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

Contending for the Faith

The United States is among the most tolerant and permissive of societies. Yet it is a society that is extremely intolerant of a very few things. One example of intolerance is with regard to “political correctness.” There are certain attitudes and ideas, which if expressed, lead to the ruin of public reputations and careers. Often those who rush to condemn these attitudes, (what they call “hate speech”), are the same ones who clamor over the right to freedom of expression. This is incongruous, but is nevertheless a rather prominent feature of our day.

This is also true in religion. These permissive influences claim that all religions have worth and that religious criticism is a form of that “hate speech.” Pleas for toleration have led many to the irrational claim that all these terrorist attacks by Muslim fundamentalists had “nothing to do with religion.” They ignore the fact that such extremists have declared a “jihad” (holy war) against all non-muslims. Continue reading » Contending for the Faith

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.

Audio

Powerpoint PPTX File

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.

Audio

Powerpoint PPTX

Sermon: Some Facts about the church of Christ

some facts about the church of Christ

The Lord’s church is very different from the religious denominations you typically see in America. This sermon discusses some of the things that makes the church of Christ unique.

Audio

Powerpoint Slides

Challenges Confronting the Church

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This class consisted of four lessons, taken from Mark Copeland’s topical sermon series. I chose four lessons from that series:

  1. Introduction
  2. Denominationalism
  3. Secularism
  4. Traditionalism

The class took place on each Wednesday evening in December, 2016. The material consists of:

  • The four lessons (the material is the same as it appears on brother Copeland’s site, except for reformatting.
  • The teacher’s notes (some highlighting, and the addition of scriptures)
  • Audio of the four classes

Materials

Audio

The Patternists: The Way of the Fool

fool

“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise” (Proverbs 12:15).

Perhaps we live in a foolish culture, but it is typical of the religious individual today to do what “is right in his own eyes.” We have been told time and again of the confidence the fool has that “God is pleased with what I do.”

Men justify immodesty because “God created me this way, and there is nothing wrong with celebrating the beauty of our bodies.” This despite the fact that the Holy Spirit reveals that to “uncover the thigh” constitutes a nakedness that is shameful to expose (cf. Isaiah 47:2-3).

Men justify willful worship, because “God gave me this gift, and so it is pleasing to Him for me to use it.” This despite the fact that the Lord said that such worship is vain and iniquitous (cf. Matthew 7:21-23; 15:9).

Men justify the existence of denominations (division) because “God doesn’t care which church you are a member of, or what they teach, so long as you love Him.” This despite the fact that Jesus prayed to His Father, “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:21; cf. 1 Corinthians 1:10).

We could go on and on with examples of such foolishness. Truly the wise man “heeds counsel” especially the Divine counsel of God’s word.

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

Baptists Fire Football Coach!

ImageBaylor University, (a university associated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas), is the largest Baptist University in the world. The university football team competes in the Big 12 conference, and finished last season with the 13th ranked team in the nation.

On Thursday, a scandal broke, when reporters uncovered institutional efforts to squelch the investigation of sexual assault claims made against players on the football team. Art Briles, the head coach of the football team, was allegedly aware of the cover-up, and was summarily dismissed from his position.

Continue reading » Baptists Fire Football Coach!

The Patternists: The Undenominational Church

Patternist

Recently I came across the phrase, “congregations of the Churches of Christ.” I am sad to say that it was not a member of some religious denomination, but a baptized believer who used the words. There is so much talk about offensive speech in our day. Well let me tell you that those words offended me.

First, I am offended by the ignorance. The phrase is redundant. The phrase “churches of Christ” is used only once in the New Testament, in Romans 16:16, “Greet one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ greet you.” In that verse, the word “churches” has reference to congregations. So, in the offensive phrase above, it could be rendered, “congregations of the congregations of Christ.” Such silliness is similar to the popular phrase “born again Christian.” By definition a Christian is one who is born again. There is no such thing as a Christian who has not been born again. So, the phrase is redundant, “a born again born again person.” But, I digress.

The second, and most offensive aspect of the phrase “congregations of the Churches of Christ” is that it indicates a denominational concept of Christianity. In other words, it differentiates between congregations of the “Churches of Christ” denomination, as contrasted with congregations of say, the Baptist denomination, or congregations of the Methodist denomination. This denominational concept of Christianity is clearly condemned in scripture (John 17:20-21; 1 Corinthians 1:10-13).

