House Divided

Doyle Davis | Feb 20, 2016 | 1 Corinthians 1:10 | Men's Breakfast

Rev. Doyle Davis
House Divided
1 Corinthians 1:10
Men’s Breakfast, February 20, 2016

Andy Woods: Good morning everybody, the speaker is Doyle Davis, he’s been here before, this is just very needed in the time we find ourselves. Sometimes he’ll deal with racial issues, political issues, he does it from a biblical position. I’m not really sure what he’s going to be talking about today but [can’t understand word] and he’s the pastor in the Houston area, what’s the name of your church again?

Doyle Davis: Abundant Grace Baptist Church

Andy Woods: Abundant Grace Baptist and he’s a College of Biblical Studies guy so I got to know him a little bit through that and [can’t understand word] [laughter] and I liked him and he liked me so anyway, let’s go ahead and welcome Doyle Davis.

Doyle Davis: Again I’m really appreciative for having been invited here. I always enjoy fellowshipping with you all. I have a great respect for your pastor. I want to thank Brother Ed for inviting me. But maybe I shouldn’t have said your name out loud because if I do terribly they’re going to blame you. [Laughter] So may I shouldn’t have said that. [someone says oops] Yeah, oops! [laughter]

But I’m glad to be here, you guys really make me feel welcome. I always enjoy being around the brotherhood; it’s good to see a lot of men. I was telling your pastor how wonderful it must be to have so many men that are involved in the church. I know it makes me feel good; I know it has to make him feel good as well.

So we’re going to get ready to go into the Word. Amen! You guys don’t mind if we sing part of a hymn do you? You don’t mind? [someone says something, can’t hear, loud laughter] I don’t know about singing good, I don’t even know if I’ll sing well either. [lots of laughter and someone says quit talking and get to singing. More laughter] Yes Sir ! Thank you Mr. McGowan, with an “a” [laughter].

Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see. Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come. Twas grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fears relieved.

Father, we come this morning to give you glory, honor and praise. We come this morning, Lord God, to proclaim Your Word, extol You Lord God, for I ask that you would empower me to do just that. Lord God, may I decrease as You increase. Lord, speak through me and let it be You and not me. Father God, I just pray that you’ll be honored with what’s said here. In Jesus name, Amen.

This is not a political speech. I am just passionate. I have to a lot of times say that my sermons are not political, they really aren’t, but it’s just that I’m so passionate about America, I’m so passionate about my country. I see what’s going on, I’m sure many of you notice what’s going on in our society, our country, around the world today as well and I don’t know about you but it’s kind of unsettling to me how easily we’ve been turned or are being turned from our Christian roots and heritage and how easily we’re falling for propaganda and lies and half-truths, and it’s like we’ve forgotten who we are.

We’ve never been perfect… we’ve never been perfect but one thing I could say about America is that we’ve always, as long as I can remember, have read, with all of our flaws we have always been a country with a conscience. We’ve always, when we’ve done wrong on some level, somewhere, sometime we’ve always tried to correct that wrong. And we’ve never really been afraid to say we made a mistake. We’ve always tried to find the common ground but it seems like we are turning away from that now; we’re becoming something else and I believe that today in America we are experiencing, on a scale that we haven’t been in decades, maybe even a century and a half, is a division. There’s a division that we haven’t experienced in quite a long time.

The nation has survived all sorts of rifts and tears and effects of war, both foreign wars and domestic wars that affect social divisions like women’s rights or civil rights. And now we’re having to deal with the gay rights and political correctness and the things that come along with it. We’re having to deal with the animosity created by classism and the chaos and the anarchy of groups like black lives matter or occupy Wall street movements, even now Muslim protest groups. We’re having to deal with all of that sort of stuff and America is divided and things seem to be unraveling before our very eyes. It seems like we’re falling apart right before our very eyes.

What should we expect? What would we think would happen in a dark and sinful world? This is a fallen dark world; what else can happen when the center of man’s life and existence is himself and not God? Our American world is falling apart because the foundations are cracked and crumbling and it isn’t strong enough to hold up under the weight of it all.

