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

Overcoming Obstacles

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When an obstacle impedes progress, one of two possibilities emerge. The obstacle either prevents success, or the obstacle is defeated, with success realized despite its challenge.

Many serious spiritual obstacles can be defeated through determination and persistent effort. Josiah, the young king of Judah serves as a wonderful example in this. His challenge was to overcome the evil influences of his father and grandfather. Those men were evil idolaters, who led Judah in rebellion against God. Josiah ascended to the throne at the age of 8 years. Scripture reveals that he “did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left” (2 Kings 22:2). He removed the idols his predecessors had put into the Temple, and restored true worship to the Lord. And, as ruler of Judah, he “made all who were present in Israel diligently serve the Lord their God. All his days they did not depart from following the Lord God of their fathers” (2 Chronicles 34:33).

Josiah was a unique king. “Now before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him” (2 Kings 23:25). However, we too can overcome any spiritual obstacle that may beset us, if we “turn to the Lord” with all our heart, soul and might.

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From the Preacher’s Pen: Free to Choose

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The wise man of Ecclesiastes wrote, “Truly, this only I have found: That God made man upright, But they have sought out many schemes” (7:29).

The text clearly teaches that man appears on the earth inherently good. This contrasts with the world view of the Reformed Theologian who contends that man is born to a state of absolute depravity. The text also absolves God of blame when evil abounds. It is not God’s fault or doing when suffering comes as the consequence of sinful behavior. God made man upright!

Why then do men do evil? Because God has given man a will, and men choose to do evil! “They have sought out many schemes.” No one wishes for God to do away with free will. It is His greatest gift, and the reason Moses wrote that God made man “in His own image” (Genesis 1:27). However, when God gave man the freedom of choice, it was inevitable that some would choose to do evil things. Adam did, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12).

Recently, I was given the following quote — a fitting end to this short missive. “You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequences of your choice.” Wise words to consider the next time we are tempted to choose foolishly!

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Sermon: The Human Heart

The heart, as the term is described in scripture, encompasses the intellect, emotions, conscience and will of man. As such, it must be kept pure. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

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From the Preacher’s Pen: Stop Giving Up!

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The other day I came across a motivational message for exercise and weight loss. The message was one of “tough love”, stating, “If you’re tired of starting over… stop giving up!”

As someone who has struggled with my weight most of my adult life, (and is trying yet again to get down to a healthy number), the message resonated. The sentiment is rather harsh, but anyone who has tried and failed to lose weight, stop smoking, or break any bad habit knows that ultimately, the success that some enjoy is directly attributable to their will. While challenging, the message gives hope as well. If this time you can stick to it, you can overcome previous disappointments and achieve your goal. While education, strategies and support all may be integral — in the end it takes perseverance to accomplish your goals.

The lesson is an important one as it applies to our spiritual standing with God. The Christian walk is a lifetime endeavor, and some do not exercise the will to live it consistently and zealously. They may become apathetic, or may be overcome by temptation. Some may become weary of “starting over” even to the point of chucking it all and returning to the world. We may understand and empathize about the difficulties of living our lives for God, but ultimately there is no excuse for failing. In the end, it is a simple matter of will.

Paul wrote, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:9-10). In other words, “stop giving up!”

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Sermon: Must We Obey Jesus?

This lesson is a discussion of free will, and how it impacts our call to obey the Lord.

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Sermon: The Weakness and Foolishness of God

The lesson text is from 1 Corinthians 1:18-ff. A proper explanation of the concept of God’s “weakness” and “foolishness” is given, with proper applications.

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Sermon: Great Decisions of the Bible

There are numerous momentous decisions made by Bible characters that had far reaching implications for themselves, their descendents, and even all of mankind.

Sermon Audio: Click Here .

Sermon: I Will

A Study of Psalm 101. The Psalm reveals the resolution of the King of Israel to reign with justice and righteousness in the Kingdom. His resolve, and attitudes toward both the wicked and just serve as an object lesson for Christian’s today.

Sermon Powerpoint: Click Here .

Sermon Audio: Click Here .

Sermon: Keeping the Heart

The Bible uses the term heart metaphorically, to refer variously to: the seat of our understanding, will, devotion and conscience. It is a beautiful figure of speech, that contains many lessons for the Christian.

Sermon PowerPoint: Click Here .

Sermon Audio: Click Here .