Last week in part 6, we looked at what it means to be pure in heart and see God. We learned that only came after becoming poor in spirit, mourning over our sin, submitting ourselves to God, hungering and thirsting for righteousness, and receiving God’s mercy. This week we’re looking at what comes after being made pure in heart.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.” — Matthew 5:9
What is peace?
Some may say that peace is the absence of conflict. It’s when there are no wars between countries or fights between friends. However, as long as there are people who aren’t saved and are living in sin, there will never be true peace. We can’t have peace with God when we are living in sin. True peace isn’t the absence of war. True peace comes from God when He forgives us of our sin and makes us a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Christ “…made peace through the blood of His cross…” (Colossians 1:20). When He took on our sin to pay the righteous penalty for our sins, He made peace with God. That’s something we could have never done on our own. Since Jesus paid the price, we can now have peace with God if we believe in Him and repent.
Lovingkindness and truth have met together;
Righteousness and peace have kissed each other. — Psalm 85:10
I love how the psalmist describes righteousness and peace together. You can’t have one without the other. We can’t have peace with God and become peacemakers until recognizing our sin, mourning over it, being meek, hungering for righteousness, receiving God’s mercy, and being made pure in heart.
What does it mean to be a peacemaker?
Being a peacemaker is confronting sin with the truth. It’s a confrontation against sin of wrong believing. It’s standing for the truth and sound Biblical doctrine. Being a peacemaker isn’t treading lightly and trying not to disagree with anyone. Avoiding sin isn’t peace. Peace from God can only come after sin has been confronted using the Word of God. We avoid needless strife, but we don’t ignore sin.
In order to confront sin, we must know what sin is and what God’s Word says about it. We must be in the Word studying it, and we must confront sin with an attitude of love, not judgment. We must use the Bible to confront sin. It is not our words that can change people and save. It is only the living Word of God that breaths life and changes people’s hearts.
Remember, we’re talking about being at peace with God. The only way we will be at peace is through salvation. Hebrews 12:14 says:
Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. – Hebrews 12:14
How do we pursue peace? By sharing the Gospel with others. The only way we and others will experience peace is through Christ. Hebrews says pursue peace and sanctification. Psalm 85:10 says, “Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” You can’t have one without the other.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. — 2 Corinthians 5:17-20
2 Corinthians 5 says God “gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (5:18), and we are “ambassadors for Christ” (5:20). As Christians, God has given us the responsibility of sharing the message of peace with others. We are peacemakers when we share the peace of God with others. It’s evangelism.
Jesus was a peacemaker. The ultimate peacemaker when He died on a cross to grant us peace with God. But did He avoid conflict with everyone? No. He taught the Word and spoke against sin and sinful people. Because of that, there was a lot of conflict. There was so much conflict most people wanted Him dead.
If you read the next two verses in Matthew, it says blessed are the persecuted. When we are peacemakers, we will be persecuted just as Jesus was persecuted (we will look into that more next week). That is not peace if you define peace as the absence of war and conflict. However, the only real peace is from God when He forgives us of our sin. The peacemakers are the ones who are at peace with God.
What does it mean to be called sons of God?
Being a son of God means to be an heir of God (see “Blessed are the meek”). It means that we have similar characteristics of God. When people see us, they know we are Christians, children of God, because we are living like Him. We have the honor of being called His children because when we are peacemakers, we are like our Father.
Part of being like our Father is doing our Father’s work. It used to be that if your father was a carpenter, you would become a carpenter. If you’re father was a blacksmith, you would become a blacksmith. Anyone could look at the work of the blacksmith’s son and know who his father was.
As children of God, we are to take on the Father’s work. We are supposed to share the Gospel. We are supposed to follow Christ’s example of how to live and love. We should follow His example for confronting sin by using the Word. The world should be able to look at our life and our work and know who our Father is.
Being a son of God means being His heir and taking on His work.
Next week we will wrap up this series with Matthew 5:10-12.
Your sister in Christ,