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 Good Shepherd

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In the gospel of John, Jesus identified himself as the “good shepherd” (John 10:11). The work of the shepherd in New Testament times was challenging. He would train the sheep or goats to obey his commands, feed and water them, and protect them from harm. The young David is an good example, as he saved his sheep from both a lion and a bear (cf. 1 Samuel 17:34). Obviously, if the sheep belonged to the shepherd himself, the investment was a precious one. This explains Jesus’ words, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (11). In contrast, “The hireling flees [when he sees the wolf] because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep” (13). Jesus used this imagery to describe His sin sacrifice, “As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep” (15).

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God is Our Protector!

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King David was not a perfect man. Some time after taking the throne of Israel as God’s king, he sinned grievously against Him. Sins of adultery and murder are not trivial, and yet it is acknowledged that David was a man after God’s “own heart, who will do all My will” (cf. Acts 13:22). The second book of Samuel notes of David’s reign, “So David reigned over all Israel; and David administered judgment and justice to all his people” (8:15).

Despite the documented failings of David, he can rightly be described as a righteous man. As such, he enjoyed God’s favor and protection, even as he was compassed about by his enemies. We are familiar with examples of the providential care shown Him by Jehovah.

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Sermon: God’s Plans

Sermon by Brantley Gallman

Daniel 2 gives a good example of the grand and sovereign plans of God.

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God’s Provision

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After leaving Egypt, the Israelites found themselves trapped on the shore of the Red Sea. With the sea at their backs, and Pharaoh’s army rapidly approaching, the people complained to Moses, saying that it would have been better for them to remain slaves “than that we should die in the wilderness” (Exodus 14:12). Moses responded, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today” (13). Since God was with them, victory was assured. The Egyptians were wiped out.

In contrast, Joshua and the people were routed by the weak and small denizens of Ai, as recorded in Joshua 7. Why? Sin was in the camp, and God said to Joshua, “Neither will I be with you anymore, unless you destroy the accursed from among you” (12). Since God was against them, they were defeated.

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FB: Blessed is the nation who God is the Lord

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“The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance” (Psalm 33:11-12).

In the verses previous to our text, the Psalmist notes, “The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing…” (10). Men (and nations) have long sought to establish their will without regarding the will of the God of heaven. Such efforts are foolish. Regarding the nations, Paul said that God, “has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings.” He does so, “that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:26-27).

The Psalmist notes that if God has chosen a people, they are blessed. That was certainly the case with Israel, who obtained and gloried in God’s protection, so long as they were obedient to His will.

In these last days, Christians are the people of God. As such we are blessed and protected by our God. This is important to know and to meditate upon, as we face opposition from the world around us. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32).

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God Hears, and Answers!

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People generally recognize the positive impact of prayer. What is not always understood is why prayer is such a positive thing. Our national leaders during tragic times call for and express thanks for prayers offered. Many of those same leaders do not believe in God, or have no faith that God intercedes in men’s affairs. For many, prayer is simply a way of saying, “I’m thinking about you.” It is an expression of sympathy, and is appreciated for that reason alone. Caregivers may go so far as to suggest that prayers offered can have a placebo effect; a bit like chicken soup, it can’t hurt.

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“I Will Certainly Be With You”

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In Exodus 3 we read of God’s conversation with Moses, from the midst of the burning bush. Moses was understandably hesitant to take on the task of leading the Israelites out of Egypt. He asked “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (11). In response, God did not seek to stroke the ego of Moses. Such was not needed. It was enough for God to say, “I will certainly be with you” (12). It didn’t matter who Moses was, with God’s help he would be successful in his task.

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From the Preacher’s Pen: From You? Or Another?

ImageIn Esther 4:14, Mordecai, Queen Esther’s older cousin and father figure told her, “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

This question was the culmination of Mordecai’s exhortation to Esther that she petition the king to save the Jews, who were targeted for perdition. Esther was initially resistant, fearing the wrath of her husband. However, at Mordecai’s words she said, “And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” (vs. 16).

Regarding God’s providence, His will shall be done in all things. This is clear from the true statement uttered by Mordecia, “relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews.”

Consider that Mordecai was more concerned about the personal salvation of his younger cousin. While God’s will would be accomplished, it was important for her that she seek to assist God in His work.

The same is true for us. God has chosen to save the world through the preaching and influence of His people. Souls will be saved, and God’s will shall be done. The question is, will you be a part of that work? Your own salvation may depend upon it! “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (1 Timothy 4:16).

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Sermon: Beer Lahai Roi

ImageSermon by: Jeremiah Cox

In Genesis 16, Hagar called the well where she talked with God, “Beer Lahai Roi”, asking “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?”

From this story we learn: 1) God sees our affliction; and, 2) God also makes Himself seen/known.

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Invitation: The Help of God

Image Invitation delivered by: Brantley Gallman

The text of 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 contains the account of Jabez’ petition to God. It teaches us that the prayers of the righteous are heard by God, and God can and will help us.

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FB: The Promise and Power of God

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It is comforting to read the many assurances found in God’s word concerning His power, and beneficence toward those who belong to Him. One example of this is found in Isaiah 35:2-3:

“Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are fearful-hearted, ‘Be strong, do not fear! Behold, you God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you.'”

In the midst of uncertain and disturbing times, we cast our confidence in the Almighty God. Jesus has come as a Savior, and will come again to judge the ungodly, and “to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels” (2 Thessalonians 1:7).

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Invitation: The faith once for all delivered

Image Invitation delivered by: Stan Cox

In Jude 3, Jude indicates that the faith was once for all delivered. The Bible was authored by the Holy Spirit, and through Divine providence has been protected in its integrity until today.

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Mining the Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 1:8-11

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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.

Sermon: For Such a Time as This

Esther lived, and came to the position of queen during a time of great evil. The Israelites were in peril. The time in which she lived mirrors closely some of the ills of our society:

  • An immoral king
  • A time of drunkenness and immodesty
  • A time where marriage was not respected
  • A time where life was devalued

However, it was also a time where God’s providence was active, and where one person could make a difference. Much like today!

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Sermon: 7 Promises of God

The sermon first establishes that all of God’s promises are sure. Then, discusses the following promises of God:

  1. To supply every need we have.
  2. That His grace is sufficient for us.
  3. That His children will not be overtaken in temptation.
  4. Victory over death.
  5. That all things work together for good to those who love Him.
  6. Those who believe and are baptized will be saved.
  7. Eternal Life.

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