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: Our Obligations Toward Truth

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Our obligations toward truth include: Procuring it, Practicing it, Proclaiming it, Protecting it, and Pleading it.

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Sermon: The Benefits of an Increasing Faith

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As our faith grows, and with it we mature spiritually, it enables us in various ways. It gives us the ability to: 1) Discern good and evil; 2) Resist temptation; 3) Forgive; 4) Deal with those who oppose the truth; 5) Cope with physical decline; and 6) Face death.

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Sermon: Building for the Lord

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The book of Nehemiah reveals a people successful in building for the Lord because they had a working mentality, a balanced approach, were hindrance resistant, and were conscious of their responsibilities to God.

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Sermon: “And if the blind lead the blind…”

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Sermon by Dennis Scroggins

Truth can be understood, and must be defended, heeded, and obeyed. Too often men look to the unrighteous or ignorant for advice, rather than those who are familiar with and wise in the ways of God.

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Sermon: Spiritual Bullies

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The lesson discusses the existence of spiritual bullies, much like the Jewish leaders who opposed Jesus. Such exist today, and there are ways to effectively respond to their evil.

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The Patternists: Is Defending Truth Divisive?

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There are two models followed in an attempt to attain unity among God’s people. The first is an attempt to have unity amidst diversity. In effect, to go along to get along. Those who follow this model claim that doctrine is unimportant, and will not contend with those who believe differently than themselves. The idea is that God is love, and is accepting of all of us, no matter what we believe or teach.

The second model consists of defending truth. It is the Biblically based model. It certainly excludes those who are unwilling to hold to truth, but allows those who love God and His word to rally around a divine standard. Christians are told to: 1) All speak the same doctrine, and all have the same mind and judgment (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:10); 2) Be unified in the same way that the Son and the Father are unified (John 17:20-21); 3) Avoid doctrines which originate in the minds of men (Matthew 15:8-9); 4) And contend for the faith (Jude 3).

In the first model those who contend for the faith are the ones who are castigated as divisive. “There wouldn’t be a problem if you weren’t so contentious!”

In the second, Biblical model, those who contend for the faith are acknowledged to be defending the unity of the Spirit. Those who teach error that are the ones identified as guilty of causing division and strife.

To which model do you ascribe?

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7 Bad Habits of Superficial Christians

ImageHow often have you seen articles with titles like the one above shared on Facebook feeds? It is a common tactic, as authors and websites vie for the attention of readers. A catchy title or provocative picture will lead to clicks. Often the article itself has little to offer, but internet traffic leads to advertisers and revenue, so the trend will not soon change. Unfortunately, the trend is prevalent in material offered with the intent of aiding in spiritual growth.

Which leads me to note the first bad habit that leads to a superficial faith. Taking a Facebook mentality into matters of spiritual importance! I confess that I click on such titles myself, because they are attention getting. Too often the article is as much pop psychology as Biblical teaching. The quality of writing on spiritual matters is suffering as authors try to adapt to the short attention spans and novel cravings of a culture unduly influenced by social media. This is sad.

Continue reading » 7 Bad Habits of Superficial Christians

The Patternists: Contending for the Truth

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Recent forays into blog and Facebook comments have again uncovered the idea that those who have the audacity to point out religious error are uncharitable, un-Christian, stubborn, and bizarre.

Some comments come from people who ridicule the concept of divine inspiration and the veracity of the Bible. Too often, however, those who show such animosity toward a defense of truth are themselves claimed followers of Christ.

To the former we confess no surprise. The idea of contending over a book which is the product of men is nonsensical, and we understand their disdain.

To the latter we defend ourselves with the following words from the pen of Jude:

“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (verse 3).

To see The Patternists Page on Facebook, click here, and Like!

In the News: Consciousness & God

ImageA common question in science and common theme of science fiction is the potential of robots to become sufficiently complex to become conscious. That is, have self-awareness. In a sense, it would mean that they are alive, would have self-will, and (as happens often in Sci-Fi novels and shows) perhaps would rise up in revolt against mankind (cf. Terminator, among others). Like I said, science fiction.

