Matthew 5:1 ESV Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
The Beatitudes which are defined as blessings or extreme happiness.
Matthew 5:2-12 ESV And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
There is no doubt that this year has brought many challenges.,
When I started this series I had no idea, but God knew, the many challenges this year would bring. From living through a global pandemic, the continued fight against racial injustices, job losses, amplified political division, with no end in sight. All these things and so much more shined a spotlight on the deep divisions in this nation. To wear a mask or not wear a mask, open the economy now, open slowly, defund the police, arrest the protesters, conservative, liberal, heterosexual, homosexual, metrosexual, on and on and on.
This is why the eighth Beatitude is so important today. We need peacemakers not more dividers. More consideration of others, not more individual freedom. More love not more hate. More God bless piety. More Christ likenesses less self righteousness.
Matthew 5:9 ESV "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Here are the highlights of the sermon, "Peacemaking - The Way To Happiness"
Disagreements, feuds, and suspicion seem to be the rule of the day. Our daily routines sometimes lead us to explode emotionally and spiritually.Well Jesus promises joy, blessings, and happiness to those who calm these troubled waters. Jesus said that these people are peacemakers and they will be known as the children of God. Being known as a child of God is a BIG deal. In fact it’s the biggest deal because peace is a big deal to God. The evidence that peace is a big deal is that the word peace is found eighty-eight times in the New Testament.
When the angel announced Jesus' birth he said that with that birth came peace.
Luke 2:14 ESV "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"
And near the end of His earthly ministry Jesus told His disciples that He was leaving them peace.
John 14:27 ESV Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
And the apostle Paul introduced each of his epistles with a greeting, of grace and peace (and yes I checked every one).
God uses us to share this peace with the world.
In this beatitude, Christ challenges each of us to become a peacemaker. Not everybody can be a peacemaker though.
The privilege peacemaking is for those who are;
- At peace with God
- At peace with others
- At peace with themselves
The privilege of peacemaking is the privilege of those who are at peace with God.
This beatitude is built on the six beatitudes that come before it. We are not privileged to become peacemakers until we admit our spiritual poverty, mourn over sin, practice the self-control that comes from meekness, hunger and thirst for righteousness, show mercy, and become pure in heart.
The fact that we need to make peace with God does not mean that God is angry with us or that he is standing to one side unwilling to communicate with us. The only thing between us and God is our sin and disobedience, and God takes care of that Himself.
Romans 5:1 ESV Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Peace with God means our consciences are cleared.
Hebrews 10:19-22 ESV Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. (emphasis mine)
The privilege of peacemaking is the privilege of those who are at peace with others.
The ending of hostilities and the refusal to have conflict is not necessarily peace. For example, two people may stop arguing but then stop speaking altogether. Two countries may declare a ceasefire, but that does not guarantee a lasting peace.
Peace is a positive attribute. To be at peace with others, we can’t insist that they meet us halfway. Peacemakers reach out, take the initiative. Their concern is not who is to blame but how to have reconciliation and peace. Peacemakers are not fault finders; they are healers.
Matthew 5:23-24 ESV So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
The privilege of peacemaking is the privilege of those who are at peace with themselves.
People who try to help others find peace while their lives are a mess will fail at their peacemaking efforts. People who are always at war with, family, friends, and others are at war with themselves.
You may make a sarcastic remark or say something that unintentionally causes someone hurt, or you may share a story that, whether true or false, injures somebody. If this becomes a pattern it may be a sign that you are not at peace with yourself.
To be a peacemaker you have to start with yourself.
Matthew 7:5 ESV You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.
The apostle Paul saw reconciliation as the purpose of the ministry of both Christ and Christians.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19 ESV All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. (emphasis mine)
First of all there is reconciliation between us and God.
Peace between God and mankind is not peace at any price. Some people pride themselves in never becoming involved or always avoiding confrontation. The truth may be that they really lack the courage to stand up for what is right. They always let others defend decency and justice. People who live by this cowardly code of conduct are really enemies of peace.
Luke 13:1-5 ESV There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." (emphasis mine)
God is not an appeaser. He does not compromise. He offers peace on the terms of absolute surrender.
It’s our job as Christians and the Church is to deliver that message as ambassadors speaking for Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:20 ESV Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
Then and only then is there reconciliation between us and others.
St. Francis of Assisi started one of his prayers with: “Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace. “Where there is hate, may I bring love. Where there is offense, may I bring pardon.”
The ultimate purpose of peacemakers is to bring love.
1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Galatians 5:22-23 ESV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law..
The promise that comes with peacemaking.
Matthew 5:9 ESV "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Jesus said in the beatitude, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” The kind of peace He was talking about doesn't just happen. Peace is the result of deliberate effort. Peacemakers do more than dream of peace; they roll up their sleeves, get involved in the difficulties of life, and make peace happen.
We may not all be able to accumulate great wealth, or write books or musical masterpieces, or capture beautiful scenes on canvas. But we can all be peacemakers.
Peacemakers will be called children of God because as they make peace they resemble their heavenly Father.
Are you a peacemaker? You can't be a real peacemaker, the kind that God calls His child unless you are at peace with Him. How does that happen?
Romans 10:9-10 GNT If you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised him from death, you will be saved. For it is by our faith that we are put right with God; it is by our confession that we are saved.
Romans 4:22-25 GNT That is why Abraham, through faith, “was accepted as righteous by God.” The words “he was accepted as righteous” were not written for him alone. They were written also for us who are to be accepted as righteous, who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from death. Because of our sins he was given over to die, and he was raised to life in order to put us right with God.
Finally, aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.