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

The Importance of Assembling

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When God created man, he made him to be a social being. Throughout history, men have typically gathered together in communities. In fact, the institution of marriage was established by God as He determined “It is not good that man should be alone.” So, God said, “I will make him a helper comparable to him” (Genesis 2:28).

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Sermon: The Joy of Fellowship

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The lesson discusses the great joy that we have from fellowship with God, and our brethren in Christ. Some practical suggestions are made showing how to cultivate and rejoice in our love and affection for each other.

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Powerpoint Slides

The Power of God’s Foolishness

ImageIn 1 Corinthians 1, the apostle Paul realistically predicted the reaction of most people to the message of the cross. He wrote, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing” (18). Many times when I have preached a simple lesson on some aspect of truth, I will be asked by a brother or sister in Christ, “How can anyone in their right mind reject such an obvious truth?” The answer is given by Paul, it is foolishness to them. They reject the message and proofs supplied by God, preferring instead their own ideals and opinions. As Paul continued, “For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness.” (22-23).

In contrast, to those “who are being saved”, the message of the cross is “the power of God” (18). In verse 24, the preaching of “Christ crucified” is said to be to “those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (24).

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Fellowship and the “Days” of Genesis

creationIt is interesting, and rather disheartening to note that brethren can quickly become complacent with regard to false doctrine. Typically, when a false doctrine is introduced, it is dealt with by those who uphold the truth, sides are taken, and the issue fades. Unfortunately, those who hold to the error are seldom fully expelled from fellowship with God’s people. This was the case with Israel, which failed as a nation to eradicate idolatry. As such, the worship of foreign gods was a constant sin of the nation throughout its history. It seems that we have not learned from history. In this generation, God’s people continue to fellowship those who bring error into the camp. As Paul wrote, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

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Sermon: Paul’s Love for the Ephesians

Image The apostle Paul, in his final words to the Ephesian elders, expressed his great love for them. This love was the motivation for the warnings and admonitions he gave in Acts 20:17-38.

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FB: Cheapening the Term “Fellowship”

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In the New Testament, the term fellowship (from the Greek, koinonia), is consistently used to refer to a joint participation in the spiritual.

  • In 1 Corinthians 1:9, Paul uses it to refer to our relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • In 2 Corinthians 6:14, he admonishes Christians not to be yoked together with unbelievers and evil.
  • In 2 Corinthians 8:4, he attributes the word to the important spiritual work of benevolence to saints who were suffering.
  • In Galatians 2:9, he talks of the “right hand of fellowship”, indicating the apostles’ endorsement of his preaching to the Gentiles.
  • In Philippians 1:5, he notes that their support of his work in preaching to the lost was “fellowship in the gospel”.
  • John speaks of the spiritual relationship we enjoy as children of God, and with one another as brothers and sisters in Christ in 1 John 1:6-7.

Today when religious people use the term they are more likely to be talking about recreation, eating and fun. Putting an (inappropriately) weighty term upon a trivial activity does not make it more credible or important.

Paul wrote, “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).

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Mining the Scriptures: 1 John 1:4

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In John’s opening words, he affirmed himself to be an eyewitness of the resurrected Christ, and that His resurrection is the basis of his readers’ standing with God. As Paul wrote, the gospel is “the power of God to salvation” (Romans 1:16).

In verse 4 he states, “And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” Actually, manuscript authorities differ on whether the word is “our” or “your.”

If “our”, the apostle would have reference either to himself (as he used the editorial “we” to begin the epistle (cf. vs. 1), or to the common joy both he and the readers would experience through the reality of their fellowship in Christ. If “your”, the meaning would be the same, but directed to his readers alone.

Regardless, our contemplation of the redemptive acts of Jesus brings great joy to our lives as Christians. Because we believe in Him, we have fellowship together, and the hope of heaven. There is no greater source of joy available to us!

Invitation: We Are Not Alone!

Invitation delivered by: Ben Schmidt

In 2 Kings 6:12-ff, the prophet Elisha showed his servant that with God, we are never alone. This is a lesson we should learn as well!

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Sermon: Miscellaneous Admonitions

In Romans 15:1-13, the apostle delivered a number of concise admonitions to the Roman Christians, including the call to receive each other, be gentle and charitable, edify one another, glorify God, rejoice, Praise the Lord, etc. These admonitions are discussed in the lesson.

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Sermon: One Another

A textual examination of a number of verses where the phrase “one another” is found. The lesson emphasizes our need to love our brethren in Christ, with an explanation of ways this love is to be demonstrated.

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List of verses in DOCX format

Progressive VS Conservative

Webster’s Dictionary defines progressive as, (a) of, relating to, or characterized by progress; (b) making use of or interested in new ideas, findings, or opportunities. In relation to politics and societal trends, a progressive is interested in change. He wants to try new ideas, take advantage of new technologies, and is always trying to make the world a better place by replacing old ideas and ways with new ones.

One antonym of progressive, as supplied by Webster, is the word conservative. Again, speaking politically and societally, the conservative is wary of change. He embraces the way things have been done in the past, declaring them tried and true. He does not believe that change is for the better, and rejects new ideas and technologies as merely novel, fearing unknown consequences should they be adopted.

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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: Participating in the Gospel

Invitation delivered by: Justin Carrell

Paul thanked God for the Philippian’s fellowship, or participation in the gospel of Christ. Whenever we “participate” in the gospel, we cause joy in heaven!

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Invitation: All Members of the Body are Important

Invitation delivered by: Armando Vera

Armando used the text of 1 Corinthians 12:12-ff to establish the importance of every Christian as we seek to edify one another as members of the body of Christ.

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From the Preacher’s Pen: Aspire to an Idyllic Life!

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The second chapter of the book of Acts records the activities of Christians at the dawn of the church’s existence. “Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (vs. 44-47).

The text reveals an idyllic state among the people of God — one to which we today should aspire. Luke quickly begins to recount sin among the brethren (Acts 5), cultural conflicts (Acts 6) as well as persecution from without (Acts 7). But, early on there was only joy and encouragement as brethren showed hospitality toward each other, and came together in praise and worship to God.

No doubt such joy is available to Christians today. It is possible for righteous people of God to have the same mind, to endure opposition, and maintain the peace and joy that comes from our common heritage. It must be fostered and maintained, but it is possible, and it is a state God desires for his people.

If you want that joy, then do as they did in Acts 2. Assemble with the saints to worship God. Show love to your brethren through benevolence and hospitality. Thank God for the wonderful blessings you receive. Be glad for who you are, and the hope of heaven you enjoy. It is wonderful to be a child of God, and to rejoice in the hope of heaven!

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