Blessed are the Peacemakers
Topic: Wednesday Nights Scripture: Matthew 5:9
“The Beatitudes”: Matthew 5:1-12
Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. 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.
The Kingdom of Heaven versus the Kingdom of this World:
Matthew 4:17 - From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Matthew 4:23 - And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.
Matthew 5:3 - “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Daniel 4:3 - His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion endures from generation to generation.
Psalm 146:3-4 - Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.
John 18:36 - Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world."
Matthew 5:9 - “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
- The Reality of Conflict
Genesis 3:16 - To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.”
Genesis 4:6-8 - The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.” Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.
Genesis 4:23-24 - Lamech said to his wives: “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say: I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for striking me. If Cain's revenge is sevenfold, then Lamech's is seventy-sevenfold.”
Genesis 6:5-7 - The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
The Power of the Beatitudes:
Matthew 5:3 - “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Isaiah 6:5 - And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
Love Covers A Multitude of Sins:
1 Peter 4:8 - Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
Proverbs 10:12 - Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.
Proverbs 17:9 - Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.
1 Corinthians 6:1-8 - When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers!
Romans 12:17-21 - Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
1 Peter 2:19-25 - For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
III. Why Study the Topic of Biblical Peacemaking?
1) The topic of peacemaking is near and dear to the heart of God.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 – Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 13:20 – Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Isaiah 9:6 – For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Romans 5:1 - Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Philippians 4:7, 9 – And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. . . What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
- Shalom (peace) – Signifies more than merely the cessation of hostility and enmity. The root meaning is to be “complete” or “sound” and it denotes wholeness and harmony in one’s relationship with God.
Numbers 6:22-26 – The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. “So shall they put the name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”
"Our God is the God of peace. He has made saving peace with us through Jesus Christ, he pours out his inner peace on us and into us, he promises future global peace, and he calls and enables us to pursue relational peace with others. There is not a person on the planet—including your spouse, child, parents, or business partner—with whom you cannot pursue peace. Herein, then, we find our own identity as we walk in the ways of God our Father. . . As we pursue peace in all our relationships and help others do the same, we reflect the character of our peacemaking God." (Robert Jones, Pursuing Peace)
“Failure to please God – our failure or the other person’s, or both – is the ultimate cause of all relational conflict. Bank on it: whenever there is conflict, one or both parties are not pleasing God. . . Marriage fights ultimately stem not from ‘incompatibility’ or ‘personality differences,’ but from self-centeredness. . . The goal of pleasing God keeps our focus on God, not on the conflict issues or on the other person.” (Robert Jones, Pursuing Peace)
2) Conflict is an opportunity to grow in Christ.
Acts 6:1-4 – Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
Acts 6:7 - And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.
Acts 15:1-2 – But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question.
v.6-7 – The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter. And after there had been much debate. . .
Acts 15:30-35 - So when they were sent off, they went down to Antioch, and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. And when they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement. And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with many words. And after they had spent some time, they were sent off in peace by the brothers to those who had sent them. But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.
“Conflict always provides an opportunity to glorify God, that is, to bring him praise and honor by showing who he is, what he is like, and what he is doing. The best way to glorify God in the midst of conflict is to depend on and draw attention to his grace, that is, the undeserved love, mercy, forgiveness, strength, and wisdom he gives to us through Jesus Christ. . . Every time you encounter a conflict, you will inevitably show what you really think of God.” (Ken Sande, The Peacemaker)
“People bring out the best in us and the worst in us. Oswald Chambers tells us, ‘The test of a man’s religions life and character is not what he does in the exceptional moments of life, but what he does in the ordinary times, when there is nothing tremendous or exciting on.’ I would add that the test also comes when other people in our life sin against, hurt, or disappoint us. Then who we are and what we are made of is more apparent, not only to others but also to ourselves. This is the perfect time to yield to God’s refining process so that we might not just endure our hardship but grow from and through it.” (Leslie Vernick, How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong)
Luke 6:27-36, 38 – But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. . . Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
"I suspect that most of us are brothers and sisters to be dealt with gently. We ought to sympathetically appreciate the other’s honest description of shaping experiences. We ought to acknowledge the valid insights and concerns, even if we end up disagreeing with the conclusions. All of us are more or less ignorant and wayward, beset with weakness (Heb. 5:2). Many well-intended believers on both sides of the debate are more clumsy than perverse. Our sin makes us clumsy thinkers, clumsy practitioners, clumsy theologians, clumsy exegetes, clumsy cultural analysts. We all get pigheaded, shortsighted, particularly stuck in those forms of error that contain partial truths. Yes, all error has a perverse logic, but we may hold to errors and semi-truths without being wholly perverted people. May God make us deft—together.
. . . the Sower of love and truth seems willing to work amid the tumult of passions over the long haul: over decades, lifetimes, and centuries. Biblical wisdom does not spring full-grown from the head of Zeus. It is born small, and grows through many trials and missteps, by the sustaining grace of God, towards the fullness of the mind of Christ." (David Powlison)