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 Glory of God

The Glory of God

God’s glory compels His children to live by faith, to be holy in conduct, and to offer continual praise to His name. If we do so, we are promised we will share in His glory!

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To Die is Gain

“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).

Imagine being able to say this, all while in chains, not knowing whether you will be released, or executed. Paul is a wonderful example of faith in the midst of extreme hardship.

We Christians who live in America have so many reasons to be faithful. Despite a society that is presently antagonistic toward our faith, we remain free to worship openly and comfortably. This has not been the case in other times and other places.

Regardless, this world is not our home! While we remain thankful for our time here on earth, we eagerly anticipate the day when “this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:53).

Our lives are opportunities to live for Christ. Through our teaching and example, other souls may be saved. But, we gain personally from death, if we be faithful. There comes a time of glory and rest in the presence of the God of Heaven! To die truly is to Gain!

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A Militant Faith

A peculiar aspect of our culture is a tendency to shy away from any reference to militancy as a positive characteristic. I suppose that there has been so much violence that people are uncomfortable even entertaining the concept of a legitimate use of force — i.e., a defensive application.

And yet, scripture commonly makes use of the concept.  For example, Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:12, “Fight the good fight of faith…”  In another place, Paul described the characteristics of the mature Christian in militaristic terms, exhorting the Ephesians: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:10-13). Continue reading » A Militant Faith

Spiritual Navalwatching

I came across a quote from 1970 by a denominational writer that indicates a problem that, in my opinion, is applicable to the Lord’s church today. The quote is below, with some of my own comments after.

“…(We) of the late twentieth century contribute to the falsifying of the church’s proper function through our subjectivism … (The present) is possibly the most subjective period in all of church history. Today everybody talks in psychological terms. We enjoy nothing better than to probe our inner life and its real or imagined frustrations. We wallow in our misery. We go to psychologists, we go to psychiatrists, we go to counsellors. This predilection has been called “navelwatching” by some people; that is, we enjoy nothing better than to sit down narcissistically and look at our own psychic navels. This delightful activity allows us to become completely involved in ourselves. We enjoy our problems. Someone has called our epoch “the Age of Analysis” . . . and it is that, for we want to solve all our problems by subjective concentration upon them.”

John Warwick Montgomery

So much of the Christian’s responsibility is focused outward. We can become so entranced by our own spiritual “navels” that we leave the greater commands to “love God” and “love our neighbor” undone. It seems to me important to focus on God’s commandments, and our responsibilities to Him and others, and spend less time focused inwardly – “paralysis by analysis.” Now, I am not objecting to examining ourselves (cf. 2 Corinthians 13:5), but rather noting the destructive tendency to focus on self rather than others.

Are your insecurities, feelings, musings, captivating your attention? Does they lead to missed opportunities to do the Lord’s work? Does your faith consist predominately of introspection – whether of your failings or your strengths? If so, perhaps you need to look outside of yourself, and get busy doing “the work” (cf. James 1:25).

Some thoughts that came to my mind while reading the quote above:

  1. Truth is objective, not subjective.
  2. Selflessness is seen in our actions toward our fellow man.
  3. The spiritual works of evangelism and edification are indicators of a faithful, zealous Christian.
  4. Intellectualism does not equate to strength in faith (“…and the common people heard Him gladly” Mark 12:37).

 

Sermon: Making Wise Decisions

Making Wise Decisions2

The lesson consists of a series of 7 questions all Christians should ask themselves before making any decision that could impact their spiritual lives and standing with God.

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Powerpoint PPTX File

Sermon: Go and Sin No More

Go and Sin No More

A discussion of John 8:1-11, where Jesus told the woman caught in the act of adultery, “Go and sin no more.” Dicussion centers on true repentance and a holy life.

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Invitation: How to See Good Days

Image Invitation delivered by: Stan Cox

1 Peter 3:10 Peter explains how to live a good life here, and receive God’s approval for eternity.  Refrain from evil, and do good!

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Sermon: What if I am a One Talent Man?

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Regardless of my talent, I have value to the Lord. I am to be a good steward, and I am promised a wonderful reward!

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Powerpoint Slides

Stand in the Gap

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Ezekiel prophesied during the days of Babylonian captivity, and one reason for the fall of the Jews was a lack of leadership for the people. The prophets, priests and princes were all singled out for their ungodliness. Of them, the Lord said:

“So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one” (Ezekiel 22:30).

The dearth of righteous leadership is destructive to any people. This was true of Israel, is true in our country today, and can be true in the church.

In the Lord’s church today, we need men to “stand in the gap” on behalf of God’s people. We need preachers who will declare the whole counsel of God, and serve as righteous examples to the flock (cf. 1 Timothy 4:12-16). We need elders whose maturity and godly example will protect the flock against the “savage wolves” that are about (cf. Acts 20:29). We need deacons of good reputation and wisdom (cf. Acts 6:3) to assist the flock.

We need these men and others “for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (cf Ephesians 4:12). God today is looking for men and women to “stand in the gap.” When He looks in your direction, will you bravely and boldly stand for Him?

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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.

Continue reading » How My Self-Identity Influences My Actions

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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Invitation: The Elder’s Qualifications, Our Aspirations?

Image Invitation delivered by: Stan Cox

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: Remember!

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Moses exhorted the Israelites to “remember the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 8:18). Remembering is important, as we are to be mindful of the past, the present and the future as a means of preparing us for eternity.

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Sermon: Marks of True Devotion

Marks of True Devotion

A discussion of Romans 12:1-8, indicating the need for self examination to ensure we are diligently sacrificing ourselves to our Lord as transformed individuals. This requires us to be active in our service to Him.

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Powerpoint Slides

“Cannot See Afar Off”

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In 2 Peter 1:9, Peter describes a state of spiritual myopia. Those who have this condition have trouble seeing far behind or ahead, which is necessary to see far within, and effect change that will benefit their soul.

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