But what’s even more disturbing is a division that is prominent in the church. The church is divided. The things that were once unthinkable are now becoming more and more thinkable among professing Christians. Satan has been busy you all… can I say “you all”, we are in the south, right. Well Satan has become busy; he has worked systematically to weaken many in the church today. He’s working overtime on it. His ultimate goal, and this is nothing new to you because I know this pastor, the devil’s agenda, his sole agenda is to steal, kill and to destroy. Amen.

All who call on the name of Jesus he wants to kill. He wants to steal our joy, he wants to destroy our homes, he wants to destroy our communities. He wants to destroy our government. He wants to destroy our country because that’s what he does. Satan wants to destroy all of mankind because it is in God’s image that man was made. He can’t be God so what do you do? You attack those that God loves. So he’s here to steal, to kill, and to destroy.

Men in the church today are not thinking or living biblically. They live and behave like the world Monday through Sunday, and they roll and waddle in mud and modernity and they’re putrefied philosophy of the world. On Saturday [can’t understand word] the soot of the weaker [can’t understand word] for two hours or so. They listen to a sermon, they sing a hymn or two, they put their money in the offering plate and afterwards they feel spring fresh, clean, safe. And then they start it all over again. Yes, the church is divided; we’re almost split right down the middle on issues like abortion rights, gay marriage, politics, etc.

If the body of Christ, the church of Jesus Christ is divided how can we ever hope our government, our nation, our homes will not be divided as well. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re living in a house that’s divided. That’s what I’m talking about this morning, a house divided, our house, God’s house, the church — a house divided.

During the Civil War it was Christmas Eve and the Confederate camp was on one side of the creek and the Union Army was on the other side. And there had been a cease fire to observe the holidays. And you had one confederate soldier who was post on one side of the creek and a union soldier post on another side of the creek. And so the union soldier decided he’d light a pipe, and he lit a pipe. And he heard from the other side of the creek, Hey yank, you’re sure making yourself mighty clear over there, I see that pipe you just lit, you might want to put it out. He said well thank you Rev, I appreciate that. He said well, it’s Christmas time and I guess I won’t shoot you. He said I appreciate that Rev. Hey yank, how about a smoke of that pipe? Well, if you won’t shoot me I guess I will. So the union soldier and the confederate soldier walked through the shallow waters of this creek and they find this dry embankment along this creek. And they began talking to one another, they began showing pictures of their families back home, talking about their wives and talking about their children, smoking on a pipe, talking about home, talking about the Lord. And when it was all over they took a final puff on a pipe and [can’t understand word] said to the Yankee, Merry Christmas Yankee, and the union soldier said to the Rebel, Merry Christmas Reb and they left and went back to their post.

What was the common bond between two men who normally would be shooting at one another, who would be killing one another? What was the commonality that they had? What was it that made them forget about their lethal fatal differences? The difference that had caused so many to die, ultimately 650,000 men died because of those differences; what was the one thing that made them one at that moment? Their faith. Their Christian faith.

And I submit to you this morning that same Christian faith can reunite and energize and make the church solid again if we just practice it. If we’d come together on the thing that’s most important to us, our faith, maybe we could heal or mend this tear that we’re experiencing now.

President Lincoln quoting Jesus in a speech he gave during his campaign for President said: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” He said “I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.” He said, “I do not expect the union [can’t understand word] to be dissolved, I do not expect the house to fall but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It would become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it and places where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction, OR its advocates will push it forward till it shall become lawful in all the states, old as well as new, north as well as south.

Lincoln didn’t say that America would cease to be; he didn’t say that. He uses an interesting word. He says it would not endure, it would not endure, in other words it would not vanish but it would not be the same, it would be something other. And that’s what we are beginning to experience now. America is not going to vanish; she’s just going to become “other.” She’s not going to be the America you grew up in or I grew up in. I’m looking at some of the older gentlemen here today; it’s not going to be the America you remember, it’s not going to be the America that you had dreams of for your sons and your son’s sons. It’s going to be something “other,” it’s going to morph into one thing or another.

And if we want to stop that morphing, that transition, if we want this country to endure the church needs to heal its splits. I’m not saying that you can’t be a Bible church or I can’t be a Baptist church, but we must be solid on the important things, the non-negotiables. The problem is, like I said earlier, the things that we thought were impossible not they’re… who would ever think that 40% of the Church or Christians would think that same sex marriage is okay. I would have never thought that, not in my… you could hit me over the head with a bat but I would have never thought that. But here we are… here we are! We’re a house divided.

