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: Edification – A Shared Stewardship

Paul took seriously God’s call for him to preach the gospel of Christ, saying, “Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2).  While that passage specifically references Paul’s stewardship as Christ’s apostle, the principle regarding stewardship is valid, not matter the responsibility given.

One responsibility we all have is to edify (cf. Ephesians 4:16).  Every part must do its share in the work of edification. It is only in this way that the body of Christ can grow in the way God intends.

Consider this truth in light of the Holy Spirit’s call to assemble.  “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25).

While it is personally beneficial to attend worship services consistently, that is not the Hebrew writer’s point. Rather, he is referring to the stewardship of edification. We have a responsibility to encourage and build up our brethren! God has supplied the assembly to help us to accomplish this task. To forsake the “assembling of ourselves together” is to be unfaithful in that stewardship.

Let’s say that you are a part of a congregation that has 100 members.  When you come to assemble, you do so with the primary purpose of edifying the other 99.  The wonderful part of God’s plan is that while you do so, you have 99 brothers and sisters in Christ whose primary purpose is to edify you!

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The Importance of Assembling

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When God created man, he made him to be a social being. Throughout history, men have typically gathered together in communities. In fact, the institution of marriage was established by God as He determined “It is not good that man should be alone.” So, God said, “I will make him a helper comparable to him” (Genesis 2:28).

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“Come over … and help us”

ImageWhile in Troas during his second preaching tour, the apostle Paul had a vision in the night. In the vision, “A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us’ (Acts 16:9). The text reveals that Paul was obedient to the vision, Luke recording him as having concluded “that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them” (10).

The journey took Paul and his companions to Philippi, where they were beaten with rods, and placed into prison (cf. 16:22-24). After traveling through Amphipolis and Apollonia they went to Thessalonica, where again they fell afoul of the enemies of the cross (17:5). This necessitated a departure under cover of darkness to Berea. Some from Thessalonica followed them, and stirred up the crowds against Paul yet again (17:13). Finally Paul traveled to Athens, where his message was met with mocking (17:32).

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From the Preacher’s Pen: On Worship and Football

ImageI have read, heard and even opined myself on the willingness of so many to attend a football game, or other sporting event or entertainment event, and willingly suffer from weather or other discomforts for the joy of the occasion.

People routinely get up in the wee hours of the morning, or stand in long lines, or suffer through extremes of heat, cold or other weather related trials to cheer on their teams, or play their games, or listen to their music. And, if the game or concert were to go into “overtime”, they consider it a positive development.

In contrast, they may view a 9:00 am Bible study to be too early, a bit warm or slightly cool auditorium not sufficiently comfortable, and a 45 minute lesson an inappropriate imposition upon their time and attention.

The issue is not the relative entertainment value. I know well that a nip and tuck football game is far more entertaining than a long winded preacher. The issue is the extent of your desire to be with God and His people!

So, how about it? Can you say with David, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord'” (Psalm 122:1)?

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Attending to Exhortation

Image “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25).

The preceding text is often used to emphasize the importance of being present at the worship assemblies. While such a use is legitimate, the 24th verse best expresses the writer’s intent in the exhortation — “let us consider one another.”

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From the Preacher’s Pen: Meeting Attendance

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Last week the Old Granbury Road congregation had a gospel meeting, with Harry Osborne doing the preaching. We announced it, and I am thankful that several of our number took advantage of the opportunities to hear the gospel preached by a capable servant.

In fact, we had 21 that attended on Monday, 6 on Tuesday (as reported to me), and 16 on Thursday. That is a pretty good representation, and the support was an encouragement to that fine congregation.

However, the greater benefit was to those of us who attended. The singing was encouraging, the messages edifying, and the association with other Christians a joy.

I know some may tire of my many appeals to attend such efforts, but I feel like the apostle Paul who wrote the Philippians, “I seek the fruit that abounds to your account” (4:17). Paul was referring to their gift to him, but the principle applies here as well. By encouraging and supporting brethren elsewhere, you bear fruit for the Master. God is pleased with your selflessness, and you receive the added strength that worship and study brings. It is a win—win experience, and one I wish that more brethren would pursue regularly.

I know that it takes time, especially if the building is an hour or so away. It takes effort to get the kids ready, or to get those old bones moving. But I promise the effort is worth it. Many opportunities will present themselves in the next few months. So, how about it!