Scripture reveals that there is only one church, established by Jesus Christ, (Matthew 16:18). That church is made up of those INDIVIDUALS who are saved, (Acts 2:47). That church is organized in one way, and one way only, into local congregations, (1 Corinthians 1:1-3). If your concept of the church is different, then you are part of a big problem.

Denominationalism (Many churches instead of one) is abhorrent to the One who founded His church. I refuse to be a part of any denomination, or to describe the Lord’s church using any denominational terms. Words mean things, and it is offensive for Christ’s church to be referred to in such an obviously unscriptural way. It may be simple ignorance, or it may be a willful departure from God’s pattern that fosters these words. Regardless, our Lord deserves more respect.

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

Sermon: Antipathy Towards Autonomy

ImageA recent petition that circulated online addressing members of the church of Christ contains language that is so sectarian it clearly indicates the impact institutionalism has had upon God’s people.

This sermon examines the language and sentiments used in that petition, contrasting them with God’s word.

Audio

Powerpoint Slides

Sermon: “He shall build a house for my name”

Carl Allen Meeting

Sermon 2 of 9 by Carl Allen.

Nathan prophesied 1,000 years before the event (2 Samuel 7:12-13), the establishment of the church of God. Denominations are not the Lord’s churches. His church was established centuries before on Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2.

Audio

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.

Audio

Mining the Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 1:10-13

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With this text, Paul gives his first of many admonitions to the church at Corinth. The Corinthians were acting carnally (cf. 3:1-4) in that they were fomenting strife within the congregation.

Division is an unacceptable condition among those who name the name of Christ. Those who cause it are to be quickly rejected by godly men (cf. Titus 3:10). Interestingly, in this situation, the Corinthians were dividing over men who themselves were godly and unified. The exaltation of men over truth is a common problem, causing division even today.

The present denominational view of unity is not advocated by Paul. While those today call for compromise, the abandonment of doctrine and an “agreement to disagree”, Paul calls upon the Corinthians to “all speak the same thing” and to be “perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Christian unity must aspire to the same standard practiced by the Son and the Father (cf. John 17:20-23). Nothing less will do!

Invitation: The churches of Christ greet you – Invitation

Image Invitation delivered by: Stan Cox

This short talk emphasizes what the Bible teaches a true non-denominational truly to be.

Audio

From the Preacher’s Pen: Truth Does Not Divide!

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It is a fundamental concept worthy of constant affirmation: “Truth does not divide!” It is common for people today to count the Lord’s church among the many denominations that populate the religious landscape. They make no distinction, other than to charge God’s people as being sectarian simply because we seek to differentiate between truth and error!

It is error that brings division between seekers of Christ. In contrast, Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). The claim we make of being simply followers of the Word of God, unwilling to deviate to the left or the right, is one worthy of examination. When it is put to the test, if it is found to be a false claim, then we acknowledge that we are no better than any other religious person who seeks to teach “as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9). However, if our claim is true, then all should seek to be part of that which “came through the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:12).

Religious people clamor for diversity, freedom and change. In contrast we offer unity, bondservice to the Lord, and “the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (cf. Jude 3). The appeal may not be popular, but it is the basis of our standing with God. Remember the words of the Lord, “If you love me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15).

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From the Preacher’s Pen: A Presumptuous Invitation

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This past week we received in the mail an invitation to join with other churches in the area in an effort to increase evangelism in our community. The invitation was from a human organization whose purpose was to teach our members how to evangelize, and to explain to churches how the work could be done most effectively. It was suggested that we send an “Advanced coordinator,” an “Event coordinator”, and a “Youth coordinator”, but emphasized the need for every church to at least send a contact person to the seminar they would be holding.

The absurdity of this request is evident. How can a human organization instruct the God created institution in how to do the work God gave it to do? The fact that such an organization did not exist in the first century, and that such designations as the above “coordinators” is unknown to scripture shows just how truly misguided is this invitation. It is eminently unscriptural, and without Divine approval.

That doesn’t mean, however, that as a congregation of God’s people we are sufficiently active and effective in sharing the gospel message with our community. It takes diligent effort and a sharpening of the Spirit’s sword to accomplish the work God has given for US to do in this town. If we don’t do it, it will not be done. God has granted to us a “great and effective door” (cf. 1 Corinthians 16:9). Will you do your part by walking through, and teaching others about the Christ?

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