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Blessed Are the Peacemakers

Blessed Are the Peacemakers

One cynic remarked that, “Peace is the moment when nations take time to reload.” Along with mankind’s technological accomplishments, we devise more efficient and cruel means of killing each other.

Our porous borders allow enemies to invade undetected. Terrorist attacks have convinced us that we are not safe even in our own country. Criminals are taking over our cities by hooking the citizens on drugs, which make us apathetic and willing to do anything to get more of them. We take no responsibility for our sin and blame others for our consequences. So we fight against each other and destroy our society.

Into this world filled with violence and hate, Jesus sends His disciples as ministers of peace and says:

Matthew 5:9  “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

Have you ever wondered why every human effort at lasting international peace has failed? The League of Nations failed. The United Nations fails? What is the problem?”

There is but one adequate answer to the question; it is not a political solution, it is not a social solution, it is not an economic solution. The one answer is essentially and primarily Jesus, the Prince of Peace, but unbelievers don’t like this fact and refuse to accept it. So we have war.

James 4:1-2 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.

The trouble then is in the heart of man, and until the heart of man is changed, we will never solve the problem of war and conflict by trying to manipulate our circumstances. Men are without peace because they are without God, the source of peace. The Father is the God of peace – there is no other source. Jesus Christ, the Son, is the manifestation of peace – the Prince of Peace. The Holy Spirit is the agent of peace. The Holy Spirit applies and supplies the peace of God in our lives. The God of Peace sent the Prince of Peace who sends the Spirit of Peace to give us the Fruit of Peace!

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Don’t get a false idea from the phrase “peacemaker”, that making world peace up to us. That is not it at all – we are to be the messengers of the Gospel of the Prince of Peace, who makes peace.

If you and I are to be peacemakers, we must know God, believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior, be filled with the Holy Spirit, and draw upon His supply of peace. Apart from Him, we can do nothing.

Romans 5:1-2 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

The one who does not belong to God through Jesus Christ can neither have peace nor be a peace-maker. God can only work peace through us, after he has worked peace in us.

Jesus said, John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

The peace of God is not something we can manufacture, buy, or earn. It is a result of a heart that is totally surrendered to God. The only way we can have the peace of God is to have peace with God. Individuals gain peace with God when they place their faith in Christ as their personal Savior. And we have the inner quiet peace of God when we walk daily with Him.

Phil. 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

When we transfer all our troubles to God through prayer and attain His peace, it will be obvious to others. God’s peace in us will transcend all understanding. People simply will not be able to comprehend the peace that the believer can model in times of crisis. It is a tremendous witness of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, living in the believer. People want that kind of peace in their own lives and become interested in Jesus.

James 3:17-18 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.

The Holy Spirit also gives us wisdom. This wisdom is peace-loving. That is, it is not contentious, angry, or bigoted, but rather calming, loving, and tranquil. This heavenly wisdom projects peace in a Christian because he is filled with the nature of God, the character of the Holy Spirit.

If we are indeed born again by God's Spirit, being at peace and making peace will be the rule in our lives. We will possess the power and character of God that makes love, good will, unity, and peace possible instead of hatred, strife, competition, and conflict.

Romans 14:19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

This seems so obvious that it need not be said, but God includes it in His Word because sometimes Christians within the church succumb to pride, the very thing that causes separation from God and so much contention in this world.

Proverbs 13:10 Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.

Sometimes we do not understand how competitive our sinful nature is. It is proud. It feels it has to win, be vindicated, and if possible, be elevated over others. These attitudes do not make peace. They are fleshly, carnal, and not of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, rather than pursuing the things that cause contention, pursue the things that cause peace. Repent of pride and ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with His power to become a peacemaker.

"Peace" is the good news of reconciliation and the end of the conflicts, distresses, and the consequences of our pride.

Peace also describes the benefits that come when we cease to be an enemy of God and humble ourselves under His Lordship. Until that happens, peace is not a part of our lives.

