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

School of the Prophets?

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The Bethel church in Redding, California is offering a weeklong seminar it calls “Bethel School of the Prophets.” The course costs $395, and states as its purpose, “Our goal for this one-week, intensive training is to help facilitate prophetic ministry in local churches and ministries. We hope to help develop prophets and prophetesses…”

This is an example of religious error taking advantage of the extremely gullible. Only a cursory reading of scripture is sufficient to expose the fallacy of those who would claim to be able to “develop” prophets.

First, the text of 1 Corinthians 12 reveals that the spiritual gift of prophecy (as the other gifts) was given by the Holy Spirit. “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:29-31). In verse 28 of that text Paul states that it is God who “has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.” You can’t teach someone to be a prophet!

Second, the scripture reveals that at the time God’s will is revealed in full, the gift of prophecy would cease! “For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away” (1 Corinthians 13:9-10). Now that we have the perfect (complete) will of God revealed, there is no more need for partial expressions of knowledge. Prophecy has ceased!

Never underestimate the willingness of men to take advantage of, and deceive the gullible! (Ephesians 4:14-15; Mark 13:22).

FB: Paul’s Fear

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“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3).

Paul noted instances of corruption during his ministry. They included:

  • Judaizing teachers who sought to impose circumcision upon the Gentiles (cf. Acts 15:1).
  • A sectarian spirit at work among fellow Christians (1 Corinthians 11).
  • A corruption of the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:20-21).
  • A denial of the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:12).
  • A contention that the resurrection was already past (2 Timothy 2:16-18).

Consider first Paul’s fear. Consider second that his fear was not unfounded. Do not be deceived by any who would seek to minimize or explain away any departure from truth in our time.

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Invitation: Doctrinal Chastity

Image Invitation delivered by: Stan Cox

In 2 Corinthians 11:1-4 Paul equates an embracing of religious error with seduction and infidelity to God. We are to be chaste. That means not only morally, but doctrinally.

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The Patternists: Are you 100% sure you will go to heaven when you die?

This past week I was handed a small card being used by a local Baptist church in door knocking. The title above was used.

The card points out “The Bible says:”, and makes four legitimate points, citing the relevant scripture

  1. “You must understand you are a sinner” (Rom. 3:23).
  2. “You must understand there is a penalty for sin” (Rom. 6:23).
  3. “We must believe that Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the death to give you eternal life” (John 3:16).
  4. “You can have eternal life and go to Heaven when you die” (Rom. 6:23, 10:13).

Continue reading » The Patternists: Are you 100% sure you will go to heaven when you die?

Sermon: The Wicked Bible Redux

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In 1631, an edition of the KJV was published with an error in Exodus 20:14, reading, “Thou shalt commit adultery.” This edition is known as the “Wicked Bible.” In our time, the “Wicked Bible” has returned as men disregard what the Bible actually says.

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From the Preacher’s Pen: “You’re not doing it for God”?

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Some are aware of the controversy that recently erupted when Joel Osteen’s wife, Victoria, said to their congregation and viewers: “When you come to church, when you worship him, you’re not doing it for God really. You’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy. Amen?” This is one fallacy of the “Prosperity Gospel” that they preach. They contend life is about you, and your happiness, rather than being about God! In response, I came across the following quote from Albert Mohler. I thought it to be very good.

God’s pleasure in his human creatures centers in his desire and will that they come to faith in Jesus Christ and be saved. The great dividing line in humanity is not between the rich and the poor, the sick and the well, or even the happy and the unhappy. The great divide is between those who, in Christ, have been transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God’s glorious light.

Mere happiness cannot bear the weight of the Gospel. The message of the real Gospel is found in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” That is a message that can be preached with a straight face, a courageous spirit, and an urgent heart in Munich, in Miami, or in Mosul.

If our message cannot be preached with credibility in Mosul, it should not be preached in Houston. That is the Osteen Predicament. (albertmohler.com)

“Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).

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Mining the Scriptures: Titus 1:10-14

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In verses 5-9, Paul gives Titus a list of qualifications to ensure that qualified men serve as elders. The reason such qualified men are needed for oversight is given in verses 10-14 — the multitude of ungodly individuals who teach error and subvert the faith of the vulnerable. As Paul said, “whose mouths must be stopped.” It seems that Titus too, as an evangelist, was to be occupied in this defense of truth.

