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

Investing, Divesting & Usurping

Numbers 20 records a rather significant event in the early history of the nation of Israel.  Aaron and his sons were appointed by God to be priests of the people at the establishment of the nation.  “Now take Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister to Me as priest, Aaron and Aaron’s sons: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty. So you shall speak to all who are gifted artisans, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments, to consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest” (Exodus 28:1-3). Continue reading » Investing, Divesting & Usurping

Sermon: God Breathed

God Breathed

Most are ignorant of God’s word, and its great importance. The concept of inspiration demands a knowledge of, and respect for God’s law.

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What Does it Mean to Submit?

The call to be submissive is made constantly in scripture. In 1 Peter 5:5, the apostle wrote, “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.'”

The term submit is defined by Thayer: to subject one’s self, obey; to submit to one’s control; to yield to one’s admonition or advice; to obey, be subject.

This term teaches us two things: First, authority exists. Second, you are not that authority! The idea that men are free to do what they wish, without consequence, is flawed. Jesus said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18).

As Peter indicated earlier in our text, even those who have been delegated positions of oversight must realize their position as servants. “nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock” (3).

Ultimately, submission becomes natural when humility is present. Humility in turn comes from a sense of selflessness. It is not about you, it is about others. Paul used Jesus as the ultimate example of such selflessness, and admonished the Philippians, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”

Be definition, any departure from the Biblical pattern, any presumption that God is accepts our innovations, denies this concept of submission. It is not our place to make the rules. It is our place to humbly obey (submit to) the rules that have been established by our Lord.

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Sermon: God’s Pattern for Benevolence

Benevolence

An examination of 2 Corinthians 8, and similar passages helps to establish God’s pattern for the benevolent work of the local church.

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Are You A Legalist?

The term “legalist” is used quite often in religion, and always in a negative sense.  If someone calls you a legalist, they are not giving you a compliment.

The term is not used in scripture, so we must go to secular sources to define it.  Dictionary.com does so:

  1. strict adherence, or the principle of strict  adherence, to law or prescription, especially to the letter rather than the spirit.
  2. Theology
    1. the doctrine that salvation is gained through good works.
    2. The judging of conduct in terms of adherence to precise laws.

Looking at the definition above, it would be inappropriate for Christians to ascribe to any of the definitions, save perhaps the last.  Let me explain. Continue reading » Are You A Legalist?

Sermon: The Controversy Over Institutionalism

1 - Controversy Among the People of God

Lesson 3 of 5 in Lecturshipe Series: Controversy Among the People of God

Speaker: Brantley Gallman

This lesson examines the Institutional issues that divided the Lord’s church in the middle of the 20th century. Such division remains today.

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Sermon: 150 Years of Controversy

2 - 150 Years of Controversy

Lesson 2 of 5 in Lectureship Series: Controversy Among the People of God

Speaker: Stan Cox

This lesson examines controversies that have troubled God’s people in the last 150 years. This is especially an examination of the Lord’s church in recent history, here in America. Issues discussed include the Missionary Society, Instrumental Music, Premillennialism & the Grace/Unity movement.

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Sermon: Church of Christ FAQ Sheet

Church of Christ FAQ Sheet

A number of Frequently Asked Questions about the Lord’s church, answered in this sermon.

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Sermon: Some Identifying Marks of the Lord’s Church

Identifying Marks

The description given of the Lord’s church in the New Testament differs markedly from the denominations today. His church, however, exists and is identifiable in our time.

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Constantly Affirm!

Consider the following words by Paul, “This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men” (Titus 3:8).

We will leave aside for a moment whether a failure to “maintain good works” will have an impact upon the salvation of the negligent Christian.  My question is this… If Paul wanted Titus to “affirm constantly that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works” why do men today speak evil of those who do just that?

Men trumpet the joy and release they feel when they stop worrying about obedience, and just trust in the “finished work of Jesus.” They disparage their “destructive” upbringing, among a group of legalists who constantly emphasized, “OBEY, OBEY, OBEY!”  They call such “patternists” destructive and evil.

It seems the American version of “Christianity” will not put up with men like Titus, especially as they diligently follow Paul’s instructions.

Nevertheless, Paul contends that such constant calls to faithfully obey God are “good and profitable to men.”  As such, the diligent evangelist will endeavor to remind men “to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called” (Ephesians 4:1).

Remember Paul’s words, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them(Ephesians 2:10).

 

Sermon: David and the Temple

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A number of important applications regarding how to establish authority can be gleaned from David’s desire to build a temple to God, recorded in 1 Chronicles 17.

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The Patternists: We Walk by Faith

Faith

The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:7, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” Contextually, these words were a reference to his surety about life after death. “So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord” (vs. 6). Men wonder, “What happens after we die?” Paul was a Christian. He knew. God told him. He was confident that after death he would be rewarded with eternal life (cf. 2 Timothy 4:8).

Since judgment was certain, and an eternal existence after death was his lot, how did Paul react? “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him” (vs. 9).

It is unwise to live your life to please yourself. If you make it your aim to please Him, then you too can look forward to an existence in the presence of God!

God has revealed to us what pleases and displeases Him. It is foolish to take chances, presuming to know what pleases God. Instead, make it your aim to learn God’s will, and do what is “pleasing to Him.”

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“Abolished in His flesh the enmity”

Crucifixion2

The apostle Paul acknowledged the hostility that existed between Jew and Gentile in the first century. He also acknowledged that such enmity was a result of the Law of Moses. This Law placed a barrier between the Jew (the chosen people of God), and the rest of humanity.

That Law was special, even necessary to prepare the world for the Messiah of God. In Galatians 3:24, Paul wrote, “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” The Law of Moses was wonderful, but never intended by God to be the means of mankind’s redemption. The promise that God made to Abraham that He would make of his descendants a great nation, was accompanied by the promise that “…in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3).

This promise was realized when that Law of Moses ceased its authority over men (cf. Romans 7:1-6). When Jesus paid the price for the sins of all mankind, Paul wrote that He, “abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity” (Ephesians 2:15-16).

We do not mourn the loss of Moses’ law. Instead, we rejoice that it served its purpose, to “bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” Now, we state with joy, “But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor” (Galatians 3:25). “For through Him we both [Jew and Gentile] have access by one Spirit to the Father” (Ephesians 2:18).

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Parable of the Two Sons

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In Matthew 21:28-32, Jesus condemns the Jewish leaders for their disobedience by using this parable to illustrate their sin. Other observations, on pride, prejudice, the Lordship of Jesus, and true repentance are included in the discussion.

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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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