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

Persecution from Proclamation

stephen stoned

Persecution is the lot of all who name the name of Christ. Paul made that clear in 2 Timothy 3:12, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” Why would this be? It is because of Who we represent, Who we answer to. Jesus told His disciples, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:18-20).

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Paul’s Bifurcated Life


The apostle Paul’s life had a striking bifurcation. The event which marked the change is narrated by Luke in Acts 9. On that occasion he left Jerusalem to go to Damascus. On the road he met the Lord.

Prior to that meeting Paul, whose Hebrew name was Saul, was a devoted Pharisee. He described himself in the following way. “If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless” (Philippians 3:4-6).

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Sermon: The Death of John the Baptist

5 - The Death of John the Baptist

John the Baptist’s death teaches us lessons about superstition, marriage and divorce, the importance of virtue, the dangers of seduction and the persecution of God’s people.


Powerpoint PPTX File

Invitation: Rich and Wicked

Invitation by Stan Cox

In James 5, we have a description of rich, wicked people who were oppressing Christians.  Whether the wicked rich, or any other, if we live for God we will overcome such persecution, and live eternally in joy!


Spring 2007 Gospel Meeting with Nathan Quinn

Faith Under Fire

Spring 2016 Gospel Meeting. Speaker: Nathan Quinn
May 6-11, 2017
Theme: Faith Under Fire (Lessons from 1 Peter)

  • Audio 1 (What Angels Long to See)
  • Audio 2 (Conducting Ourselves with Fear)
  • Audio 3 (The Enduring Word of God)
  • Audio 4 (The Day the Lord Has Made)
  • Audio 5 (Imitating Christ by Suffering)
  • Audio 6 (Understanding God’s Will for You)
  • Audio 7 (Living the Good Life)
  • Audio 8 (Be Sober in Spirit)
  • Audio 9 (The True Grace of God)

“After you have suffered a while”


“But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”

1 Peter 5:10

Peter’s letter acknowledged the existence of persecution at that time. He noted that his readers had been “grieved by various trials” (1:6). He told them, “do not think it strange concerning the fiery trail which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you” (4:12). His words in (5:10) summarize the truth regarding persecution. It is inevitable that we will suffer for our faith, (“all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution,” 2 Timothy 3:12); but, that persecution is momentary. In the end, we will be called to “eternal glory”!

So, as we accept the inevitable, but temporary nature of our suffering on earth, how should we handle these efforts to destroy us and our faith? Consider Peter’s admonitions…

“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1:13).

“…But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God” (2:20).

Considering how our response should mirror that of our Lord, Peter wrote, “when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten” (2:23).

Truly, it is “better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil” (3:15). If we suffer for the cause of Christ, it is reason to rejoice, for we “are blessed” (3:14).

Stan signature

Sermon: Reactions to Religion


The sermon is a discussion of the responses received to a Facebook video we created, called “The Christian Faith is Under Attack.” There were several comments critical of religion that were made in reponse to the video. The sermon explains the proper response to such objections to religion.


Powerpoint Slides

Sermon: Reputation vs Reality


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!


Powerpoint Slides

The Patternists: Unreasonable Men


There is an interesting passage in 2 Thessalonians 3 where Paul describes the unbeliever. “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith” (1-2).

He is unreasonable. Faith in God (cf. Romans 1:20-23) is the reasonable response to the testimony of nature. His “invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made.” Too, faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God is firmly established by the eyewitness testimony of His resurrection.

He is wicked. The end of those who do not believe is wickedness. “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind…” (Romans 1:28). Without God there is no divine standard of right and wrong. Men are free to determine for themselves what they accept and reject, and most revert to their base instincts.

He oppresses the righteous. We are told that “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:13). This at the hands of “evil men.”

The reasonable, righteous man believes in God and His Son Jesus Christ. From him the “word of the Lord” runs swiftly and is glorified. You aren’t reasonable and righteous unless you respect and obey God’s word!

To see The Patternists Page on Facebook, click here, and Like!

FB: More than Conquerors

West Side on FB

Acts 12 records a despotic King, Herod, determining to “harass some from the church.” He executed James, the brother of John, and we are told his actions “pleased the Jews.” Their approval spurred him on, and he siezed Peter as well, and put him in prison. (vv. 1-3).

Two lessons can be learned from this:

1) Though we are fortunate not to be the subjects of governmental persecution, that can change. Christians will always be the subject to the ungodly impulses of evil men. It is for this reason we are called to be virtuous in standing when our faith is tested.

2) Ultimately, God wins! So, it is in our best interest to serve Him. Not all who are evil will get their punishment in this life (though Herod did, as God struck him worms, and he died, vs. 23). But, rest assured that the ungodly will be punished, and those who believe will receive the reward of heaven.

As Paul wrote, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

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Sermon: Stephen’s Defense and Death

Image In Stephen’s defense, recorded in Acts 7, the preacher convicted his Jewish audience of their sin of rebellion in rejecting the Son of God and His will for man. For this, he was executed. His steadfast faith is a wonderful example for us.


In the News: Are We A Persecuted People?


Are Christians a persecuted people?

The answer to this question is an obvious and unequivocal, “Yes.” It is the lot of every Christian to suffer persecution of one type or another as a consequence of the profession of faith. It happens, and it is not uncommon. Fortunately, in our country we have enjoyed a long history of religious tolerance. Such tolerance is, in fact, a bedrock of our nation. We have long escaped state sponsored persecution and oppression. The persecution we have witnessed and experienced as Christians in America has been rather mild. For this reason we hesitate to even categorize it as such, fearing that we will be perceived as less than valiant.

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Mining the Scriptures: Philippians 1:12-14


Our text establishes clearly the apostle Paul’s priorities in life. Though the “things which happened to me” included imprisonment and possible loss of life, Paul considered it a fortunate turn of events. Because of his trip to Rome and house arrest, the gospel was preached to individuals who otherwise would not hear it. Paul wrote of those in Caesar’s palace who were aware that his “chains are in Christ” (13).

A further benefit was the courage taken by others from Paul’s example. Because he preached boldly despite persecution, others were emboldened to do the same. This serves to illustrate the benefit of a godly example. If you live for Christ despite opposition, others see that and are encouraged to do the same.

Paul rejoiced because the gospel was preached. He didn’t care what it cost him personally. He understood the purpose of the message, and made its spread his life’s work (cf. Romans 1:15-16).

Mining the Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 1:8-11


The apostle Paul suffered through many dangerous and difficult circumstances in Asia. He was persecuted in Lystra (Acts 14); there was a plot against his life in Macedonia (Acts 20:3); he fought against wild beasts in Ephesus (1 Cor. 15:32). Here he refers to one, or perhaps all of those troubles, stating that the “sentence of death” was in him, and that he “despaired even of life.” A more complete list of what Paul suffered is given in 2 Cor. 11:22-29.

Paul wished to share the information regarding his struggles with the Corinthians, that they might know of his trust in God, as the one “who raises the dead.” Paul knew that his life had been spared many times by providence, God having a further purpose for him. Even on the occasion where he was left for dead (cf. Acts 14:19), his life was spared.

Paul also attributed his rescue from peril to the petitions made for him by others (11). In thanking them for their prayers, he shows us the power of prayer too, and encourages us to pray for others.

Invitation: Paul’s Concern

Invitation delivered by: Stan Cox

In 1 Thessalonians 3, Paul expressed concern regarding the Thessalonians, who were suffering persecution. Interestingly, his concern was not for their safety, but for their faith. It was his hope that they would be established “blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints” (1 Thessalonians 3:1-13)