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

Sermon: Do We Know How to Blush?

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The Jews of Jeremiah’s day had no shame, they had forgotten how to blush (cf. Jeremiah 6:11-15; 8:8-12). God’s people need to know how to blush. A sense of shame will help to protect and correct in areas such as conduct, speech and appearance.

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Lessons Learned from the Remnant

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The book of Ezra records a remnant of Judah returning to the homeland after 70 years spent in Babylonian captivity. The reason they had been conquered by the Babylonians was their rejection of God. As Jeremiah put it, “Can a virgin forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet My people have forgotten Me days without number” (Jeremiah 2:32).

However, after 70 years (prophesied in Jeremiah 29:10), God stirred up the heart of King Cyrus to allow the Jews to return to their homeland (cf. Ezra 1:1). Not all were interested in leaving the place where they had lived for two generations. But, a remnant was moved by God (1:5), and returned to the land. Here the Jews reestablished their worship to God, and ultimately rebuilt the temple.

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Social Media Guidelines

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Social Media in our day and time is ubiquitous. In December of last year, Facebook boasted an average of over 1.23 Billion daily users. That is about 4 times the entire population of the United States, every day! Other popular Social Media sites include Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.
With such ubiquity comes the danger of abuse and sin. Christians need to be aware of the potential pitfalls of using these sites, lest we “fall into reproach and the snare of the devil” (1 Timothy 3:7).

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Sermon: Achan’s Sin

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The text of Joshua 7 reveals Achan’s sin, and teaches us the fallacies many hold toward sin against God. Some claim one little sin won’t hurt. Others that it is their business what they do, and no one else’s. Others think their sin can remain hidden. All are untrue.

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FB: Wicked Fools!

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“An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes, when he finds out his iniquity and when he hates. The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit; he has ceased to be wise and to do good. He devises wickedness on his bed; he sets himself in a way that is not good; he does not abhor evil.” (Psalm 36:1-4)

The Psalmist refers to the sins of the wicked, that they speak to him. It may be that the transgressions harmed him personally. He expresses an intimate knowledge of the evil done.

How can a man do wickedness, and flatter himself? How can he think highly of himself when he hates others? When he deceives? When he rebels against his Creator?

While it seems incredible, the debased mind is commonly found in every nation and in every age. Paul knew why, because men “did not like to retain God in their knowledge” (Romans 1:28). It is foolish, but does explain the current state of our society. In contrast, the righteous fear the Lord! (cf. Proverbs 3:7).

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FB: “Her Arrogant Strength”

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Even in the face of Jerusalem’s ruin, some in Judea persisted in their belief they would be delivered from the Chaldeans. They said, “Abraham was only one, and he inherited the land. But we are many; the land has been given to us as a possession” (Ezekiel 33:24).

They were wrong. Why? Because their confident assertion was given despite a lack of repentance on their part. God’s judgment was visited upon Judea wholly as a result of her sin. The prophet reminded them of this. “Thus says the Lord God: ‘You eat meat with blood, you lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood. Should you then posses the land?” (vs. 25). He further noted their reliance upon the sword, their abominations and infidelities.

Finally, God proclaimed, “For I will make the land most desolate, her arrogant strength shall cease, and the mountains of Israel shall be so desolate that no one will pass through” (vs. 28).

Today, many show the same “arrogant strength” in their unwillingness to place their trust in the Almighty God. God rules in the affairs of men. He determines the rise and fall of nations (cf. Acts 17:26). Any people who persist in “arrogant strength,” opposing the will of God, will not stand. We pray our nation will learn this truth sooner rather than later.

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Sermon: Saul’s Excuses

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1 Samuel 13:8-15 records a difficult time in the reign of King Saul, that he handled poorly. He sinned against God, and the excuses he offered to Samuel have beneficial applications to each of us.

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Sermon: “Open my eyes, that I may see…”

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In Psalm 119:18, the writer prays to God for discernment regarding the wonderful things contained in His law. Such discernment (the opening of our eyes) is needed, and worthy of our petitions to God.

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Invitation: Escaping the Bondage of Sin

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Through God’s redemptive work, we are able to escape the bondage of sin, and inherit eternal life.

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Have You Ever Asked, “What Does God Think?”

What does God Think

The United Church of Canada has been in the news of late, as the institution is trying to figure out what to do with one of its pastors. Gretta Vosper was ordained by that church in 1993. She has been, for a number of years, an avowed atheist! She has declared that it is time for the Christian church to give up on “the idolatry of a theistic god.” While some in the denomination wish for her to remain a pastor, others are not so sure. I wonder if anyone ever thought to consult the Bible to find out what God thinks?

“The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good” (Psalm 14:1).

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Invitation: Why Do You Boast in Evil?

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The disobedient, no matter their might, will be judged by the Almighty God.

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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.

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The Bible View of Sexuality

Bible and Sexuality

We live in a promiscuous society. According to a 2008 survey reported by the Guttmacher Institute, 90% of single women between the ages of 20 and 44 are sexually experienced. 70% identified themselves as currently sexually active. Among teenagers for the past 15 years, the percentage of teenagers (15-19) who have had sex has remained fairly constant (44% of girls, 49% of boys, Resource Center for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention).

It should not be surprising that some churches are changing their teaching regarding premarital sex. One example of this is a recently published book by Bromleigh McCleneghan, a married mother of three, and “associate pastor for ministry with families” at the Union Church of Hinsdale in Illinois. The title of her book is, “Good Christian Sex”, with the subtitle, “Why Chastity Isn’t the Only Option—And Other Things the Bible Says About Sex.”

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From the Preacher’s Pen: Dishonest Scales

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“Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight” (Proverbs 11:1).

Dishonesty and theft are unacceptable to Jehovah. In the same context, the wise man wrote, “The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them” (11:3). It is telling that honesty in a person is indicative of personal integrity, and that dishonesty indicates perversity and unfaithfulness.

The characteristics of honesty and integrity would go a long way to fixing the moral problems of our day. While all will claim that personal integrity is very important, our culture is rife with liars, thieves and politicians (sorry, couldn’t resist).

God demands honesty from His children. Jesus said, “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” (Luke 16:10-12).

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The Patternists: What is Wickedness?

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The generation that provoked God to judge the world by water is described by Moses in the Genesis account. “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (6:5). It was because of this wickedness that God said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth” (6:7).

Verse six of the text contains a simple definition of wickedness. It is that which grieves the heart of Jehovah. Herein lies a problem with our societal views of right and wrong. They do not take into consideration what grieves God’s heart.

We live in a time where the moral compass is not working. Righteousness too often provokes moral outrage, while heinous things are often championed as good and wholesome. When men no longer “retain God in their knowledge” (cf. Romans 1:28), they exchange “the truth of God for the lie” (cf. Romans 1:25).

Only by reading God’s word can we know what grieves Him, and what pleases Him. Only then can we know what is righteousness, and what is wickedness.

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