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: 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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The Christian’s Responsibility in the World

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The Christian has the responsibility to be a good citizen, to be a good influence, to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to be a good neighbor to those who are in the world.

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Powerpoint Slides

The Patternists: The Rule of Law

The Rule of Law

In the midst of all the rhetoric heard concerning immigration, protest and racial tension that is troubling our country, the voice of scripture is seldom heard. Consider these words from the pen of the apostle Peter:

“Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good” (1 Peter 2:13-14).

Obviously, the worldly disregard scripture. They could care less what God has to say regarding citizenship. However, the true Christian is constrained by the Holy Spirit. Scripture tells us that we are to obey the laws of the land, “for the Lord’s sake.” Those who disregard the rule of law do so to their soul’s detriment.

Yes, there is a limit to the obedience we proffer to our government (cf. Acts 5:29). But that threshold is far above the lawlessness that has gained the acceptance and even approval of a large segment of our nation. Both the laws of God and of man must be respected. God said so!

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FB: Support for Our Police

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I am personally appalled and discouraged by the attacks upon the police in the past couple of weeks. While I acknowledge that corruption and abuse of power may exist in certain circumstances, the anti-police sentiment that has led to inflammatory rhetoric, physical assaults and murder of police officers is indefensible.

There is a simple, logical statement from the pen of the Apostle Paul that is appropriate here:

“For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil” (Romans 13:3-4).

Violence and disregard for law in our land is rampant. Evildoers will always exist, but it seems in our time that their destructive efforts are enabled by the ineffectual and misguided efforts of some of our country’s leaders. National leaders need to step up, support and enable the police to maintain peace and protect our communities. Those who threaten the safety of law enforcement officers should be dealt with swiftly and decisively.

As the wise man wrote, “Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” (Ecclesiastes 8:11).

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Sermon: The Christian and Politics

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Sermon by Bob Ward

In 1 Peter 2:13-17, the Apostle Peter indicated that we are to “Honor the King.” The lesson discusses the appropriateness of Christians involving themselves in the political process, and the issues of the day.

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The Patternists: Obeying Civil Authority

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We are blessed in the United States with many civil liberties. Despite an increasingly intrusive government, we are the most free of any nation in the history of man.

For the Christian, however, our final authority is God’s word, not the U.S. constitution. This means two things:

  1. A Christian may not be able to enjoy the liberties that are made available under the laws of our land. There are vices (drug and alcohol use, gambling, extramarital sexual activity, profane speech, etc.), condemned by God, that may be allowed under civil law. Further, though we enjoy freedom of speech – hate speech, disrespect of civil authority, etc., violates scriptural principles and are off limits to Christians.
  2. A Christian is bound to keep the laws of the land. This principle is stated by Paul in Romans 13:1-7. Verse 1 states, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” For example, a Christian can not refuse to pay income tax.

An exception occurs when civil law conflicts with God’s law. When commanded by the civil authorities to stop preaching the gospel, Peter and the other apostles responded, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

While the application of this principle can sometimes be difficult and confusing, the principle itself,(as revealed in scripture), is clear and compelling.

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Mining The Scriptures: 1 Timothy 2:1-4

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1 Timothy 2:1-4

Paul here exhorts Christians to pray for “all men, for kings and all who are in authority.”

The broad scope of such prayer clearly indicates the extent of the Christian’s charity. His desire is to be for the welfare of all men. As such, we are told even to “love [our] enemies” (Matthew 5:44).

The prayers are to include “supplications” (requests on behalf of another), and “intercessions” (an intervention for his benefit), as well as the giving of thanks. These are not imprecatory prayers (to invoke evil upon our enemies); rather they are petitions on their behalf and are intended to do them good.

Note also the benefit accrued to the Christian who prays, “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.”
God desires that all men be saved, including both those in authority, and those who would benefit from their righteous rule.

Mining The Scriptures: Romans 13:1-2

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Romans 13:1-2

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.

Governments and nations have their place at God’s pleasure. They remain in power as long as God permits, and their rise and fall is determined by His will. This is clearly affirmed by Paul in his address to the Athenians (cf. Acts 17:26-28).

While a government is in power, Christians are required to submit to its laws. Contrary to common perception, Jesus did not advocate disobedience to civil authorities. This is true regardless of a governments corruptness, or antagonism toward God and His people. This is clearly established by Jesus’ instructions to his disciples to pay taxes to the Roman government (cf. Matt. 22:21).

The exception to this is the secular government’s compelling a Christian to disobey God. In such cases, we must “obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

The question, “Must we obey the government?”, is not determined by whether it is corrupt, but whether its laws corrupt us!