If our nation is going to cease from being divided the church needs to cease from being divided. There are Republican Christians, Democratic Christians, liberal Christians, conservative Christians, every flavor under the sun Christians. What’s more needful are authentic Bible-believing Christians, Christians whose hope isn’t in the platform of any part but in the platform of Christ Jesus Himself. God does not want His house divided; He wants His house unified in purpose and active obedience, Amen. [men say Amen]

Turn in your Bibles to 1 Corinthians 1. I’m going to be covering from verse 10 mainly but just for context and continuity I’m going to start reading at verse 1. Okay. 1 Corinthians 1, now Dr. Woods, I have to confess, I says man, is this the text I want to come from, I said because hey, I’m sitting here preaching and teaching in front of a professor, you know, and I don’t want to flunk, you all. [Laughter] I don’t want to flunk so I’m under a little pressure here, okay.

So just put it out there, okay, verse 1. “Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ for the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, [2] To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, both theirs and ours. [3] Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. [4] I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, [5] that you are enriched in everything by Him, in all utterance and in al knowledge, [6] even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, [7] so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation or our Lord Jesus Christ, [8] who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. [9] God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

And here’s the focal text, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” He said “I plead with you, brethren, by the name of Jesus Christ” to “speak the same things.” There’s a problem in the church today, we’re not speaking the same things. We have our own agendas. We have our own goals. We have our own opinions. What did I say about opinions? Everybody has one, but there’s only one opinion that matters and that’s the opinion of God and God gives His opinion through His Word.

Paul says, “I urge you brother,” the word, if I’m not mistaken, Dr. Andy, in the Greek it’s parakaleō, and it means to come alongside, to come with me. Paul is saying come with me, stand breast to breast with me. Stand shoulder to shoulder with me, let’s have a united front together. He says come alongside, I exhort you; it’s almost like he’s commanding, but he’s really pleading, he’s begging. He says please join with me in this, let’s PLEASE speak the same what? Thing! Speak the same thing! The church has to be clear on the issue of who Jesus Christ is. If we were clear on the issue of who Jesus Christ is a lot of this stuff we wouldn’t be having. If we actually knew who God was and is and what His requirement, His holy and righteous requirement is of us we wouldn’t have the rift and the division in the church that we have.

And wherever the body of Christ will find itself, whether it’s in the Mayor’s office, [can’t understand word] attorney, the preacher. Believe that or not, he’s a preacher. But if we were silent on who Jesus is He wouldn’t be making or come here with the policies and the ideas he has. Jesse Jackson, a preacher, (that’s the rumor), if he was silent on the Word, if he was silent on who God is, we wouldn’t have the issue with him that we have. We have to speak the same things and because we’re not speaking the same things we’re not clear on the issue who Jesus Christ is. When it says “speak the same thing” that word it’s legō, it means to lay out, to affirm, to put out there. Paul says come with me and let’s definitely, with no fogginess, without any debate, set out what is the truth of God’s Word? What is it that God says? Who is this Jesus? Let’s leave no doubt about it, lay it out there, affirm it, don’t hide it, don’t be a submarine Christian.

Jesus isn’t some monogram we wear on our sleeve, on our lapels to make a spiritual fashion statement. It’s not like carrying a Bible with us so people will say oh boy, that’s a big Bible, you must really be spiritual. No, that’s not who Jesus is; He’s not some cross around your neck to impress people. That’s not who He is! He’s not a fashion statement. For the believer Jesus is the one to be imitated and to be emulated in our lives, in our thinking, in our doing. We cannot be foggy in our proclamation of who Jesus is.

That’s a big problem in the church, is Jesus straight or gay? Was Jesus really a woman? Was Mary Magdalene His chick? Is He just a good prophet? You’ve got all these controversies in the church. In the Jewish seminaries now days to determine whether Jesus is this or that they use beans. Come on. We’re not clear on issues. Every Christian should both conservative and radical. What do I mean by that? Conservative in preserving the faith and radical in applying it. That’s what John Stott says, “conservative in preserving the faith, radical in applying it.” Is that us?

