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

An Anchor of the Soul


David, as the anointed King of Israel, had many enemies. Among them was Saul, who remained enthroned as King. Saul was jealous of David, and sought his life. However, scripture reveals that God providentially protected David. In 2 Samuel 22, David acknowledged that help:

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; my Savior, You save me from violence” (2-3).

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Forgiving (A Sign of Character and a Necessary Action)

God Hears, and Answers!


People generally recognize the positive impact of prayer. What is not always understood is why prayer is such a positive thing. Our national leaders during tragic times call for and express thanks for prayers offered. Many of those same leaders do not believe in God, or have no faith that God intercedes in men’s affairs. For many, prayer is simply a way of saying, “I’m thinking about you.” It is an expression of sympathy, and is appreciated for that reason alone. Caregivers may go so far as to suggest that prayers offered can have a placebo effect; a bit like chicken soup, it can’t hurt.

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Our Caged Canary

canary in coal mine

This past week I posted a short video about the use of profanity that came as close to going “viral” as probably anything I will ever submit to Facebook. Since Tuesday the video has been viewed about 2,200 times, shared by over 50 people, and liked and commented upon in much greater numbers than typical. It seems the article touched a nerve. I thought I would reprise the general message in this article, and offer a few more thoughts.

First, note that profanity is defined by Webster as “an offensive word” or “offensive language.” Cussing has become much more common in our society. This is a symptom of the coarsening of our culture, and does not excuse the use of such words. Any individual who considers himself polite and respectful should refrain from using profanity. When speaking in “mixed company” or in the presence of those you do not know well, it is very possible that profane words will offend.

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Please, can the cussing!

Overcoming Obstacles


When an obstacle impedes progress, one of two possibilities emerge. The obstacle either prevents success, or the obstacle is defeated, with success realized despite its challenge.

Many serious spiritual obstacles can be defeated through determination and persistent effort. Josiah, the young king of Judah serves as a wonderful example in this. His challenge was to overcome the evil influences of his father and grandfather. Those men were evil idolaters, who led Judah in rebellion against God. Josiah ascended to the throne at the age of 8 years. Scripture reveals that he “did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left” (2 Kings 22:2). He removed the idols his predecessors had put into the Temple, and restored true worship to the Lord. And, as ruler of Judah, he “made all who were present in Israel diligently serve the Lord their God. All his days they did not depart from following the Lord God of their fathers” (2 Chronicles 34:33).

Josiah was a unique king. “Now before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him” (2 Kings 23:25). However, we too can overcome any spiritual obstacle that may beset us, if we “turn to the Lord” with all our heart, soul and might.

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“I Will Certainly Be With You”


In Exodus 3 we read of God’s conversation with Moses, from the midst of the burning bush. Moses was understandably hesitant to take on the task of leading the Israelites out of Egypt. He asked “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (11). In response, God did not seek to stroke the ego of Moses. Such was not needed. It was enough for God to say, “I will certainly be with you” (12). It didn’t matter who Moses was, with God’s help he would be successful in his task.

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The Patternists: A Bondservant of Jesus Christ


At the end of his epistle to the Colossians, Paul makes reference to several of his fellow workers. One of these, Epaphras, is described as as “a bondservant of Jesus Christ” who is “always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God” (Colossians 4:12).

In this verse there are several things that point to the need to respect the authority of Scripture:

First, Epaphras is described as a bondservant. The greek word here translated (doulos) is defined by Thayer, “a slave; metaphorically, one who gives himself up to another’s will.” Those who refuse to limit themselves to what is authorized in scripture can’t rightly be called bondservants.

Second, Epaphras’ prayer was for their perfection and completeness (both words that indicate an “all in” mentality) toward all the will of God.” Again, those today who seek to minimize any aspect of God’s will miss the point of these words.

Don’t believe anyone who tells you that God is pleased when you do things your own way. God wants you to be His bondservant, fully invested in doing His will.

To see The Patternists Page on Facebook, click here, and Like!

Moral Turpitude

Have You Ever Asked, “What Does God Think?”

What does God Think

The United Church of Canada has been in the news of late, as the institution is trying to figure out what to do with one of its pastors. Gretta Vosper was ordained by that church in 1993. She has been, for a number of years, an avowed atheist! She has declared that it is time for the Christian church to give up on “the idolatry of a theistic god.” While some in the denomination wish for her to remain a pastor, others are not so sure. I wonder if anyone ever thought to consult the Bible to find out what God thinks?

“The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good” (Psalm 14:1).

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The Patternists: Welcoming God’s Words


The apostle Paul commended the Thessalonians for their receptive attitude towards God’s word. He wrote in his first letter to them, “For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe” (2:13).

The Thessalonians recognized the authority of the apostle, and that the words he delivered to them were inspired of God. As such, they respected and obeyed it.

There is a difference between the words of men and the words of God. It is a difference that is ignored by the large majority of religious people today. Put simply, if God said it, we must heed and obey! Respect for God requires that we regard all scripture as authoritative and binding!

To see The Patternists Page on Facebook, click here, and Like!

Think Before You Share!


This past week I came across an article that was being shared on Facebook. It was a nice, “feel good” article. The article was reporting on a recent visit to the metroplex by movie star Kevin Costner. It seems that he had rented a car and was traveling west, when he had a flat on his rental car near Weatherford. He was grateful that several complete strangers stopped to help him change the tire. He noted that such friendliness is rare, and not to be found in Los Angeles.

Problem is, the story was a hoax, as many such posts are on the internet. Some such false reports are very destructive, as lies are told, retold and spread, often to bolster a particular political position or point of view. Too often, Christians participate (often unintentionally) in spreading such lies.

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God Reigns in the Kingdom of Men


In Jeremiah 51, Jehovah proclaimed the ultimate destruction of the kingdom of Babylon. Though it was yet to happen, that judgment of God was sure. “‘Therefore behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘That I will bring judgment on her carved images,
And throughout all her land the wounded shall groan. Though Babylon were to mount up to heaven, and though she were to fortify the height of her strength, yet from Me plunderers would come to her,’ says the Lord”
(vs 52-53).

It does not matter how powerful the nation may be, how large the army, how explosive the arsenal, God’s will is done. In every age and in every place, when men trust in their own might to stand against the righteous God of heaven, they are doomed to destruction. Paul said, “And He [God] has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings” (Acts 17:26).

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). God judged Babylon because she was an idolatrous and evil kingdom. “Thus Babylon shall sink and not rise from the catastrophe that I will bring upon her. And they shall be weary” (Jeremiah 51:64). This is an important lesson that our own nation needs to hear and learn to avoid the same fate.

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Wait On Your God


“So you, by the help of your God, return; observe mercy and justice, and wait on your God continually” (Hosea 12:6).

It is hard to be patient. This is especially so when you perceive injustice. While you are striving to be good and righteous, the ungodly prosper. The Psalmist knew this, and counseled:

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Reading a Lump of Coal


Bible believers have long defended the text of Scripture against the attacks of skeptics. For a long while this defense, specifically regarding the text of the Old Testament, was made more difficult by relatively recent manuscript evidence that formed the basis of the Hebrew text.

Continue reading » Reading a Lump of Coal