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The Purpose of Our Assemblies

Would it be considered controversial to state that the purpose of our worship assemblies is not to evangelize? Perhaps it would be less so if I explained what I mean by the statement.

First, I am not saying that evangelism can’t take place in the assembly. In fact, first principle preaching in the worship assembly is one way that the children of Christians reach the point of being convicted, and thus converted. Also, it is conceivable that the conversion of an occasional visitor may be the salutary consequence of such lessons. More probably, first principle lessons will serve to “stir up your pure minds by way of reminder” (cf. 2 Peter 3:1), equipping the saints to share with others what they have learned, and had reinforced by the preacher’s words.

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Sermon: Will You be Missed if Your Seat is Empty?

1 Samuel 20:18, Jonathan’s statement, “You will be missed, because your seat will be empty” serves to introduce the lesson, will you be missed if your seat is empty?

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Sermon: Now That I’m A Christian

Speaker: Dennis Craig

Certain responsibilites and privileges follow one who becomes a Christian. The sermon discusses these things that follow becoming a child of God:

  • Rejoice for Salvation
  • Be Holy
  • Study God’s Word
  • Pray to God
  • Assemble with the Saints
  • Pepare for the Future

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From the Preacher’s Pen: Attitude and Attendance

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The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord Shall flourish in the courts of our God” (Psalm 92:12-13).

I recently read an article by Keith Barclay, in Think on These Things (Volume 44, Number 2). He suggested that faithfulness to God demands much more than is contemplated in the phrase “going to church.” That phrase could simply indicate someone who shows up to a weekly assembly. The verses above indicate a person who truly understands “the significance of God’s steadfast love, faithfulness and work.”

I can’t improve on his thoughts, so carefully consider his application of Psalm 92.

“As a result they [the righteous] firmly plant themselves (the tree metaphors of the text) in God’s house. It is where they reside, not someplace they visit. They relish their place there because there is no other place they would rather be. Morning and evening they praise their God and give Him thanks. As you look into this Psalm does it reflect similarly your attitude toward God and His house today—the church? Are you planted there and do you flourish?”

A long time ago I heard a wise preacher say, “Missing one worship service or class may not condemn your soul, but the attitude that leads to that absence most assuredly could!” Those words have stuck with me for over 30 years, and I remembered them again while reading brother Barclay’s words. What is your attitude toward God?
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Invitation: Gospel Meeting Attendance

Invitation delivered by: Josh Cox

In this short talk (5:45), Josh discusses the text of Hebrews 10:24-25, and the importance of attending services as a means of edifying one another. Application was made to the upcoming gospel meeting.

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Sermon: Would You Be Missed?

The sermon asks the questions: Are you regular in your attendance; do you demonstrate your love; are you an encouragement; are you dependable?

Sermon Powerpoint: Click Here .

Sermon Audio: Click Here .

From the Preacher’s Pen: Inconsiderate

sketch6Brethren, let’s be considerate of one another!

In Hebrews 10, the writer states, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (24-25).

Not everyone took advantage of the opportunity we had last week to be edified during our meeting. If you didn’t come, you missed out on some fine lessons and encouragement.

If you chose not to come, rather than being hindered from coming, you also could be said to have been inconsiderate of your brethren. (Those are the Hebrew writer’s words, not mine!) So, let’s be better about considering others, and take advantage of our opportunities to edify one another.

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Sermon: Plain Preaching

Jesus was plain in His preaching (cf. John 10:22-28), as were the apostles (cf. 2 Cor. 3:12). We should strive to be as well. The sermon describes 5 areas where plain speech is needed in teaching others:

  • How to be saved from sins
  • The Nature of the Church of Christ
  • Assembled worship is required of Christians
  • Christians are called to godly living
  • A Judgment is coming!

Sermon PowerPoint: Click Here .

Sermon Audio: Click Here .

Sermon: How’s Your Relationship With God?

Much of the religious world claims a “personal relationship with God.” They then attempt to self-define that relationship, rather than realizing such a relationship is dependent upon God recognizing their standing before Him. This sermon details what is necessary to have such an intimacy with the Almighty.

Sermon PowerPoint: Click Here .

Sermon Audio: Click Here .