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

Invitation: Be Patient, Brethren

Image Invitation delivered by: Stan Cox

James describes rich individuals in James 5 who were guilty of oppressing the poor, and perpetrating fraud. He assures their righteous victims that the Lord will settle accounts in eternity. We, as they, must simply be patient.

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Wait On Your God

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“So you, by the help of your God, return; observe mercy and justice, and wait on your God continually” (Hosea 12:6).

It is hard to be patient. This is especially so when you perceive injustice. While you are striving to be good and righteous, the ungodly prosper. The Psalmist knew this, and counseled:

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Sermon: Inheriting the Promises

The promises of God are wonderful and bountiful, but they are also conditional. the ultimate promise is that of heaven. May we have the patience and faith to receive it.

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Powerpoint Slides

From the Preacher’s Pen: Affliction

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The greatest affliction of life is never to be afflicted.

– Unknown

Affliction is not pleasant. When we are the recipients of tribulation in this life we feel pain, sorrow and stress. We all would rather it not be our lot, “Let this cup pass from me…” (cf. Matthew 26:39). I recently came across a quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald that poignantly describes our perception of severe affliction:

In a real dark night of the soul
it is always three o’ clock in the morning, day after day.

And yet, such affliction is beneficial to the child of God. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

The apostle does not call such affliction light to minimize the pain and suffering we experience. It is light in the sense that it is temporal and fleeting. In contrast, our faithfulness through trial proves us “worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer” (2 Thessalonians 5:1). It is our lot in life to suffer. It happens to us all. The question is, will we have sufficient patience under such duress to prove us worthy of eternity?

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Mining The Scriptures: James 1:1-4

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James 1:1-4

The epistle of James is a general epistle, in the sense that it was written to a broad group rather than a specific individual or church. It was written to the “twelve tribes which are scattered abroad” indicating Jewish Christians throughout the world. Though the introductory paragraph does not specify Jewish Christians, the contents of the letter show that his intended audience is believers in Christ.

James’ letter is eminently practical, and his first admonition in verses 2-4 certainly deserves this designation.

The trials of life are tests, and if we pass the tests, we benefit greatly as a result. When the text says that tribulation produces patience, it acknowledges the fact that we learn as we endure. We grow stronger, we are tempered and we mature. As such, when we come out the other side, it can be said of us that we are “perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

While tribulation is not pleasant, such testing is nevertheless cause for joy. It is because of the spiritual growth we experience. And, even more so because it shows our Lord that we are worthy to join with Him in suffering and future glory.

From the Preacher’s Pen: Comfort and Encouragement

ImagePaul exhorted the Thessalonians in his first epistle to , “…warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all” (5:14).

It seems to me that Paul was trying to get the Thessalonians to look out for and take care of each other. Sometimes, to take care of someone, you must warn them. Tell them of the consequences of their actions, so that they will not lose their standing with God. Other Christians may need comfort. The idea of “fainthearted” here indicates someone who is discouraged or troubled in spirit. Finally, some may be weak, and need to be upheld. We need to stick with those who are struggling, including babes in Christ, and support them until they become strong, and can do the same for others.

Simply put, we are to love each other!

Stan

Mining The Scriptures: 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5

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2 Thessalonians 3:1-5

The apostle Paul suffered a great deal because of his ministry in the gospel. He was constantly in peril, and coveted the prayers of the saints for protection. His petition here is especially specific, as he requested protection from “unreasonable and wicked men.”

Why are some men wicked? Because, “not all have faith.” Those without faith are often actively antagonistic toward Christ.

Such a sobering reality is certainly cause for prayer, but not for despair. Despite the antagonism of the worldly, Paul had reason for comfort and confidence. “But the Lord is faithful.” (cf. Romans 8:31).
Not only was Paul confident in God’s faithfulness, he was confident in the faithfulness of the Thessalonians. They were doing God’s will, and he believed they would continue to be faithful to Him.

This prayer was that their hearts (referencing both devotion and will) would be directed into the Love of God (indicating a love for God, seen in obedience) and the Patience of Christ (indicating a need for the same patience evinced by the Savior Himself in His life on earth). A wonderful prayer indeed!

We Do Not Know…

It was F.B. Meyer, I believe, who once said that when we see a brother or sister in sin, there are two things we do not know: First, we do not know how hard he or she tried not to sin. And second, we do not know the power of the forces that assailed him or her. We also do not know what we would have done in the same circumstances.

Stephen Brown, Christianity Today, April 5, 1993, p. 17.

The point is not to ignore or tolerate the sin of a brother. Paul admonished the Corinthians for their acceptance of immorality into the church, (cf. 1 Corinthians 5), and instructed them to “deliver such a one to Satan.”

However, that same individual, upon his repentance, received Paul’s pity. “Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him” (2 Corinthians 2:8).

Our approach to the sinner should be one of humility and compassion, even as we seek to discipline him in his sin. “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted” (Galatians 6:1).

AOTS: Get Back Up!

AOTS Number 35

Every time that life knocks us down – with trials, tribulations and temptations – we must get back up if we expect to be successful in life.

 

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AOTS: Comfort, Support and Patience

AOTS Number 32

The apostle Paul in his letter to the Thessalonians gives an admonition to deal patiently with those who are weak. It is one we must all heed carefully.

 

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Podcast: Profiting Through Trials

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Podcast Number 40

The first chapter of James has practical wisdom for man. The writer indicates that it is profitable to suffer through trial and tribulation. This is so, though it is not enjoyable. Why? Such tribulation develops patience in the believer.

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Podcast: Trials Produce Patience

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Podcast Number 18

The Bible reveals (the epistle of James) that trials and tests produce patience in the life of the Christian. We should consider it a reason for rejoicing when we are tested and chastened by God.

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