There is a theory out there about how the brain works, called Quantum Brain Dynamics (it’s a real theory). It states that our brains not only give us the ability to hear, see, taste, feel, etc., — our brains also use quantum mechanics to create consciousness in us.

Continue reading » In the News: Consciousness & God

In the News: Is the Pope Humble?

Image I am sure some who read this would object to the question. They might first object to any question of his humility as absurd. It has, after all, been his most commonly acknowledged attribute, proclaimed by the media which has covered each of his appearances in America. Others might object to the idea we might “judge” the heart of another. Who are we to deem the Pope as being anything other than what he “appears” or “claims” to be.

Of course, the judging of hearts is not appropriate. And, I freely admit that despite the adulation supplied him, his cloistered lifestyle, and his privileged existence, he continues to speak to and show compassion toward those who are poor and destitute.

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Sermon: Anatomy of Institutional Apostasy

Image Many denominations have departed from any semblance of Biblical faithfulness. From Heresy to Sectarianism to Denominationalism to full blown Humanism, the process of the institutional apostsy is explained.

Those who are faithful must learn from history, and heed the warnings to remain faithful to the standard, God’s word.

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In the News: Faith vs. Fact?

FactsI recently read at the Washington Post online, a review of the book, Faith vs. Fact (Why Science and Religion are Incompatible) by Jerry A. Coyne. The review itself was written by Jeffrey Schloss, a biologist at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA. The book apparently consists of a series of logical arguments designed to pit religion against science, with the author’s assertion that ultimately, religion’s methods “are useless for understanding reality.”

The review is largely complimentary of the book, but Schloss argues that Coyne falls short in some areas in his treatment of the topic. Consider the following quote by Schloss from the article:

“The preface [of Coyne’s book, SC] begins with a quote from Neil deGrasse Tyson: ‘The good thing about science is that it’s true, whether or not you believe in it.’ But this is simply wrong. Facts are true whether or not one believes in them. Science is an impressively reliable but fallible means for ascertaining facts. Indeed, facts are true whether or not science itself believes in them.”

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Sermon: Some Uses of the Tongue

Image We all can be inconsistent in speech, sometimes saying what is needful and helpful, and sometimes sinning with our tongue. This “ought not to be so” (cf. James 3:10). Some good and bad speech is discussed in the lesson.

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Wage the Good Warfare

Image In the last 100 years, our nation has been involved in numerous wars. The first World War was believed by many to be the “war to end all wars.” Surely mankind learned its lesson from the atrocities and loss of life. Alas, no. The second World War erupted only a few decades after, followed by America’s involvement in the Korean conflict, the Vietnam War, two separate wars with Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, and our present undeclared war with Muslim Militants. Other, minor conflicts pepper our nation’s history over the last century.

It seems war is inevitable. Even though many have wearied of the loss of life and economic privation that accompanies warfare, evil men remain resolute in their desire to subdue, conquer, and press their ideologies upon others. This demonstrates a universal truth. Peace is not attained unilaterally. It takes a willingness on the part of all, to be established and maintained.

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From the Preacher’s Pen: Respect for “Our” Soldiers

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Tuesday was Veterans Day, and many expressed their appreciation for the service and sacrifices of the many members of our armed forces. I say many, because unfortunately not all show the proper respect due these brave men and women. Our soldiers put themselves in harm’s way, dutiful in their response to their superiors, defending our nation from those who have made themselves our enemies. For this they are reviled by some. This is shameful. Recognizing that not all wars are popular, there remains the necessity that liberty be defended. Our debt to them is large, and they deserve our admiration.

The same lack of respect is sometimes seen among God’s people, expressed toward those who contend with error. Though our warfare is spiritual rather than carnal (2 Corinthians 10:3-5), there is a parallel need for men to stand in the breech, “contend for the faith” (Jude 3), “convict those who contradict” (Titus 1:9), and “endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3).

Just like those who have no stomach for carnal conflict, some among God’s people are unwilling to uphold those who “wage the good warfare” (1 Timothy 1:18). Fortunately, the soldier of Christ is seldom motivated by the praise of men. He soldiers on, recognizing that while men may criticize him for his militant defense of truth, his purpose as a “bondservant of Christ” is to please his Lord (Galatians 1:10).

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