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

Sermon: The Conversion of Simon the Sorcerer

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Acts 8:9-35 contains the narrative describing the conversion of Simon the Sorceror. This conversion followed the pattern established with all conversions in the New Testament. However, the unique circumstances of his conversion teach us some other important lessons.

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Powerpoint Slides

Sermon: Great & Terrible

Great & Terrible

The apostle Paul asserts the greatness of God’s Scheme of Redemption, accomplished in Jesus Christ. However, some who have embraced Him as Lord, inexplicably turn away. This apostasy is a most terrible thing.

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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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Sermon: DANGER Signs of Apostasy

DANGER Signs of ApostasyThe lesson identifies four danger signs that signify the possibility one may fall from grace:

* Isolating onself from God’s people
* Listening to bad counsel
* Being corrupted by ungodly companions
* A faltering prayer life

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Powerpoint Slides

The Patternists: Don’t Diss God

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The term in the title “diss” is common slang in our time. It is a shortened form for the word disrespect. In this article, I’m less concerned with the mongrelization of the English language, and more concerned about the disrespect so many show to the Almighty.

Interestingly, men have always been, and are especially now, sensitive to others showing disrespect for them. It is insulting, and has led not only to arguments and fisticuffs, but even to national wars! When a fight between two teenagers is broken up, the reason for the spat is commonly stated: “He dissed me!”

While we may be sensitive to others showing a lack of respect for us, we often lack awareness of how our actions can “diss” God! In Leviticus 10:1, Nadab and Abihu, priests of God and sons of Aaron, offered profane (unauthorized) fire before God in the burning of incense. What was God’s response? “So fire went out from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord” (vs. 2).

What was God’s motivation for killing them? They “dissed” Him! God said, “By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; and before all the people I must be glorified” (vs. 3).

Next time you think about doing your own thing, just assuming that God will approve of your willfulness, you had better think twice. You don’t want to diss God!

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Sermon: Departing from the living God

Image Hebrews 3:12 is one of many exhortations to faithfulness. It is possible for a Christian to depart from God. When one does, several things happen:

* You depart from your duty to worship Him

* You depart from your duty toward your brethren.

* You depart from the words of life.

* You depart from the living hope

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The Parable of the Sower

Image Jesus often taught by parable. A parable is a story told, using simple objects or situations, to illustrate a spiritual principle. Such illustrations can be extremely powerful, and this is certainly the case with his Parable of the Sower. The parable is included in all of the synoptic gospels, (Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23; Mark 4:2-9, 13-20; Luke 8:4-15).

The accounts reveal that the disciples were first confused about the meaning of this parable. Fortunately for us, Jesus gave to them and us a clear explanation of his words. Consider the following important points that can be derived from this parable. Citations will be from the account recorded by Luke:

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Invitation: Distorting the Gospel of Christ

Image Invitation delivered by: Joel Duque

Using a recent personal experience to illustrate the point, Joel contrasts what the scriptures teach regarding baptism, and the need for steadfastness, with what is commonly taught in the denominations.

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Mining the Scriptures: Hebrews 3:12-15

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The writer here sounds a warning concerning a possibility that many religious people today deny. It is possible for a Christian to sufficiently lose his faith in God as to be described as departing from Him. This warning (and the very need for it) denies the Calvinists view that a child of God cannot sin as to be lost. The Hebrew writer says he can, and the warning indicates that some do!

So, how do we avoid losing our faith? “Beware!” The first step is to acknowledge the possibility. “Exhort one another daily.” This phrase points out the important responsibility each Christian has to edify and encourage his brothers and sisters in Christ. (See also Hebrews 10:24-25 to note the importance of our assemblies in delivering such exhortations). “While it is called ‘Today’” indicates an urgency the writer wishes to impart to his exhortation.

Steadfastness is necessary to enjoy the fruits of being “partakers of Christ.” Only those who continue their faithful service to God “to the end” will enjoy the fruits of their labor.

“Crossing the Rubicon”

In 1967, Fanning Yater Tant wrote an editorial in The Gospel Guardian titled, On the Banks of the Rubicon. The title was taken from the common phrase “crossing the Rubicon,” referring to a small river crossed by Julius Caesar in defiance of the Roman senate. His treasonous action could have no result other than victory or death. The phrase is used to refer to an irrevocable action or an event from which there could be no turning back.

The editorial appeared in a special issue of the magazine dealing with institutional issues, specifically the sponsoring church arrangement. As Tant wrote, the issue was intended to exhort brethren to “turn their backs once and forever on the enticing, exciting, and deadly! country that lies across the Rubicon, the country of ‘denominational Christianity.’”

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Invitation: Making Your Call and Election Sure

Invitation delivered by: Stan Cox

The text of 2 Peter 1 shows that we can impact (either by diligence or neglect) our standing with God.

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Invitation: The Root Supports the Branches

Invitation delivered by: Stan Cox

Paul’s use of the Olive Tree metaphor in Romans 11 teaches two important lessons (among others). First, we are saved by Grace. Second, we must remain faithful until death to be saved.

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The Condition of the Erring

It can be rather unpleasant to correct an erring brother in Christ. If the brother is unrepentant, he may resent any admonition, and even become contentious. Too, others who do not recognize the importance of such correction may object. Such responses may cause hesitation, or even dereliction of duty on the part of the spiritual despite the instruction of the Holy Spirit, “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:1-2).

As one who is striving to serve God and your fellow man, the next time you feel such a hesitation to fulfill your duty, perhaps it would be good to see the erring one as God sees him. Consider the following:

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Lessons Learned from Backsliding Israel

In Jeremiah 3, Jehovah God spoke to the prophet, in the days of Josiah the king, describing the northern kingdom of Israel as “backsliding Israel” because of her idolatry (vs. 6). God called Israel back, but “she did not return” (vs. 7). It is because of this rebelliousness that the ten northern tribes were taken into captivity, and lost their identity.

Now, Judah was in danger of the same end. Consider first that Judah had learned from the idolatry of Israel, “And her treacherous sister Judah saw it.” Ungodly activity of any type can have a corrupting influence upon those who witness it. As Paul told the Corinthians, “Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump” (1 Corinthians 5:6-7). This is an important principle to remember as we do our deeds before men, “Whoever causes on of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6).

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Invitation: God Was Not Well Pleased

Invitation delivered by: Stan Cox

1 Corinthians 10:1-5 is used to show how continued faithfulness is necessary for us to be saved eternally.

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