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

FB: The Cure for Despair

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Despair is a condition common to man. Even those who are strongest spiritually come across circumstances and times where they can cope only with the help of the Lord. The Psalmist felt this way, and said:

“To You I will cry, O Lord my Rock: do not be silent to me, lest, if You are silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit” (Psalm 28:1).

Can you imagine crying out to a God who has no concern for your welfare? To make your petition known, only to expect and receive no help? Fortunately, we know and understand that God loves His children. Those who are His can:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

The Psalmist knew of the tender mercies of His God. In the midst of his despair he cried out, expected and received an answer from His God:

“Blessed be the Lord, because He has heard the voice of my supplications! The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him” (Psalm 28:6-7).

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How My Self-Identity Influences My Actions

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Merriam Webster defines self-identification: “the act of identifying yourself as a particular kind of person.” It is a term that has only recently gained prominence. Typically, it is used with regard to race, gender or sexual attraction. A dictionary example given is that of a man who has one parent who is black and another who is white, who self-identifies as black.

Most examples of self-identification are logical. I have children, thus self-identify as a father. I also self-identify as a husband, as a grandfather, as an American, and proudly, as a Texan. These examples are fact based. However, some other recent examples of self-identification defy logic and fact.

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Sermon: Jesus’ Call – “Follow Me”

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The concept of discipleship, with its sacrifices as well as its rewards, is summed up in words Jesus spoke numerous times in Matthew’s gospel, “Follow Me.”

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Sermon: God’s Pattern For Our Whole Life

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God is our Creator, and deserves our respect and obedience. His revealed will impacts us in every aspect of our lives.

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Invitation: Fleshly Lusts War Against the Soul

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In 1 Peter 2:11, Peter states that fleshly lusts war against the soul. Sin is destructive to our souls, and our standing with God.

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Sermon: Paul’s Instructions to Timothy

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Paul’s first epistle to Timothy consists of important instructions he wanted Timothy to proclaim to the Christians in Ephesus, as well as pointed instructions to the young evangelist himself.

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Sermon: What is the Opposite of a Saint?

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A saint is one who God has separated from the world. He is to be holy in his conduct. The opposite of such holiness is a profane life. It is not possible for a child of God to persist in sin!

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Profanity

Profanity

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:35-37).

This passage has many applications for us, but I would like to talk about the type of language the Christian should use, and more specifically the fact that it is sinful to use profanity.

Whether the language is scatological, euphemistic, or blasphemy against God, it is evidence of an evil heart. Profanity is so common in our day that men consider it a trifle. God does not.

If you claim to be striving to be righteous, and yet use profanity, your language betrays you. Faithful Christians don’t cuss!

“But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth” (Colossians 3:8).

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The Patternists: Let No One Deceive Himself

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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. For it is written, ‘He catches the wise in their own craftiness’; and again, ‘The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.’” (1 Corinthians 3:18-20).

Any man who presumes to speak where God has not is foolish. To boldly claim that God is pleased with actions that are not authorized in scripture is to be self-deceived.

“For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God” (1 Corinthians 2:11-12).

The only way to know God’s will is to study what He has revealed to us. The only safe way is the way that is revealed in the Bible.

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Invitation: The Elder’s Qualifications, Our Aspirations?

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The character qualifications for elders that Paul revealed to Titus in Titus 1 are qualities we should seek to have in ourselves as Christians.

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Sermon: God of All Comfort

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Paul reveals God as the source of all comfort, in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. His comfort for us allows us in turn to offer comfort to others.

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Powerpoint Slides

Devoted Disciples

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The Lord’s church today needs devoted disciples! Webster’s New World Dictionary, in describing the nuances of the term “devote”, states, “Devote suggests the giving up or applying of oneself or something with the seriousness or earnestness evoked by a formal vow (to devote one’s life to a cause).” Consider the Apostle Paul’s sentiment as recorded in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” It must be stated that the only true disciple of Christ is the devoted disciple of Christ.

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“These Do”

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Paul exhorted the Philippians:

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8-9).

From this text we learn that Paul had supplied them, through teaching and example, with those things that are true, noble, just, pure and lovely. He instructed them to meditate on these things. To meditate is to reckon, to deliberate, to take into account. The idea is to consider what is righteous for the purpose of making application to our lives.

Of those things, Paul wrote, “these do.” Obedience to what God has ordained as right and good is necessary for the “God of peace” to be with us. We don’t approach God on our terms. We approach God on His terms! Jesus said, “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock” (Matthew 7:24-25).

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“I have become a fool in boasting”

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In 2 Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul expresses irritation at the Corinthians. The fact that they were listening to the attacks others made against his apostleship necessitated his defense of himself. He stated, “It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast” (1). Then he wrote, “I have become a fool in boasting; you have compelled me. For I ought to have been commended by you; for in nothing was I behind the most eminent apostles, though I am nothing” (11).

Paul knew that some might accuse him of boasting, though his defense was both necessary and proper. Still, it galled him to have to defend his legitimacy as an apostle, because he was a humble man and did not desire to talk about his merits. As he wrote, “…though I am nothing” (11).

The lesson for us is a simple one. It is acceptable for us to defend ourselves against false accusations. However, to enumerate our accomplishments, intelligence or prowess in any area because of pride is inappropriate. Instead, consider the words of Jehovah:

“Thus says the Lord: ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,’ says the Lord” (Jeremiah 9:23-24).

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Invitation: A Godly Jealousy

Image Invitation delivered by: Stan Cox

In 2 Corinthians 11:1-4 Paul uses the marriage metaphor to call his readers to faithfulness to the Lord.

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