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

From Where Do Wars Come?

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James wrote, “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?” (James 4:1). Commentators differ on what “wars” James refers to — big ones, or little ones. However, the motivation for is typically the same — Lust!

Selfish desire is at the root of most strife, whether disputes between nations, or petty squabbles among individuals. James wrote, “You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war” (4:2).

One nation covets the land or resources that are owned by another. One ruler wants riches he sees beyond the borders of his own land. Lust and covetousness is the root of war!

The same is true in religion. Wars have been fought because of sectarian jealousies. The continual war between Jews and Muslims is fueled in part by claims made on the old city of Jerusalem, and the Temple Mount. Each faction covets the same plot of land.

Strife was caused in Corinth because each faction wanted exalted status (1 Corinthians 1:10-15). Conflict existed between two women in Philippi, presumably for the similar reasons (Philippians 4:2). Paul’s remedy? “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself” (Philippians 2:3).

Selfish desires bring war and conflict. Humility brings unity and expressions of love and peace.

From the Preacher’s Pen: Greed is Fun?

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I recently read a novel that contained a passage describing gamblers playing slot machines at a casino in Las Vegas. The description noted that the gamblers were not having a particularly good time. In the author’s words, “There were no smiles, no backslapping, just intense manic concentration, as if by so focusing, the winning bars would magically line up and pay off.” The author’s conclusion? “Greed was supposed to be fun, but apparently it was only fun if you were winning.”

As usual, the world grasps the truth of a vice, while some Christians who struggle with worldly desires can only rationalize. The appeal of gambling is in the winning of filthy lucre. It is popular because of the greed of men. Those who gamble entertain the basest motives, and contribute to what is a drain and scourge on our nation and it’s culture.

There is a reason that Las Vegas is known as “Sin City.” Gambling is not the only sin to be found there, but it is certainly the most prominent. As Christians, we have spent enough of our past lifetime engaging in profane activities (cf. 1 Peter 4:3), and should now aspire to holiness.

“Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry (Colossians 3:5).

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Sermon: Covetousness

While a man can covet just about anything, and thus sin against God, the primary point of this lesson is to avoid the sin of covetousness as it relates to material things. Achan (Joshua 618-19) is given as an example of one who coveted the “accursed things.”

Sermon PowerPoint: Click Here .

Sermon Audio: Click Here .

Sermon: Contentment (Joshua Cox)

Guest speaker Joshua Cox establishes from scripture that as Christians we are to live lives of contentment. The pursuit and love of money is problematic in the Christian life.

One exception to note: A Christian must not be content with regard to his knowledge of God’s word. He must press on, and strive for perfection.

Sermon Audio: Click Here .

Sermon: The Problems of the Rich

It is difficult for a rich man to enter heaven, due to pride, covetousness, and the corruption that riches can bring. There is also the possibility that the riches themselves may have been garnered unrighteously. The sermon deals with the problems of the rich, then points out that we all can struggle with the dangers of riches in our society.

Sermon Audio: Click Here .

Sermon: The Lust of the Eyes

(Gospel Meeting: Mark Mayberry) Sixth in a series of nine lessons based on 1 John 2:15-17. The lust of the eyes is examined, with a special emphasis placed upon the sin of covetousness.

Sermon Audio: Click Here .