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  • Writer's pictureBrian O'Kelly

PEACE


2)      Chapter 5 of the gospel of Matthew opens with what has been most frequently called “the sermon on the Mount”. This consists of a series of statements of Jesus which have been called the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes offer a perspective on how the Christian is to live and evaluate their life and decisions. In each of these Jesus offers a category of people who are blessed as well as the reason that they are blessed. Today we will get through the second to last beatitude. There is enough in this verse to warrant an entire episode dedicated to this one topic.

3)      9 Blessed are the peacemakers,    for they will be called children of God.

a.       This verse encapsulates a central theme in Christian ethics and has reverberated through centuries, offering guidance on the pursuit of peace and the qualities that define true discipleship.




b.       At the time, the Jewish people were under Roman occupation, and social tensions were high. In this charged atmosphere Jesus’ message of peace is radical and went beyond the conventional understanding of the term which was primarily calm.

c.       The God of peace (Rom.15:33/Isa.9:6)

                                                               i.     



The Imparter of peace in the midst of turbulence

1.       Mark 4:39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

2.       John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.

3.       Isa.26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace,

Whose mind is stayed on You,

Because he trusts in You.

                                                             ii.      Reconciling His own enemies to Himself

1.       2 Cor.5:19 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

2.       Col.1:19-20 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

3.       Eph.2:15-16 so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross

                                                           iii.      Creating peace between hostile third parties

1.       Prov.16:7 When a man’s ways please the Lord,

He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

d.       The children of God are known by their resemblance to Him

                                                               i.      The term "peacemakers" in this context refers not merely to those who avoid conflict but to those actively working towards reconciliation and harmony. Jesus challenges his followers to be agents of peace in a world marked by division, injustice, and hostility. If we are to be called "children of God" we must embodying peacemaking qualities aligns individuals with the divine, emphasizing the importance of reflecting God's character in their interactions with others.

1.        

                                                             ii.       

                                                           iii.      Eph.5:1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.

                                                           iv.      Peaceable in disposition

1.       Luke 10:6 But whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on it; if not, it will return to you.

2.       Tit.3:2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.

3.       James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

4.       Gal.5:22-23  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control.

5.       Gen.13:8 So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren

6.      Matt.5:39-45 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven;

                                                             v.      Pursuing peace with all men

1.       Rom.12:18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

2.       Heb.12:14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:

                                                           vi.      Repairers of the breach

1.       Acts 7:26 (Stephen speaking to the council about Moses) And the next day he appeared to two of them as they were fighting, and tried to reconcile them, saying, ‘Men, you are brethren; why do you wrong one another?’

2.       James 3:18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

e.       Responsible peace - Psalm 85:10 Mercy and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed.

                                                              i.      This is not a “peace at any cost” or a peace without conditions. Certainly there are those with whom no peace can be found. God Himself has enemies and despite his efforts to reconcile them, peace is not achieved.

                                                             ii.      Peace and a sword

1.       Matt.10:34-35 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set[j] a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.

2.       Ps.120:6-7 My soul has dwelt too long

With one who hates peace.

7 I am for peace;

But when I speak, they are for war.

                                                           iii.      Peace neglected

1.       Isa.48:18 Oh, that you had heeded My commandments!

Then your peace would have been like a river,

And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.

2.       Luke 19:41-44 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

                                                           iv.      Terms of peace with God (and man)

1.       The causes of strife

a.       The wicked at war against God

                                                                                                                                       i.      Isa.57:20-21 But the wicked are like the troubled sea,

When it cannot rest,

Whose waters cast up mire and dirt.

21 “There is no peace,”

Says my God, “for the wicked.”

                                                                                                                                     ii.      James 4:4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

                                                                                                                                   iii.      Jer.16:5 For thus says the Lord: “Do not enter the house of mourning, nor go to lament or bemoan them; for I have taken away My peace from this people,” says the Lord,

b.      Pride at the core of strife Prov.13:10 By pride comes nothing but strife, But with the well-advised is wisdom.

c.       Jealous lust James 4:1-2 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.

2.       Terms of surrender:

a.       Humility

                                                                                                                                      i.      James 4:6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”

                                                                                                                                     ii.      1 Pet.5:5

b.       Trust

                                                                                                                                       i.      Isa.30:15 For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved;

In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”

But you would not,

                                                                                                                                     ii.      Rom.5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

                                                                                                                                   iii.      Phil.4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

                                                             v.      “The way of peace”

1.       Isa.59:8 The way of peace they have not known,

And there is no justice in their ways;

They have made themselves crooked paths;

Whoever takes that way shall not know peace.

2.       Luke 1:79 (Zacheus speaking of the Messiah) To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,

To guide our feet into the way of peace.”

3.       Gracious tolerance of diversity of opinion

a.      Rom.14:1-7 Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. 2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. 3 Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. 4 Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand. 5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself

b.       Rom 14:17-19 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he who serves Christ in [e]these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.

c.       Eph.4:1-3 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

4.       Peaceful words

a.      Prov.12:18 There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health.

b.       Prov.15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.

c.      Prov. 25:15 By long forbearance a ruler is persuaded, And a gentle tongue breaks a bone.

d.      Ps.34:12-14 Who is the man who desires life, And loves many days, that he may see good? 13 Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit. 14 Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.

e.       2 Tim.2:24-25 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,

5.       Overcome evil with good

a.       Rom.12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

b.       1 Cor.6:7 Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated?

6.       Pray for peace

a.       Ps.122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem

b.       1 Tim.2:1-2 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.

7.       Evangelism

a.       2 Cor.5:20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

b.       Eph.6:15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

c.       Isa.52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains

Are the feet of him who brings good news,

Who proclaims peace,

f.        Practical Implications for Today:

                                                               i.      The call of Matthew 5:9 to be peacemakers challenges Christians to engage in efforts that address individuals, communities, and nations. We are to foster understanding between conflicting parties and promote genuine reconciliation without compromising on the truth or our own Christian commitments.

                                                             ii.      Ultimately the best thing we can do for peace is sharing the Gospel. Peace with God is a necessary precursor for sufficient personal peace to endure injustice and a necessary element to pursue the Jesus way of living.

                                                           iii.      Since the children of God  implies a family without borders or differences based on ethnicity we are further challenged to extend our love and efforts towards peace to all corners of the world in recognition of God’s enduring love for all and his desire to have all people everywhere be reconciled to Him.

g.       Conclusion:

                                                               i.      The world is marked by discord and strife.

1.       We are to embody peace

2.       We are  to actively contribute to the reconciliation of broken relationships and the healing of societal wounds.

3.       We are to embrace Our role as ambassadors of peace

4.       We are to foster reconciliation.

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