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

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Congregational Goals

The new year is upon us, and it is a good time to establish some resolutions and goals for this congregation as we enter the year 2006.

While I know that such resolutions are somewhat arbitrary, given that there is nothing special in the date of January 1st itself, nevertheless it is as good a time as any to evaluate our progress in the work of our Lord, and to encourage in each of us a more zealous effort in the future.

In the past year we have had several long time members move away for retirement or to begin working with other congregations. While we are proud, for example, of the preaching efforts of brother Kris Braddock, his and Courtney’s association with the brethren here is missed, as are all who have left our number and moved to other places.

Regardless, there are others who have moved into our area, or placed membership with us, and the work of our Lord continues here at West Side. Though our numbers, contribution, and abilities may fluctuate from time to time, one thing can and should remain constant: Our Zeal for God! May we all have the same zeal for our Lord which was present in the heart of the beloved apostle Paul:

“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.” ~ Galatians 2:20

With such a call for zeal in mind, let us resolve the following as a congregation in 2006:

To stand for the Truth. Jude said it well when he exhorted the Christians to whom he wrote, exhorting them to, “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (vs. 3). He also gave the reason why this defense of the truth was necessary. “For certain men have crept in unnoticed,… ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ” (vs. 4). In our time the same problem exists. Both within the church and without there are those who advocate error. It is the responsibility of this congregation to defend the word of our Lord against such heresy.

To be Evangelistic in our Focus. As our finances allow, we will continue to support the preaching of the gospel of our Lord. We utilize the support of other evangelists (both in the U.S. and abroad), the support of our local preacher, such tools as Gospel Meetings, the Internet, the bulletin, as well as other special efforts from time to time to share the gospel with others. However, the eventual success in the converting of souls to the Lord will greatly depend upon the efforts of individual members. There is a reason why the Lord encouraged his apostles to “Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature…” (Mark 16:15). In order to bring others to Christ, each member needs to cultivate those with whom he comes into contact. Family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances are all in need of the gospel message. Each of us must be mindful of our responsibility. “For as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel…” (cf. Romans 1:15). If you have not been attending the 5:40 personal work meeting, consider starting. This meeting will alert you to visitors who could use further encouragement in considering the gospel of our Lord.

To Be Faithful in Attendance and Study. Hebrews 10:24-25 gives instructions regarding the importance of worship attendance. It allows us to, “…consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.” Edification is extremely important for Christians. The worship of our Lord, and the study of His word are tools given by God to strengthen us in our daily walk. Too, God is worthy of our adoration. When you are absent from worship, you miss an opportunity to praise the Almighty.

To Be Hospitable. Of course, not everyone has the same opportunity in this area. However, the most joyous of times are experienced in the presence of other Christians. It is difficult for us to “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2), if we have no knowledge of the lives and needs of our brethren in Christ. We truly are a family, and loving families enjoy each other. Showing hospitality to your brethren, or experiencing the hospitality that others show to you, is one way to grow closer as brethren.

To Practice Pure Religion. James wrote, “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (1:27). We have numerous shut-ins here at West Side, who are in need of encouragement and help. Such kindnesses as cards, phone calls, visits, baked goods, etc., will help them to know they are appreciated, and will help us to be informed of their needs. Each of us need to resolve to be more cognizant of the less fortunate, and active in helping them during their troubles. Also, each Christian needs to determine to live moral, sober lives. The extension of God’s grace demands nothing less (cf. Titus 2:11-12).

There you have it, a list of resolutions (not exhaustive) for our congregation. Will you do your part to make sure that 2006 is a year of zeal for the West Side church?