Sunday, 22 February 1998 00:00

Peacemakers

Matthew 5:9 (KJV)

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

The foundational principle of our study in the beatitudes is this: "When God favors you, He changes you." You do not try to live up to what Jesus says in His sermon on the mount to obtain the favor of God, you are what you are because you have been given the grace (blessing) of God.

  1. When God saves you, He makes you a "peacemaker."
    1. Jesus is not necessarily referring to "world peace."
      In the last 4,000 years of human history, there have been less than 300 years without war. "Peace is merely that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stops to reload."Until the hearts of humans are changed, war will not end. The United Nations was established after WWI. Thirty million people died in WWI. Ninety million died in WWII. A Christian is to make every effort to live at peace within his world (I Tim. 2:14), but
    2. Jesus is primarily referring to "personal peace."
      1. The world needs this peace—all one has to do is look around and see families fracturing, addictions increasing, and people suffering in their pursuit of happiness.
        Isaiah 57:20-21 says "There is no peace for the wicked." Why is that? James says the reason is man's deep rooted determination to get his own way (James 4:2).
      2. You have received this peace—God changed your "inner man" and granted peace "The Prince of Peace"(Isaiah 9:6) took possession of your hostile heart and subdued it.
        "Righteousness and peace have kissed each other
        " (Psalm 85:10).
        A life lived as it ought to be lived, by the power of God, is true peace (John 16:33)
      3. Christ gives you a mission—you are called a "peacemaker.
        • This word was used by the Greeks for "ambassadors" commissioned to negotiate peace with alienated parties; a task calling for enterprise and effort.
        • To make peace does not mean the absence of convictions, confrontation, or even conflict. Look at Jesus' words in Matthew 10:34. He cuts, then heals.
  2. When you become a "peacemaker," you will be called "sons of God.
    1. The word "sons" refers to character. It is not "children" which refers to position.
      James and John were the "sons of thunder." Barnabas was "the son of consolation."
      "Sons" of God tells us we are most like God when we actively seek to "make peace" in the hearts of those around us.
    2. The word "called" means "to acknowledge" or "to know. "It is not clear who is doing the acknowledging from this text:
      1. It could be that God is the one doing the acknowledging of us (Romans 8:19).
      2. It could be that the people of this world acknowledge us (John 13:35)
        I want you to think of someone you love that is in turmoil and sin. Who is it that you know whose life has never been granted the peace of God? What can you do to help them?
        • Pray. The psalmist said, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem" (Psalm 122:6).
        • Be Gracious."Let the peace of God rule in your hearts" (Colossians 3:15).
        • Believe the truth. Jesus said "He who does not follow me, cannot be my disciple."

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