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

Negative Examples


We contend that the examples we find in scripture serve to establish authority. When we see Christians in the New Testament engaged in an activity with God’s approval, we know the activity to be authorized by God. We can do it as well.

An example, Acts 20:7. The disciples ate the Lord’s Supper on the first day of the week (Sunday). So, we are authorized to do the same.

Similarly, we are to learn from negative examples. Paul affirmed this in 1 Corinthians 10. He noted the sinful actions of the Israelites during their time in the Wilderness, saying, “But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness” (5). He then wrote, “Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted (6).

Four things are mentioned specifically: idolatry, fornication, tempting Christ and complaining.

Taking fornication as an example, we note that any sexual activity outside of marriage (heterosexual, as defined by God, cf. Genesis 2:22-24) is condemned (cf. Hebrews 13:4). As Paul wrote, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (12).

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A Pattern of Mercy


Paul, in his letter to Timothy, revealed himself to be an egregious sinner. He had been guilty of persecuting Christians. He described himself as “formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man” (1 Timothy 1:13). God, though, extended His grace to all men, including Paul. Paul wrote:

“However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life” (1 Timothy 1:16).

Note the words of Paul. By his example, Jesus Christ has established a “pattern.” We look to the example of Paul, and from it we are assured that no matter how horrible our sins may be, we can be saved. If Paul could receive forgiveness, so can we.

Many deny that we can look to scripture as a pattern. Most commonly, it is because they desire the freedom to live as they like, and do not want to be constrained by God’s revealed will. But, it works both ways. We better hope that Paul is right, and that his example establishes a pattern! That way, we can be confident that we too can obtain mercy, no matter how horrible our sins!

“This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (1:15).

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The Christian’s Responsibility in the World


The Christian has the responsibility to be a good citizen, to be a good influence, to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to be a good neighbor to those who are in the world.


Powerpoint Slides

Sermon: “Such as I am”


In Acts 26:29, Paul told King Agrippa of his wish that the King would become “such as I am.” This was not egotistical. He knew the king needed to accept Jesus, just as Paul had done. What does it mean to be like Paul?


Powerpoint Slides

Sermon: Faithful Hannah

Image 1 Samuel, chapter 1 we have recorded for us the faithfulness of Samuel’s mother Hannah. She serves as a good example to us.


Sermon: Jesus – Our Trailblazer

ImageAll of the things that God requires of us, Jesus did first. He leads the way, He is our trailblazer. He blazed the trail of:

* Obedience
* Sacrifice
* Love
* Forgiveness
* Resisting Temptation


Powerpoint Slides

FB: Put On Your Own Mask First!

West Side on FB

Have you ever wondered why a flight attendant, when talking about the oxygen masks, says to put on your own mask first before helping your child to put his or her mask on? Simple! You have to be able to breathe in order to help someone else!

There is a similar instruction that Paul gave to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:16, “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.”

You can’t expect to be effective in saving the souls of others if you are not spiritually strong yourself. It is a matter of priority. You need to be able to breathe (spiritually), before you can expect to effectively help someone else!

So, if you want to be effective in preaching the gospel message, understand that the best teachers are those who let their “light so shine before men, that they may see [their] good works and glorify [their] father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

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Sermon: “They had been with Jesus”

The sermon uses the text of Acts 4:5-14, (the example of Peter and John’s preaching) as an example to us. When we are with Jesus (in fellowship with him):

  1. It will be noticed by others
  2. Our confidence will be placed in Christ
  3. We will have boldness


Powerpoint Slides

From the Preacher’s Pen: Assessment Before Resolution

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Late December is a time where we commonly consider possible resolutions for the new year. I am a fan of resolutions. One of mine is to lose the rest of my excess weight, and keep it off by exercise and proper diet.

Of course there are spiritual resolutions to set, that if kept diligently, will be even more beneficial to each of us. “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8).

There is a step to be taken prior to the setting of resolutions. That step is assessment. It takes discernment and introspection. Whether you desire to time any resolutions with the beginning of the new year or not, such assessment is needful, and should be constant. “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Corinthians 13:5).

Perhaps there is some deficiency that devotional acts of prayer, study and meditation might fill. Maybe there is a bad habit or trait that can be altered through diligent effort. It is possible that a careless neglect can be made into a point of focus in the months ahead. Surely there is something done, or left undone that can be addressed after an honest assessment of our life and faith is made.
Might I suggest that each of us set aside time this next week, amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, to “examine” ourselves, and then upon that assessment resolve to improve in any appropriate facet of our life and faith? This would certainly please our heavenly Father, as we improve the expression of our devotion to Him.

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The Patternists: How to Establish the Pattern – Examples

patternist-2.pngThe second principle we affirm is that approved examples give us authority to act. Whenever we find Christians in the New Testament engaging in behavior that is approved by God, we can copy that behavior. We are on safe ground, guaranteed to please Him.

This is both logical and scriptural. It is true because Christians today live today under the same covenant as those of the first century (cf. Hebrews 1:1-4; 8:10-13). It is true because God does not show partiality (cf. Acts 10:34). It is true because we are called to emulate other Christians (cf. 1 Corinthians 4:16; 11:1).

The Holy Spirit intends for us to learn from all examples. Paul wrote of Israel’s disobedience, and said, “Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them” (1 Corinthians 10:6-7a). However, for us to be safe in doing or teaching anything, the examples we follow must be approved by God.

A demonstration: In Acts 20, Paul was in Troas. Verse 7 states, “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.” Since the disciples met on Sunday to partake of the Lord’s Supper, we can do the same with God’s approval.

This principle is seldom denied. The problem is not the belief that we are wrong to emulate Christians in the first century, but that we are free to depart from that pattern they create by their actions and teaching. This will be discussed in a later article.

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Sermon: “Whose Faith Follow”

The lesson is a study on influence. Our need to emulate champions of faith – and our responsibility to serve as an influence on others.


Powerpoint Slides

Invitation: The Light We Are to Shine is not Our Own

Invitation delivered by: Armando Vera

Armando uses the text of Christ’s sermon (Matthew 5 & 6) to point out that we are to be the lights of the world, but not to bring attention to ourselves! The point is that good works are to be done, but we must take care both of our motivation, and the way in which we do those works.


Sermon: Who Is Herman?

Fourth in an ongoing series on authority. This lesson explains what hermeneutics is (the methodological system of interpreting the Bible), and explains that our methodology is not arbitrary or contrived, but is a simple consequence of what the Bible claims to be.

Sermon Powerpoint: Click Here .

Sermon Audio: Click Here .

Sermon: Great Decisions of the Bible

There are numerous momentous decisions made by Bible characters that had far reaching implications for themselves, their descendents, and even all of mankind.

Sermon Audio: Click Here .

In The News: A Philandering Tiger

inthenewsJust about everyone knows who Tiger Woods is. He is the most famous golfer, and perhaps the most famous athlete in the world. He has also become one of the most infamous athletes due to being a serial philanderer.

Numerous women have been linked to him. Despite initial denials it was obvious that he had been unfaithful to his wife on numerous occasions with multiple mistresses. When denials proved futile, he finally admitted his infidelity, and has taken a sabbatical from golf to try to save his marriage, and regain the trust of his wife.

Continue reading » In The News: A Philandering Tiger