2 Cor. 5:18-20 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.

Having established peace with God, through faith in Jesus Christ, one assumes the responsibility of actively working to reconcile others to God and to one another. God has committed the responsibility of proclaiming His message of reconciliation to us. We are now His ambassadors, His representatives, His peacemakers. Peacemakers are to make every effort to get out the “good news”—that peace has been made between God and man through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Jesus was a peacemaker. He is titled "the Prince of Peace." His life is the pattern ours should follow.

Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Undoubtedly, Jesus did this, but some perceived His life, popularity, and words as so threatening that they put Him to death. His life, death, and resurrection, however, enabled Him to be the instrument of our peace with God and each other by qualifying Him as the payment for sin and the High Priest to mediate peace for us before the Father.

Ephesians 2:14-18 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. 

It was Adam and Eve's conduct that shattered the peace between man and God. Cain's conduct broke the peace between him and Abel and him and God. As it is with all of us, conduct makes or breaks the peace!

Since it is true that "blessed are the peacemakers," it logically follows that God curses peace-breakers. Contention produces the curse of disunity. When Adam and Eve sinned, both unity and peace were shattered, and God sentenced them to death.

Regardless of our excuses or intentions, it is impossible for sin to produce either godly peace or unity. It is therefore urgent, that we be diligent, not merely to guard against the more obvious forms of sin, but also bigotry, intemperate zeal, judging, impatience, and a quarrelsome spirit.

Ephesians 4:1-3 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

As a peacemaker, be completely humble. Humility is the opposite of pride. If pride only produces contention, it follows that humility will work to soothe, calm, heal, and unify.

Cultivate meekness, the opposite of the self-assertiveness that our contemporary culture promotes so strongly. Self-assertiveness is competitive determination to press one's will at all costs. This approach may indeed "win" battles over other brethren, but it breeds contention and disunity. As long as we fight against each other, we are not fighting against satan, and we are losing the war that we are here to win.

As a peacemaker, be patient in prayer. We will probably never know in this life how much our prayers affect the course of division, but we should find comfort knowing that we have done at least this much toward making peace.

Jesus says that peacemakers "shall be called sons of God." Once we understand the Bible's usage of the words "sons", we can easily see that this beatitude does not apply to worldly people. The term "sons" is not gender specific. It not only describes those who are literal descendants, but also those who show the characteristics of a predecessor, who is not necessarily a biological ancestor. The phrase "sons of God" is a bestowed title indicating a special family relationship. The promise of this Beatitude is that peacemakers will be called, named, recognized, and designated as true sons of God.

Maybe an illustration will help. Whenever I return to the area that I grew up or are around people who knew my Dad, I am likely to hear the comment, “As you get older, you sure look more like your father.”

As we mature in the Lord, we will be changing from one degree to another. We will begin to look like our Father. Whenever we make peace by bringing people into a relationship with God or by bringing two people together, we look a lot like our Father and His Son. It is the family resemblance that marks us as sons of God. Peacemaking is a characteristic each son of God will exhibit. Those who fit the description of godly peacemakers reveal that they are in the image and likeness of God!

Hebrews 2:11 Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.

If indeed we are God’s children, and therefore, united in the spiritual body of Christ, we will show the same peaceable disposition of the One who is the Head. Therefore, Jesus has no shame in calling us brethren. Through us, His characteristics and His Peace are being shown to the church and to the world.

Peacemaking is more complex and involved than it first appears because it entails the way we live all of life. The Christian produces peace both passively and actively: passively, because we are not a cause of disruption, and actively, because we create peace by drawing others to Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

Is there peace in your life? If not, you can receive peace today by bringing all your problems, sin, and your life to Jesus Christ. He said, Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

You can have peace with God through faith in His Son, Jesus. Repent and be baptized, and you will receive a new life, born of the Holy Spirit. You will become a son of God, filled with the Holy Spirit and the peace of God. Then you will have power to be a peacemaker.