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

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: “And if the blind lead the blind…”

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Sermon by Dennis Scroggins

Truth can be understood, and must be defended, heeded, and obeyed. Too often men look to the unrighteous or ignorant for advice, rather than those who are familiar with and wise in the ways of God.

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True Wisdom

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In 1 Corinthians 2:6-8 Paul made a simple but compelling argument:

“However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory .”

Simply put, if those of the world are as wise as they claim to be, they would accept the Lord of glory rather than oppose Him!

Notice that Paul did not argue whether Jesus truly is the Son of God. To Paul, that was an established truth. His faith in His Lord would not waver… he was an eyewitness of the resurrected Lord.

We too believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. And so, when we consider the philosophies of men — the secular influences that hold sway in our society — we have confidence that they are not as wise as they believe themselves to be. If they were wise, they would acknowledge the truth. Jesus is the Son of God, and the Lord of our lives.

So, the Lordship of Jesus is commonly rejected in the world today. Paul rightly predicted that the powers that be “are coming to nothing.” The truly wise among us will acknowledge Jesus as Lord, and submit fully to His will.

The Patternists: The Way of the Fool

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“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise” (Proverbs 12:15).

Perhaps we live in a foolish culture, but it is typical of the religious individual today to do what “is right in his own eyes.” We have been told time and again of the confidence the fool has that “God is pleased with what I do.”

Men justify immodesty because “God created me this way, and there is nothing wrong with celebrating the beauty of our bodies.” This despite the fact that the Holy Spirit reveals that to “uncover the thigh” constitutes a nakedness that is shameful to expose (cf. Isaiah 47:2-3).

Men justify willful worship, because “God gave me this gift, and so it is pleasing to Him for me to use it.” This despite the fact that the Lord said that such worship is vain and iniquitous (cf. Matthew 7:21-23; 15:9).

Men justify the existence of denominations (division) because “God doesn’t care which church you are a member of, or what they teach, so long as you love Him.” This despite the fact that Jesus prayed to His Father, “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:21; cf. 1 Corinthians 1:10).

We could go on and on with examples of such foolishness. Truly the wise man “heeds counsel” especially the Divine counsel of God’s word.

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Become a Fool

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“Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God” (1 Corinthians 3:18-19).

Human “wisdom” that denies God or His word is described by Paul here as only illusory, (“seems to be wise”). Interestingly, he also refers to being wise “in this age.” It seems that every generation believes itself to be wiser than the one before. There is an arrogance of time that leads the current generation to disregard the accomplishments and knowledge of the previous one.

An example. Many of the most accomplished Presidents of our nation believed in God, and in the Bible’s inspiration. However, to many today, such a belief in and of itself makes a man unqualified to serve in the office. Such arrogance is disturbing.

The problem is that knowledge is equated with wisdom. Because men gain more and more understanding of technology, science and medicine, they think themselves to be more capable than their predecessors in other realms as well. However, there is nothing in those disciplines that either disproves or invalidates the words of the great apostle Paul, “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” (Acts 17:24-25).

To gain actual wisdom rather than the illusory wisdom that has its origin with men, we must turn to God and His will. We are fooling ourselves if we don’t. As our text states, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.”

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The Patternists: “Glory in the Lord”

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The apostle Paul knew of the tendencies of men to depend upon their own ideas and opinions to guide them in life. He also knew that such leads to ruin. He wrote, “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty” (1 Corinthians 1:27).

While men seek their own way, that they might receive praise from others, the wise man seeks God’s way to be accepted by Him. This is where Christ comes in, “you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God – and righteousness and sanctification and redemption – that, as it is written, He who glories, let him glory in the Lord” (vs. 30-31).

This is why it is necessary to study, heed and obey the word of God. It is God’s way, the way to true wisdom and eternal life.

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FB: True Wisdom

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“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever” (Psalm 111:10).

The world equates wisdom with the accumulation of technological insight, and the continual progression of moral change. People today are smarter, and less encumbered by outmoded superstitions and prejudices – so they say.

Oh really? Are we to equate political corruption, amoral lifestyle, extreme self-indulgence and a rejection of absolute values to some modern version of deep thought? If so, I choose to remain out of style and out of step.

As Paul wrote, “…the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:25).

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FB: How to Gain Wisdom

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“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).

Wisdom begins with a “fear of the Lord.” That means that if one does not fear God, he can not be wise. Perhaps that is why Paul wrote so dismissively of the wisdom of men, “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:25).

“Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” (1:21). If you truly desire to be wise, fearing and knowing God is the place to begin.

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Sermon: Promises to the Lord

ImageIn the 101st Psalm, the singer makes five promises to the Lord that we would do well to emulate ourselves.

* Sing praises
* Behave wisely
* Set nothing wicked before my eyes
* Not endure slander and pride
* Bless the faithful

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The Power of God’s Foolishness

ImageIn 1 Corinthians 1, the apostle Paul realistically predicted the reaction of most people to the message of the cross. He wrote, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing” (18). Many times when I have preached a simple lesson on some aspect of truth, I will be asked by a brother or sister in Christ, “How can anyone in their right mind reject such an obvious truth?” The answer is given by Paul, it is foolishness to them. They reject the message and proofs supplied by God, preferring instead their own ideals and opinions. As Paul continued, “For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness.” (22-23).

In contrast, to those “who are being saved”, the message of the cross is “the power of God” (18). In verse 24, the preaching of “Christ crucified” is said to be to “those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (24).

Continue reading » The Power of God’s Foolishness

Invitation: Wisdom and Grace

Image Invitation delivered by: Stan Cox

In Colossians 4:5-6, the Apostle calls for wisdom, and graceful speech.

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Sermon: Making Wise Decisions

Making Wise Decisions In Genesis 13, Lot is recorded making a poor decision in pitching his tent toward Sodom. We too can make unwise life decisions if we are not careful. The lesson contains suggestions to follow to help make wise decisions.

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Sermon: Ways of the Wise

Image Based in part on Ephesians 5:15-17. The sermon discusses the ways of the wise. A wise man: Receives counsel; Guards his tongue; Flees from evil; Is prepared; and Obeys God.

Note: Powerpoint file created by Jeremiah Cox.

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Sermon: Walk in Love, Light and Wisdom

Image An exegesis of Ephesians 5:1-21, discussing the exhortations of Paul to the church at Ephesus to walk in Love, Light and Wisdom.

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Sermon: Prove yourself a man

Image David’s charge to his son Solomon is examined in 1 Kings 2 as a means of encouraging manliness. Prove yourself a man:

* Take heed to your counselors
* Take heed to your goals
* Take heed to your relationships
* Take heed to your character

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