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

Refreshing the Spirits of the Brethren

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One of the fundamental responsibilities of a Christian is to love his brethren. “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another” (1 John 3:10-11). It is an imperative, and as Christians we should be mindful of obeying it.

One of the most effective ways to show your love for the brethren is through the practice of hospitality. It is one of an impressive list of characteristics which indicate a faithful child of God. “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality (Romans 12:10-13).

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The Christian’s Responsibility to the Brethren

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The Christian has the responsibility to be hospitable, to see unity with fellow believers, to edify his brethren and to love them as well.

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“He who receives you receives Me”

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In Matthew 10, Jesus sent His disciples to preach to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. In verse 40, He said to them, “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent me.”

This is an interesting truth as it relates to hospitality. By being hospitable to those who belong to Christ, it is as if we are receiving the Lord Himself (and by extension, His Father). Our Lord will appreciate and deal kindly with those who care for His own.

Going further, Jesus then said, “He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward” (vs. 41). In order to understand this sentence, the phrase “in the name of” must be explained. Albert Barnes wrote,

“To receive in the “name” of a prophet is to receive “as” a prophet; to do proper honour to his character, and to evince attachment to the cause in which he was engaged.”

So, both with a righteous man, and with a prophet (or preacher), when you receive them because they are righteous or because they preach the truth, you please God just as they do!

Hospitality is important. Hospitality expressed because of our common faith and love for our brethren is a selfless act that pleases God, and elicits His favor!

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Sermon: Practicing Hospitality

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The lesson discusses the qualities a Christian needs to successfully accomplish the command to practice hospitality. These attributes are: Compassion, Humility, Kindness and Generosity.

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From the Preacher’s Pen: Be Hospitable

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As you know I spent the last week preaching a gospel meeting in Lubbock at the Indiana Avenue church of Christ. The brethren there have long stood for truth, and were very accepting of the lessons I preached while there.

In addition to their kind reception of the preaching, they were hospitable to Debbie and I. This is the same group that adopted Josh when he was going to school at Texas Tech, and who are opening their arms and hearts to Kahley Paulsel as she begins her time there. I have a great fondness for all of them.

It is a wonderful thing to have such a kinship and affection with the faithful, wherever you go. All of us have received warm welcomes when traveling, even when meeting other Christians for the first time. In 3 John, the apostle commended Gaius for his hospitality, “Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers, who have borne witness of your love before the church” (3 John 5-6a). We are so grateful that there are many of Gaius’ ilk among the people of God in our generation.

I also appreciate the brethren here at West Side, as many of you exhibit the same willingness to be hospitable. It is important for each of us to examine our hearts, and our practice to ensure that we are pleasing God. “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins.’ Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:8-10).

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Invitation: The Greater Blessing is in Giving

Invitation delivered by: Stan Cox

Stan uses the text of Philippians 4:10-ff, to establish the truthfulness of the adage, it is better to give than receive. Paul was blessed by the gift given by the Philippians, but the church received the greater blessing.

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From the Preacher’s Pen: Feeding the Preacher

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The practice of hospitality is emphasized as an important part of the Christian walk. Gaius was commended by the apostle John for his expressions of hospitality for “the brethren and for strangers” (3 John 4).

Gaius’ hospitality included the keeping and feeding of preachers of the gospel of Christ. Because of his help to them, John said that Gaius did “well”, and indicated that when we receive these men, “we may become fellow workers for the truth” (vs. 8).

We put up a meal list for brother Micky Galloway, who will be preaching for us in our meeting April 3-8. This is your opportunity to emulate Gaius, and receive the commendation of our Lord.

If you show hospitality to a preacher, he gets a meal, but you get a far greater blessing!

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Mining the Scriptures: 3 John 5-8

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3 John 5-8

Gaius was a wonderful and hospitable man. This is evident from our text, where the beloved apostle John commends him for the love he showed for “the brethren and for strangers.”

Though hospitality is a physical thing, it is a spiritual work. It is a means of supporting the Christian laborer, as evidenced by the words of our text, “If you send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well.” One who is doing the Lord’s work should be encouraged and helped in that work. This is something that even the babe in Christ is able to do. To put it simply, you may not be able to eloquently share the word, but you can supply a comfortable bed and warm meal for those who do!

2 John 9-11 also indicates that the work of hospitality is a spiritual endeavor. John there indicates that the offer of your home to a teacher is the equivalent of extending the hand of fellowship. That is why we are not to extend such hospitality to a false teacher, for “he who greets him shares in his evil deeds” (11).

Hospitality is the Lord’s work!

From the Preacher’s Pen: Be Hospitable

sketch6“Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:9-10).

The term “hospitable,” in this text, is easily defined. It means “fond of guests.” The concept of Christian love demands that we not be grudging regarding the keeping and care of guests. Having brethren into your home is an expression of love, care and appreciation for them.

Next week the brethren here have an opportunity to have a preacher of the gospel into their home. Brother Greer is doing us a great service in preaching the truth of God’s word. It is a great gift that we are unable to repay in kind. But, we can be hospitable to him, and we can do it without grumbling! (Spaces remain available on the meal list).

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