In every culture, time and community there will be men whose influence will destroy the faith of others. The particular brand of error of which Paul warned Titus, that of libertinism (“evil beasts, lazy gluttons”), is as prevalent today as it was then and there.

Doctrinal error and sinful practices must be rebuked. And as indicated by Paul, at times that rebuke must be sharp. Men are needed, especially in the eldership, who can discern truth from the commandments of men — and “by sound doctrine” (vs. 9) both rebuke the false teacher, and warn God’s people who would be led astray.
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Mining the Scriptures: 1 Timothy 1:3-4

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The charge given by Paul to Timothy in our text is a simple one. “teach no other doctrine.” The charge was not given to Timothy, as Paul trusted his protégé. However, there was a danger that some other Christians (in Ephesus) might stray from true doctrine, and teach error. The Greek term literally means to “teach otherwise”, and obviously refers to doctrines that differ from those taught by the apostles.

Further, Timothy was to admonish against “fables and endless genealogies.” These have references to the fictions and traditions of men, that have no bearing or benefit to the Christian. They are simply a source of division. It has been stated that men could all “speak the same thing” (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:10), if only they would limit their speech to those things found in God’s word.

The purpose of spiritual instruction is edification. Such edification can be found exclusively in the word of God. Paul’s admonition is as needed (and as often violated) today as it was in his time.

Sermon: Is There Not a Cause?

In 1 Samuel 17:29, David asked his brother “Is There Not a Cause?” He desired to be of service to Jehovah, and slayed the giant Goliath. The question can be asked today, and three “giants” that need slaying are mentioned. False Doctrine, Worldliness and Complacency.

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Invitation: Putting Up With Error

Invitation delivered by: Stan Cox

In 2 Corinthians 11:1-4 the Apostle Paul discusses the very real danger of going astray, departing from truth.

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Mining the Scriptures: 2 John 9-11

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Our text is one that is highly controversial in our time, as it clearly shows that some who claim to be Christians are not worthy of fellowship and are to be rejected by the righteous. Such intolerance is not acceptable to many, but is required of us by God.

What differentiates between those who have God (are in fellowship with Him) and those who do not have God? Whether or not they abide in the doctrine of Christ. The term here could be literally rendered the “Messiah’s teaching.” (Very similar to the “apostle’s doctrine” in Acts 2:42). It includes the various doctrines concerning the person and work of Christ, but is not limited to those. Rather, it includes all that Christ taught. Both the teaching which He personally delivered to His disciples, and that promised by Him and delivered by the Holy Spirit (cf. John 16:13).

The Christian is not to associate with those who do not abide (stay, or remain) in the Messiah’s teaching. Unlike association with the world (cf. 1 Corinthians 5:9-13), to associate with false teachers among us is tantamount to fellowship. John says when we eat with them we share (jointly participate) in their evil deeds. No matter our desire for peace, this we must never do!

Invitation: The Methods of Satan

Invitation delivered by: Ron Doss

In this talk, Ron discusses what the scriptures reveal about Satan’s attempts to destroy the faith of Christians. Whether deception, persecution or temptation, we must be on guard against his devices.

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Invitation: Itching Ears

Invitation delivered by: Darren Johnson

Darren discusses Paul’s warning that in the last days, some would “heap up to themselves teachers, having itching ears” (2 Timothy 4:3-4). He points out the importance of heeding God’s worth, as only truth can save us!

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Sermon: Dangers Facing the Church

This sermon was adapted from an old bedsheet sermon chart created by Steve Hudgins years ago. The sermon was preached in two parts, AM and PM. I combined the two into a single recording of about 83 minutes. The sermon discusses 9 dangers facing the church: Ignorance, Neglectfulness, Worldliness, Boastfulness, Compromise, Materialism, Indifference, Doctrinal Error and Apostasy.

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Sermon: Correcting Error by Using Acts 8

By looking at the conversions contained in the 8th chapter of the book of Acts, it is possible to correct several commonly held false doctrines.

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