This happens because we are reconciled with God.

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FB: How Important is Love?

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There are so many different philosophies of life, with different values and priorities, it seems it would be difficult to determine the most important attribute an individual might have. In fact, the Holy Spirit has revealed that attribute in a very interesting way in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.”

Love is most important. If love is not present, inspiration, knowledge, faith and sacrifice are all vain. That is not to say that such are not important, or even necessary. It is to simply say that they are not supreme. As Paul concluded the chapter, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love (vs. 13).

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The Patternists: “God is NOT the author of confusion”

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In 1 Corinthians 14:33, the apostle Paul wrote, “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” These words were written at the end of Paul’s admonition to the Corinthians for their failure to conduct an acceptable worship assembly.

In verse 26 he commanded, “Let all things be done for edification.” When teaching is done one person speaks and the others listen, resulting in edification. In the early church, the acts of prophesy and tongue speaking was to bring edification, and the same pattern was to be followed. One person speaks, the others listen, that they may be edified. A cacaphony of voices produces confusion, a lone voice speaking the word of God brings growth.

Many denominations, pursuing emotional gratification, equate spontaneous and multiple eruptions with edification. In this text Paul reveals the two are antithetical to one another. As he concluded, “If anyone think himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things I write to you are the commandments of the Lord. But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant” (vs. 37-38).

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Sermon: “Be holy, for I am holy”

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Sermon by Armando Vera

God is holy, and as sanctified individuals, Christians must live their lives in a holy way before Him.

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Sermon: The Christian and Politics

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Sermon by Bob Ward

In 1 Peter 2:13-17, the Apostle Peter indicated that we are to “Honor the King.” The lesson discusses the appropriateness of Christians involving themselves in the political process, and the issues of the day.

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How to Succeed in Sharing the Gospel

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Recently, in doing some reading about evangelism, I came across a sermon outline by Mark Copeland titled “Perspectives for Success in Evangelism”. The lesson pointed out that even diligent Christians can reach a point where they become discouraged or apathetic with regard to teaching the lost. As this is an important duty for the child of God, it is important to avoid that trap. Mark points out certain perspectives that will help a person maintain enthusiasm and persistence in seeking opportunities to teach others. I want to share and discuss them in this short post.

Continue reading » How to Succeed in Sharing the Gospel