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

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What Does it Mean to Submit?

The call to be submissive is made constantly in scripture. In 1 Peter 5:5, the apostle wrote, “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.'”

The term submit is defined by Thayer: to subject one’s self, obey; to submit to one’s control; to yield to one’s admonition or advice; to obey, be subject.

This term teaches us two things: First, authority exists. Second, you are not that authority! The idea that men are free to do what they wish, without consequence, is flawed. Jesus said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18).

As Peter indicated earlier in our text, even those who have been delegated positions of oversight must realize their position as servants. “nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock” (3).

Ultimately, submission becomes natural when humility is present. Humility in turn comes from a sense of selflessness. It is not about you, it is about others. Paul used Jesus as the ultimate example of such selflessness, and admonished the Philippians, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”

Be definition, any departure from the Biblical pattern, any presumption that God is accepts our innovations, denies this concept of submission. It is not our place to make the rules. It is our place to humbly obey (submit to) the rules that have been established by our Lord.

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The Patternists: A Bondservant of Jesus Christ

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At the end of his epistle to the Colossians, Paul makes reference to several of his fellow workers. One of these, Epaphras, is described as as “a bondservant of Jesus Christ” who is “always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God” (Colossians 4:12).

In this verse there are several things that point to the need to respect the authority of Scripture:

First, Epaphras is described as a bondservant. The greek word here translated (doulos) is defined by Thayer, “a slave; metaphorically, one who gives himself up to another’s will.” Those who refuse to limit themselves to what is authorized in scripture can’t rightly be called bondservants.

Second, Epaphras’ prayer was for their perfection and completeness (both words that indicate an “all in” mentality) toward all the will of God.” Again, those today who seek to minimize any aspect of God’s will miss the point of these words.

Don’t believe anyone who tells you that God is pleased when you do things your own way. God wants you to be His bondservant, fully invested in doing His will.

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Sermon: Let Him Hear!

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Jesus intended for his listeners to be discerning and disciplined in their hearing. The lesson emphasizes how essential it is for us to be good listeners.

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The Suffering of Jesus – Our Example

ImagePeter wrote, “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21). He was referring to the necessity of bearing up under persecution. We are no better than our Lord. He suffered despite the fact that He was without sin (cf. vs. 22-23). So, Peter wrote, “For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God (vs. 20).

In the text we see a reason for Jesus’ willingness to suffer for us. “For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully” (vs. 19). Certainly this was the case with Jesus. He did not deserve the indignities he suffered while among men. However, He willingly endured them because of His Father’s will for Him. It was God’s plan to send Jesus to earth to die for our iniquities. Jesus could not, in good conscience, refuse to submit to His father’s will. Instead, He “humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8). We are to emulate Him.

Continue reading » The Suffering of Jesus – Our Example

From the Preacher’s Pen: We Need God!

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In my study of the Thessalonian epistles, I came across a concise statement of God’s sovereignty written by David Lipscomb, dealing with the passage of 2 Thessalonians 1:5-7. The comment is located under verse six, which states, “since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you.”

While God permitted them to suffer persecution as a means of testing and strengthening their faith and love, He recompenses tribulation on those who troubled them. God uses wicked men to try the faith and love of His servants, to test their worthiness, and then so orders that these wicked persecutors are punished for the evil they brought on His servants. God works in and through His people, and overrules and controls the courses of the wicked (emphasis mine, SC).

(Gospel Advocate Commentary, page 88)

It is a lesson we should always keep before us, God is in control. Paul affirmed this fact in Acts 17, in his sermon on Mars Hill, “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things” (24-25). God does not need us, we need Him! What a humbling thing to know and remember!

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Sermon: The Principle of Service

The Christian is to be a servant of God. To be a servant, one must learn the principle of submission.

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