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

A “Leap” into Temporal Rumination

ImageThe title is a fancy way of saying that tomorrow’s addition of an extra date to the calendar (this is a leap year) got me thinking about time.

The insertion of an extra day into the calendar for corrective purposes was an innovation of Julius Caesar 2000 years ago. It was modified a bit when the “Gregorian” calendar was adopted in the western world in 1582. But, this article is not about that…

We are creatures bound by time. We mark the day of our birth, each year in turn, and finally, the day of our death. Our physical existence is measured by decades, years, months, days, hours, minutes and seconds. Our written history will add centuries, and perhaps a few millennia, but ultimately the span of our temporal existence is greatly limited.

Perhaps this is why the concept of God is met with such resistance. The skeptic is certainly challenged by the evolutionist’s hypothetical “billions of years”, but is absolutely unable to grasp the idea of a Being without beginning or end.

Even Christians struggle with the scope of eternity. The goal of eternity in God’s presence, while desired, is too often a remote concept. We live in the here and now, and sometimes our focus strays (to our detriment) to what this life has to offer. Let us never forget the only question of importance, as asked of Jesus by the young ruler, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10:17).

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From the Preacher’s Pen: Perpetuity

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A man’s perspective makes it difficult for him to understand the concept of eternity. We think in terms of seconds, minutes, hours, days, years and decades. The longer the time span, as it expands beyond our own lifetime, the more difficult it is to comprehend. Job had it right, “Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble” (Job 14:1).

There is another word that is used when defining terms like eternal and eternity. It is perpetuity. The word perpetuity is defined by Webster, “a state or quality of lasting forever.” The British government has in the past issued bonds called “consols.” The person who bought these bonds is entitled to receive annual interest payments “in perpetuity” or forever. Actually, the bonds will only be good so long as the British government and economy continue to exist.

When Burt Reynolds starred in his movie, Smoky and the Bandit, he popularized Trans Ams to the extent that the Pontiac company promised him a new Trans Am each year in perpetuity. In reality, the promise was only kept for five years.

God has promised, to the faithful, life in perpetuity. Fortunately, He is the one who can and will make good on His promise. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). It may be hard for us to grasp, but we don’t have to fully understand to appreciate and strive for that reward!

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FB: The Crown of Life

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God has promised a crown of life to those who obey Him. “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).

There are number of references to that crown, with it described as:

  • An imperishable crown(1 Corinthians 9:25)
  • A crown of joy/rejoicing (1 Thessalonians 2:19)
  • A crown of glory (1 Peter 5:4)

In the passage from Revelation 2:10, there is the implication that our crown may be taken away. Thus, the exhortation, “Be faithful until death.” May we all run the race of life in such a way as to obtain the “imperishable crown” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25).

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Invitation: Living and Dying

Invitation delivered by: Stan Cox

In 2 Corinthians 4, the apostle Paul contrasts the ultimate resolution of our physical lives (death) with the ultimate resolution of our spiritual lives as Christians (eternal life).

Audio

Bound by Time

Man is a creature bound by time. His entire existence is measured by date and duration. Nine months in the womb. The first birthday. Becoming a teenager. Sweet sixteen. High School, then college graduation. Marriage, children, anniversaries, retirement, death. We celebrate the various milestones in our lives. Figures such as 1, 16, 18, 21, 40, 50, 65, 80, 90, 100 all bring immediate and sometimes visceral memories and emotions.

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Drops of Dew

ImageDeuteronomy 32 records the song that Moses spoke to assembled Israel just before his death. Joshua took over as leader of the people, as they crossed over the Jordan and at long last entered the promised land of Canaan. There is a beautiful sentiment expressed in the opening words of the song:

“Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak;
And hear, o earth, the words of my mouth.
Let my teaching drop as the rain,
My speech distill as the dew,
As raindrops on the tender herb,
And as showers on the grass.
For I proclaim the name of the Lord:
Ascribe greatness to our God.
He is the Rock, His work is perfect;
For all His ways are justice,
A God of truth and without injustice;
Righteous and upright is He.”

(Deuteronomy 32:1-4)

Notice that Moses characterized his speech, where he proclaimed “the name of the Lord,” as words of freshness and revival, likening them to rain and dew.

Dew, (tiny drops of water that form on cool surfaces during the night, as water vapor condenses) has always been portrayed as beautiful and rejuvenating. In the very beginning, God used such to water the ground, “but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground” (Genesis 2:6).

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Invitation: Life is a Vapor

Invitation delivered by: Ben Schmidt

When we witness an unexpected death, we realize that life is a vapor. (James 4:14). Since this is so, where are we laying up our treasures?

Audio

Invitation: Christ Gives Us Eternal Life

Invitation delivered by: Stan Cox

1 Corinthians 15:20-24. The Apostle Paul affirms the resurrection of the Christ. Through His death, we have the hope of eternal life.

