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 Christian’s Responsibility in the World

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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.

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Graceful Speech

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“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6).

Paul’s instruction here is coupled with the previous exhortation, “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside” (vs. 5). So, the graceful speech under consideration here has special application to interaction with those who are not Christians. Consider the instructions…

  • “Let your speech always be with grace.” The word “grace” here is defined by Thayer, “that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm.” The Christian is to be inoffensive in his manner of speech. That does not mean that the gospel of Christ will not offend. What it does mean is that such offense, if it comes, is the fault of the hearer, not the speaker. Our purpose is not to win arguments or to tell people off – it is to plant and water that God may give “the increase” (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:6).
  • “Seasoned with salt.” Albert Barnes makes a good point about this. He notes that although we don’t always talk about religion and our faith, piety should always be “sprinkled” in our conversations. In other words, our faith should always be the spice of our communication with others. They hear what we say, and see Christ in us.
  • “That you may know how to answer each one.” Three things to note here. 1) We can’t “know” unless we have studied. 2) We can pray for wisdom (cf. James 1:5) with the confidence that God will supply us with what we lack. 3) Practice leads to proficiency. In order to get good at our spiritual communication with the lost, we have to share the saving gospel with them.

So, let’s get to it!

Sermon: “Such as I am”

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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?

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“We are … the thought leaders”

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It is a bit disconcerting how far our world has strayed from the paths of righteousness. The wise man once wrote, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). These words are true wisdom, and the sinfulness of our society certainly is a reproach to our nation.

It is hard for the Christian to understand how the world has reached the state it is presently in. We are truly living in a time similar to that which existed during Isaiah’s tenure on earth, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:20-21). How did we get here? Consider the following anecdote.

Continue reading » “We are … the thought leaders”

Sermon: Reputation vs Reality

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Even godly men like John the Baptist, Paul, and even the Lord Himself had bad reputations in the eyes of the world. Christians will too. The crucial thing is to be blameles in God’s sight!

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Sermon: Be Wary of Corrupting Influences

Image The world we live in is truly profane. As Christians we need to take care that we not be corrupted by worldly influences.

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The Patternists: Scripture Condemns a Bitter Spirit

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The Bible clearly reveals that it is a sin to entertain bitterness in our hearts as children of God. Consider the following passages:

(Ephesians 4:31), “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.”

(Hebrews 12:14-15), “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.”

We see bitter and hateful words in the day’s political rhetoric, in Facebook comments and online discussions, and in the words that pass between men and women in the streets of our country.

It is fine for a child of God to hold a political opinion, to stand for what is right and to stand against what is wrong. It is sinful, however, for a child of God to descend to hatefulness and bitterness in tone, words or actions. There is no provocation or evil that is visited upon us by the ungodliness of men that can justify an unseasoned tongue or action from God’s people.

Please think of that before you pen or share your next post, or as you are talking around a cup of coffee in your local cafe. We are to be the salt of the earth. Remember, “if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men” (Matthew 5:13b).

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Sermon: DANGER Signs of Apostasy

DANGER Signs of ApostasyThe lesson identifies four danger signs that signify the possibility one may fall from grace:

* Isolating onself from God’s people
* Listening to bad counsel
* Being corrupted by ungodly companions
* A faltering prayer life

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Sermon: Influence (Why it Matters…)

InfluenceAs Christians, our influence upon others matters greatly. If we have a positive influence, it may lead to the saving of our souls.

Additionally, negative influences may endanger us, it we allow them. We should always assess both our influence on others, and those who may influence us!

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From the Preacher’s Pen: A Good Reputation

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One of the qualifications for a bishop, listed in 1 Timothy 3:7, is an attribute that all of us should strive to have, “Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside.”

The text refers to a person’s reputation. We all have one, and it is either a good one or a bad one. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14a,16). His words show the purpose of a good influence on our part, that God may be glorified.

The righteous God of heaven deserves to be glorified by His adopted children. Everything we do should be a reflection of Him. In this way those who are not Christians will get a good idea of who God is, and will desire to know Him better. For this reason, it is important that we have a good name. “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1).

This influence sometimes extends well beyond our own awareness. Remember the child’s song:

Oh, be careful little ears, what you hear (repeat)
For the Father Up above, Is looking down in love,
So be careful little ears what you hear.

Oh, be careful little eyes, what you see, (repeat)
For the Father up above, is looking down in love,
So be careful little eyes what you hear.

Oh, be careful little mouth, what you say, (repeat),
For the Father up above, Is looking down in love,
So be careful little mouth what you say.

Oh, be careful little hands, what you do (repeat),
For the Father up above, Is looking down in love,
So be careful little hands what you do

Oh, be careful little feet where you go (repeat)
For the Father up above, Is looking down in love,
So be careful little feet where you go.

Oh, be careful little mind what you think (repeat)
For the Father up above, Is looking down in love,
So be careful little mind what you think.

Oh, be careful little heart what you love (repeat)
For the Father up above, Is looking down in love,
So be careful little heart what you love.

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Sermon: A Faithless and Perverse Generation

Image Just as 2,000 years ago, we today live in the midst of a Faithless and Perverse generation. Our response must be to maintain our faith and purity, and shine as lights in the world.

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From the Preacher’s Pen: Having Godly Influence

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Thursday night we went to see my nephew Darryl play in the Division 3A state championship game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. For the third straight year The Yoemen won the championship with a 70-40 victory.

This year was a bit different for the family. Darryl was on the team last year as a freshman, but did not play in the game. This year he was a starter on defense, and contributed a fumble recovery and 7 or 8 tackles in what was a dominating performance by the Cameron team.

Obviously his mom and dad are proud. Darryl is a very good athlete, and will continue to impress on the football field in seasons to come, Lord willing. Having said that, there was one moment, just after the game was over, that made all of us even more proud of him. As the two teams gathered at midfield and kneeled down, Darryl (as a sophomore) was asked to lead the two teams, all the cheerleaders, coaches and other participants in a prayer of thanksgiving.

That showed me that Darryl is living in such a way as to glorify God, and be known as a young man of faith (cf. Matthew 5:14-15). While it is one thing to dedicate yourself to excellence on the football field, it is quite another, more important thing to live a godly life that is recognized and appreciated by others! “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).

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Sermon: Will You be Missed if Your Seat is Empty?

1 Samuel 20:18, Jonathan’s statement, “You will be missed, because your seat will be empty” serves to introduce the lesson, will you be missed if your seat is empty?

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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.

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Sermon: “Borne by Four”

Sermon by Marc Smith.

In this lesson, Marc uses Mark 2, and the phrase from the KJV indicating that the paralytic man was carried by four men to see Jesus. The phrase is used to illustrate the point that each of us have those who have borne, or influenced us in our lives. Saul of Tarsis is a good example, and four men are mentioned: Gamaliel, Stephen, Annanias and Barnabas who had a profound influence upon him and his conversion to Christ.

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