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 New Dialogue on Abortion?

Image Christians deal with moral issues so often that there is the danger of wearying of the fight. The daily bombardment of unrighteousness requires vigilance on our part, but I fear that some Christians simply tire of hearing about topics like abortion, homosexuality, racism, pornography, and other troubling societal problems. We must remember, however, that our enemy is relentless. He never ceases in furthering his agenda, and has been described by Peter as walking “about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Therefore, God’s people must be constantly on guard, constantly defending what is right (cf. Jude 3), and constantly applying Paul’s exhortation, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9).

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From the Preacher’s Pen: Preach the Word!

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Truth does not need to fear examination and debate. By nature, truth is superior to error, having a consistency and genuineness that stands in stark contrast to false doctrines that permeate religious thinking.

Last Wednesday just before leaving for Bible class, a couple of Jehovah’s Witnesses knocked on our door. The lady offered me a pamphlet with directions to the JW website, and I told her I would be glad to take it. I then offered her a pamphlet in return that I just happened to have sitting by the door. It is the Welcome Visitor pamphlet that we include in our visitor packets, and has our website address on it.

She refused to take it. As soon as she saw that I had my own convictions, she beat a quick retreat, off for easier prey. It was sad, really. I was nice, and told her that I was willing to have the exchange of pamphlets and views, but she was only willing to propagate her own teaching, not willing to consider that of others.
I told her, sadly, that if she wouldn’t take my pamphlet, then I didn’t think it playing fair to expect me to take hers. I find this rather typical of false teachers. They are eager to share their message, but unwilling to speak with those who might be capable of a critical examination of their claims.

We have the truth, and have no need to fear those who wish to study, examine or test our message. “Preach the word!” (cf. 2 Timothy 4:2).

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Invitation: Living and Dying

Invitation delivered by: Stan Cox

In 2 Corinthians 4, the apostle Paul contrasts the ultimate resolution of our physical lives (death) with the ultimate resolution of our spiritual lives as Christians (eternal life).

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Invitation: You Reap What You Sow

Invitation delivered by: Stan Cox

In Galatians 6:7-8, Paul warns that we will reap what we sow, and gives the exhortation to do good, to reap God’s approval.

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Sermon: The State of Israel without Christ

The apostle Paul dealt with Israel’s condition because of her rejection of Jesus in Romans chapters 9-11. Both Jew and Gentile can be saved only through God’s mercy, accessed only through Jesus Christ.

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Sermon: A Committed Life

We must not look back once we become a professing child of God. We must focus our lives on serving Christ first!

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Invitation: For the Love of God and Man

Invitation delivered by: Stan Cox

In 1 John 5:1-2, the apostle reveals that obedience to the commands of God are necessary for us to properly express our love both for God, and for man.

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From the Preacher’s Pen: A Love for Man

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I just came across a quote from Agnes Bojaxhiu, commonly known as Mother Teresa. Most are aware of her. She was a Catholic missionary who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her humanitarian work in India. While her theology as a Catholic is certainly flawed, this quote is very good:

People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.

Examining the quote, it reminds me of Jesus’ more concise words in Luke 6:31, “And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.” Commonly called the golden rule, the principle is shared by many faiths. The reason for this is its validity as a guiding principle for righteous lives.

The basis is, of course, a love for man. One who truly loves his fellow man is constantly seeking what is best for others. He does so despite criticism, and persists in the expression of that love even when it is not returned. It is not common, it is not easy, but it is a characteristic that must be present in our lives as Christians. Our goal is to please God, not man!

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Sermon: Sins of Omission

It is not enough to refrain from committing transgressions against God. It is also necessary that we fulfill the responsibilities that God has given us. We need to be careful not to sin by ommitting obedience to God’s requirements.

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Sermon: Proper Attitudes toward Spiritual Work

Every faithful Christian has that which he can and should do for God, as a member of a local congregation. To be useful for the Lord, certain attitudes must be present. Things such as eagerness, diligence, positivity and persistence.

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A Divine Identity

In his first epistle, the apostle Peter wrote the following words, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (2:9-10). The text affirms that Christians belong to God, and are special. Verse four states that Jesus Christ was rejected by men. Since that is so, it stands to reason that those who belong to Him will be rejected as well (cf. John 15:18-25).

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Invitation: Preaching, the Gospel, Faith and Salvation

Invitation delivered by: Stan Cox

Romans 1 and Romans 10 show the relationship between the preaching of the gospel, and the formation of the faith that saves men’s souls.

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From the Preacher’s Pen: The Last Shall be First!

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In Mark 9:35, Jesus taught His disciples an important lesson: “And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.’” The path to primacy in the spiritual realm is humble service.

This is, of course, counterintuitive. Most people think that the way to be first is to dominate, lead, impose, and curry favor. This is the way of the Gentiles (cf. Matthew 20:25), “Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant” (26).

Consider how this truth should impact our attitude toward this congregation and our brethren. Elders, deacons, preachers, teachers, all are to be servants of the church. But, each individual member should consider themselves to be the same. You are not a member at West Side because of what the congregation has to offer. Rather, you are here to offer yourself to God and to His people!

What are you doing for the Lord and His people? Evaluate your responsibilities and the effort you put in from week to week as a member here. Can you be doing more? Can you increase your contribution to the growth and love of this family? Do you have an attitude of “What can others do for me?”, or is it “What can I do for others?” It is a blessed thing to be a servant of all, and it carries with it the most wonderful promise!

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Sermon: Blotted Out

The phrase “blotted out” occurs on several occasions in scripture. Interesting lessons can be learned by examining its use. What God blots out remains obliterated for as long as He wills it.

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From the Preacher’s Pen: “Thy Kingdom Come”

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When Jesus taught his disciples how to pray in Matthew 6, what did He mean by the words, “Thy kingdom come?” Obviously, he meant for them to pray for the arrival of His kingdom. The Old Testament had prophesied that coming in numerous places, including Daniel 2:44, “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.”

This prophecy was fulfilled in the first century. Remember, Jesus promised the establishment of His kingdom during the lifespan of his contemporaries (cf. Mark 9:1). Those prophecies were fulfilled at His resurrection—this attested to by Peter who wrote in Acts 2:36, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords. His kingdom is present with power. In fact, Paul wrote that those who became Christians were conveyed into the then existent Kingdom in Colossians 1:13.

Religious people today who continue to pray “Thy kingdom come” are either ignorant of, or refuse to grant that it already HAS! So, while a beautiful sentiment, the request should not be prayed today. Instead, we should praise God for having fulfilled His promise. Glory to God that He has exalted His Son. Today, Jesus is King in His kingdom!

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