Look at the text again. It says, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ….” Who is Jesus? Jesus is Lord, in other words, Jesus is master; that’s what Lord means. If Jesus is Lord or He is Master, then the believer is his doulos, His slave. We like to fix it, Dr. Woods would say His servant. But it really means slave, I mean SLAVE. Servants take breaks, no; slaves don’t take breaks, okay. Servants have unions, slaves don’t have unions. He says, “Master,” and then we as believers, we’re His slaves and slaves only have one agenda. What’s a slave’s agenda? The agenda of their master and that’s it. He has one itinerary, one goal, to please his master. The slave’s life isn’t his own but the master’s. So which [can’t understand word] being sold out to other parties, other [can’t understand word]. I mean, we were sold out to the Master, all this other stuff will take care of itself, Amen. I’m not losing you, am I?

He says “Lord.” It also says Christ has the power and the wisdom of God, in other words, our confidence isn’t in the impotent power of any party or the finite wisdom of any political pundit, our confidence is in Christ, our candidate, and His gospel our platform. Jesus ought to be our candidate, the gospel is our platform and our confidence should be totally and completely in Him. Our commitment, our dedication is to Him above all else! Not to any one man, not to any one woman, not to any one part but to Him, and if our complete commitment and dedication was to Him can you imagine what America would be today? Can you only imagine?

When Julius Caesar landed on the shores of Britain with the Roman legions he took a bold and decisive step to assure the success of his military venture, he ordered his men to march the edge of the Cliffs of Dove and he commanded them to look down at the water below and to their amazement they saw every ship in which they had crossed the channel engulfed in flames. Caesar had deliberately cut off any possibility of retreat. Now that his soldiers were unable to return to the continent there was nothing left for them to do but to advance and conquer and that

We have to make up our minds, gentlemen, that we’re not turning back. We have to make up our minds that we’re going to fight for Christ, we’re going to fight for the unity in the body, we’re going to fight for truth, we’re going to fight. We’re not going to go into that sleep peacefully. We burned the bridges behind us. Amen!

Paul reminds the Corinthians of their commitment and allegiance to Christ, so we the church ought to be reminded as well. Amen! Our primary allegiance is to who? Christ, and His Kingdom. And there’s nothing else, there’s no turning back.

Look back at the text again, it says, that “you speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you,” that there be no division amongst… the church has closed ranks, she has to stand in the gaps and be unified. [I Corinthians 1:10, “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.” NASB] No division, there has to be no schism, no splits, no rifts, no gaps. Paul asks the rhetorical question in verse 13, is Christ divided?
[1 Corinthians 10:13]

At the church at Corinth they were arguing about who is their spiritual superstar. Some say hey man, I hang out with Apollos. Hey man, I hang out with Paul. Hey man, I hang out with Cephas, or Peter. Or I am with Christ. Paul turns around and says hey, “Is Christ divided?”
[1 Corinthians 1:13] And that’s a rhetorical question because Christ was not what? Divided. Then why are we?

Again I’m not talking about the church of America, I’m talking about united on these issues, united on the mission purpose of the church. Are we divided? We don’t have to necessarily agree on the peripheral issues; we must be unified on the essentials and the person and the mission of Jesus Christ. We must not be divided if our country is going to be healed. We’ve got to be… what’s that show where the guy gets out the window and he says… golly, it’s an old movie. He just screams it out. A person needs to get mad, we need to get mad. I’m mad and I’m not taking it any more. We need to get so mad that we just won’t take it anymore. We need to say enough is what? ENOUGH!

Psalm 133:1-2 says, “Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity, it’s like the precious oil upon the head, running [2] It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down upon the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down to the edge of his garment.”

God wants us to dwell together in unity in church, and in Amos it says how can two walk together unless they” what? “agree.” If we’re going to be unified we have to what? agree! [Amos 3:3, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” KJV] Solomon said in Ecclesiastes though one may be overpowered by another two can withstand him and a threefold cord is not easily what? Broken. [Ecclesiastes 4:12, NIV, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”]

I think through all of these verses it just talks about what? A oneness, a unity, a commitment to God. If we don’t want our nation divided… did you know that there are Christians in almost every high and lofty place in this country? Just imagine if our Christian judges lived by their faith. Just imagine if our Senators and our Congressmen lived out their faith. Just imagine it Supreme Court Justices lived out their faith. Just imagine if our police chiefs lived out their faith. What would this country be like?

