INTRODUCTION: Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God. In the over 3100 years of recorded world history, the world has only been at peace 8% of the time or a total of 286 years and 8000 treaties have been made and broken. Peace is the heart’s desire of mankind, but has been unattainable throughout our history.
Jesus talked extensively about peace. He promised it for his people. And he gave a blessed promise for all those who would be peacemakers.
I. IF EVER THERE WAS A NEED FOR PEACEMAKERS IN THE HOME, WORLD IN GENERAL, AND IN THE CHURCH, IT IS NOW.
A. Our communities and our nation as a whole is a battleground of hatred, envy, and strife.
1. People hate each other because of their race, their religion, or because they are perceived to have a couple of dollars more than them.
2. People distrust their neighbors, their politicians, their ministers, their doctors, everyone with whom they have dealings.
3. If you doubt that there is a need for peacemakers, just drive around town and get into traffic jams!
B. Families are coming apart with strife and hatred.
1. Husbands and wives are seeking divorce because they cannot live at peace with each other.
II. IN ORDER FOR ONE TO BE A PEACEMAKER WE MUST BE AT PEACE OURSELVES.2. There is conflict between children and their parents.
A. What kind of peace is Jesus speaking of?
1. It is not simply the absence of conflict. To nations can be technically "at peace" while planning and working toward the day when they can destroy the other. We were not at war with the Soviet Union during the "Cold War" but certainly was not at peace with them either.
2. Peace is not compromise with that which is wicked or evil. This is the pathway of surrender and slavery. It is not meekly submitting to error nor refusing to stand for what is right.
B. The biblical concept of peace
1. A positive force -- the presence of all that is good
2. Peace carries the idea of total well-being of mind and heart and body.
3. It implies a complete contentment of soul.
C. How do we have the complete contentment of soul and heart?
1. This complete peace comes from our submission to God and His will.
a. We should realize that conflict and war has at its root our rebellion against God. Man was at peace with both himself and with his creator before sin entered the world. After sin was introduced it bred rebellion against God's will, the first envy and jealousy that resulted in the first murder (Cain murdering Abel). After that mankind had conflict against God, and with each other, ever since.
2. Sin makes us enemies of God.
a. James 4:4 - "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."
b. Isaiah 59:1-2 "Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear."
3. This is why Christ came to earth and died for us - that we might be at peace with God.
a. Romans 5:1 - “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”
b. Ephesians 2:14-16 “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:”
c. John 14:27 - “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
4. When a Christian is forgiven, he is then at peace with himself and can be at peace with others.
a. Philippians 4:6,7 - “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
III. EVERY CHRISTIAN SHOULD BE A PEACEMAKER.b. Galatians 5:22 - “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,”
A. Being a peacemaker will naturally follow if we live by the other beatitudes.
1. The Christian who hungers and thirsts after righteousness will understand the supreme value of being at peace. He will seek to bring that contentment to all those around him.
2. The Christian who is merciful (willing to forgive) to others in their shortcomings will be able to react wiht sympathy toward those whom he comes in contact with. He will not be pugnacious and demanding of his rights.
3. The Christian who is pure in heart will seek to be peaceable and be a peacemaker among others because he will understand that God is a peaceable being.
a. 1 Corinthians 14:33 - “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”
b. Romans 15:33 - “Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.”
B. Christians will seek to live at peace with others, as much as is possible, thus cultivating an atmosphere of peace among all we come in contact.
1. Hebrews 12:14 - “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:”
2. Luke 6:35,36 - “But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.”
3. Romans 12:18 - “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”
C. Christians will seek to be peacemakers within the body of Christ.
1. 1 Corinthians 1:10 - “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
CONCLUSION: The Christian who is a real peacemaker will have the joy of bringing peace to others. Jesus says that he is a “son of God.” They have the highest calling in the world, to imitate their master, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6-7).2. Romans 14:19 - “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.”
Copyright 1999 by Grady
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