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Sermon: Further Clothed

The sermon is an expository treatment of 2 Corinthians 5:1-9 emphasizing the nature of our hope, serving as motivation for our aim to always “be well pleasing to Him.”

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Sermon: 7 Promises of God

The sermon first establishes that all of God’s promises are sure. Then, discusses the following promises of God:

  1. To supply every need we have.
  2. That His grace is sufficient for us.
  3. That His children will not be overtaken in temptation.
  4. Victory over death.
  5. That all things work together for good to those who love Him.
  6. Those who believe and are baptized will be saved.
  7. Eternal Life.

Audio

Powerpoint Slides

“But, What If You Are Wrong?”

When defending my faith to a skeptic, I have been asked on a few occasions, “But, what if you are wrong?” It is a question that arises from my acknowledgment that I accept the claims of scripture by faith. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Setting aside the evidence that supports my faith, let us consider for a moment the question asked.

Paul actually addressed just this question, in acknowledging the ramifications of the contention that there is no resurrection of the dead. In 1 Corinthians, chapter 15, he wrote, “For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable” (vs. 16-19).

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Sermon: Fear Men or God?

This sermon is an expository study of Matthew 10:27-33 helping to establish an important truth… The Almighty God of the universe is the One we should fear, rather than men.

Sermon Audio: Click Here .

Sermon: Gospel Meeting (Mo Hafley) November 6-11, 2010

This post contains short summaries and links to both audio and Powerpoint presentations of all the sermons Mo Hafley preached for the West Side congregation in the Fall 2010 meeting, November 6-11.

Lesson 1: Looking Unto Jesus

In this sermon, Mo Hafley of Paden City, WV uses the text of Hebrews 12:1-7, to establish the nature of the Christian’s race on earth, and the motivation behind it as we look to Jesus, our Savior.

Sermon Audio: Click Here .

Lesson 2: How We Worship

This sermon by Mo Hafley is a discussion on proper worship to God, with an emphasis on focus and proper spirituality when we sing, pray, commune around the Lord’s table, give of our means, and listen to the preaching of the Word of God.

Sermon Audio: Click Here .

Lesson 3: A Few Days with Paul

This sermon by Mo Hafley is a discussion of Paul’s ministry in Thessalonica and Berea, as recorded by Luke in Acts 17:1-13. Paul and the first century disciples showed great courage in the preaching of the gospel of Christ.

Sermon Audio: Click Here .

Lesson 4: Parents and Children

This sermon by Mo Hafley is a wonderful treatment of God’s word on the topic of Parenting. In it, Mo shows what God expects of Christian parents, and even has some words of admonition for children.

Sermon Audio: Click Here .

Lesson 5: Preaching Properly

In this sermon, Mo Hafley discusses the proper tone we are to take in preaching. Emphasis is placed upon militance in preaching, as too often in our day and time people heap up for themselves teachers having itching ears. Soft preaching is not God’s way.

Sermon Audio: Click Here .

Lesson 6: Holy Living in an Unholy World

This sermon by Mo Hafley documents the moral evil that is present in our world, and especially our nation. Biblical advice is given to Christians, explaining how we are to navigate in such troublesome waters.

Sermon Audio: Click Here .

Sermon Powerpoint: Click Here .

Lesson 7: Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego

This lesson is an expository treatment of Daniel 3, showing the courage of these great servants of God. Regardless of consequence, Christians must emulate them.

Sermon Audio: Click Here .

Lesson 8: Evidences

This lesson by Mo Hafley is a concise detailing of various internal and external evidences, given to prove God’s existence, and the validity of the Bible as God’s revelation.

Sermon Audio: Click Here .

Sermon Powerpoint: Click Here .

Lesson 9: Homesick for Heaven

This lesson was an appropriate ending to our gospel meeting with Mo Hafley. He used homesickness (an emotion we have all felt) to explain the type of desire and expectation we as Christians should have regarding our heavenly home.

Sermon Audio: Click Here .

Sermon: The Last Day (Dennis Craig)

This lesson combines a scripturally based dramatic enactment of the day of judgment (seen from the viewpoint of a Christian) interspersed with numerous scriptures describing that event. The sermon was preached by Dennis Craig.

Sermon Outline (Microsoft Word): Click Here .

Sermon Audio: Click Here .

Frail Bodies

I want to start this article with an admission, I am not a young man anymore. I have always viewed myself as a young man, even as two decades have passed since the day I came as a 28 year old preacher to work with this congregation.

Twenty years, and I am rapidly approaching my 48th birthday. Now, I know that “young” is a relative term. There are many in the congregation that would still consider me a “whippersnapper”. Actually that term means an insignificant person, according to Webster, but I have always heard it combined with the term “young.”

Continue reading » Frail Bodies