All we have to do is live it out. If the church is going to have an impact on the contention in the nation we must deal with the contention in the church. England’s famed general, Wellington, was faced with the overwhelming task of battling France’s great General Napoleon at Waterloo. Wellington’s forces were outnumbered by the world’s conquering French. Napoleon, after pounding the British with artillery than sent in its fierce cavalry to finish the British off. They swooped down the sloped hills into the mass of British soldiers below. Wellington, however, decided to place his army in a four diamond shaped formations which caused the charging French cavalry to be divided into several smaller groups. The smaller British army was then able to defend itself and ultimately defeated the larger French army. Napoleon was defeated, not because of numbers; he was defeated because of division.

The only way we can be defeated, the only way the church can be stopped, the only way this nation can be stopped is that we’re what? Divided! We have to mend the tares, gentlemen. The Corinthian believers would not positively impact the culture around them if they themselves wouldn’t split. How can a church ever hope to influence and turn our nation and communities around if we’re divided. We can’t allow ourselves to be distracted by peripheral agendas.

There’s a saying that goes, I’m not sure who said it, it says: And the essential is what? Unity, non-essentials, liberty, and in all things charity. [“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” ― Augustine of Hippo]

Brothers, we have to be united. And I talk to so many people that are Christians, as a matter of fact I walked into the Post Office the other day, I go in there often do business at the Post Office, and I usually get the usual clerk and I walked in and I’m a pretty cordial fellow, I’ll talk but I don’t make a scene, I don’t make myself too obvious, and I walked up to the counter and she says “How’s my Republican friend doing?” [Laughter] This is a black lady. I said how could you know I was a Republican? She says oh, by how you talk in here. I said I don’t say a whole lot when I come in here. I said I don’t recall saying anything that would clue in that I was a Republican or otherwise.

And so how did this woman know that I had Republican leanings? And then it dawned on me, she knew my name and she went to my Facebook site and she reads my posts and things like that. That’s the only way she could have known. And then she said well, you started talking about Trump, you know, that Trump this and that Trump that. I said yeah, I can’t stand him. And she looked at me like that, surprised, and I said you weren’t expecting that, were you. She didn’t say no, I wasn’t expecting that. I said I’m not Republican, I said the only reason I vote Republican is because I vote my faith. I’m influenced by my faith so that’s why I vote Republican. And then she did an about face, she said well I voted for Bush the last time. I said good for you. Well good for you.

That’s my point, she was a Christian woman… she was a Christian woman! Sure she loved the Lord, but too many people in the church hang their hats at the door. We have to take our faith everywhere we go, on our jobs, as well as the voting booths. Whether you are a garbage man, a police man, or a Republican, you have to take your faith with you. We can’t be divided on the major issues. We can talk about the peripheral stuff, but if we’re not unified on the major issues we will always be a house what? Divided. And if the church is divided, guess what? The nation is going to be what? Divided.

But guys, guess where it starts—it starts with us. We can point the finger, we can complain, we can pitch and moan, notice I said Pitch, [laughter] and moan but it starts with us. Don’t give up the fight, burn the bridge behind you, no going back. Be unified, don’t be divided, and maybe, just maybe things will turn around for us. Amen! Is it all right to give the Lord a hand of praise here? [clapping]

Andy Woods: Well, that was very important what he says and as the Psalms say, Selah. You all know know what Selah means? It means consider, carefully ponder, so let’s give Doyle a round of applause. And I’m going to close us in a word of prayer. Father, we are grateful for Your Word, first and foremost, and how it teaches us that we really, in these days that we find ourselves need to stand on not man’s word but Your Word. Help us, Father, to take this message to heart and not to be one person on Sunday and then a totally different person on Monday. Help us to really take Your truth and apply it to every area of life, whether it be voting or marriage or how we handle our finances or how we treat people. And we know, Father, that You’re very grieved over the state of Your church, but we just ask that right here in this room an awakening could start where we could be, perhaps of the first in this city just to really start standing, not on man’s agenda but Your agenda as you make it clear to us through Your Word. I pray that we will just take to heart what Doyle shared with us and that we would be men that You called us to be in these last days. And we’ll be careful to give You all the praise and the glory. We ask these things in Jesus name.