One researcher has noted
recently that in the past 4,000 years there has been
less than 300 years of world peace.
Why are there wars in the
world? Why does world peace seem to elude our
government leaders? Why are there at least fifty
civil wars going on all the time in various parts of
Jesus is not referring to
peace–keepers but to peace–makers in Matthew 5:9. He
said, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall
be called sons of God." The difference is a
peacemaker actively overcomes evil with good. Some
people are never happy unless they are fighting with
someone. A peacemaker on the other hand finds great
satisfaction in removing hostilities and effecting
reconciliation between enemies.
Most world leaders won't
acknowledge it but the Bible tells us the answer is
sin––old fashioned selfishness. Our problem is human
greed, lust and selfishness, not political, economic
or social. Those are symptoms of a deeper problem.
It is sin and depravity in the heart of man. Until
there is a change in the heart there will never be
any solutions to the problems on the surface. The
source of the problem is within man. Nothing but a
new heart, and new man, will bring peace. What is in
the heart of man inevitably comes out of him.
As we have seen these are
not natural dispositions, but dynamic spiritual
changes in men's hearts. The spiritually prosperous
person has had a life-changing encounter with God.
That life-changing experience affects the way we
approach every relationship in our lives.
PEOPLE ARE PEACEMAKERS
prosperous are in no way kin to the “prosperity
gospel” cult in our day, but are those individuals
who have a right relationship with God based upon an
intimate, personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
By faith they live above the chances, changes, and
circumstances in life.
"Peace" is God's highest
good for man. In the New Testament sense "peace" is
not just the absence of trouble; it is everything
that makes for the best that God in His grace gives
to man. The words "grace and peace" are associated
together many times in the New Testament. We have
the best in life because God has graced us. It is
the highest good God can give to man. The peacemaker
is God's messenger to bring this peace with God upon
The "God of peace" is the
source of this new life. Indeed, His very name is
Yahweh–shalom––"the LORD our peace" (Judges 6:24),
and our Lord Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace. He
is God's Peacemaker. "He is our peace" (Eph. 2:14).
He has brought us nearby His own blood (v. 15) and
taken us by the hand and brought us into the
presence of the Father and introduced us to Him (v.
18). Jesus gives us His peace (John 14:27; 16:33).
Moreover, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of peace. He
applies and supplies the peace of God to our hearts
(Gal. 5:22). The peacemaker draws upon this constant
supply of God's peace.
Only a man “in Christ”
can live this kind of life. They are one of a kind;
no one else is like them. They are different because
they are the children of God. The one clear
objective of the peacemaker is that the LORD God be
glorified in all that he does. Every believer is
expected to be a peacemaker. He has laid aside his
own selfish ambitions and seeks to glorify God in
all he does.
Jesus is our best model
for a peacemaker. His concern was to glorify the
Father at all times (John 17).
Why are the “peacemakers”
spiritually prosperous? How are they blessed?
The world system does not know this kind of peace.
It is the deep, deep peace of God in the soul of
God is perpetually at war
with sin—namely the world, the flesh and the devil
(James 4:1, 4, 7). Sin is the enemy of peace;
therefore, believers living in sin are great sources
of troublemaking. We have to keep short accounts
with sin. As soon as the Holy Spirit or the Word of
God convicts us we must confess it and turn from it.
The peacemaker reveals the spiritual war going on in
the world. He is salt and light that points to the
righteousness of Christ. Only the pure in heart can
be true peacemakers in a world of unrighteousness.
"Peacemakers" are those
disciples who strive to prevent contention and
strife. However, they are not peacekeepers, but are
active makers of peace. They use their influence to
reconcile opposing party strife among individuals,
families, churches, and the community. They change
hostile attitudes to attitudes that seek the best
interests of everyone.
Peacemaking is the work
of God. History is lined with the failures of
man-made peace accords. True peace is accomplished
only by the blood of Jesus Christ who gave Himself
that sinners can have peace with God. Peacemakers
bring sinners to Christ so they can have peace with
God. When hearts are changed and enmity is removed
man can have a common objective that brings peace.
It must be kept in mind
that "the peace of God is not peace at any price."
God brought sin out in the open and dealt with it.
God made peace with sinful depraved man at "immense
cost." Only the blood of Jesus Christ can make
propitiation for us (Romans 3:24-25). "Jesus Christ
the righteous . . . is the propitiation for our
sins" (1 Jn. 2:2). "In this is love, not that
we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son
to be the propitiation for our sins" (4:10). The
word propitiate means "the turning away of wrath by
an offering." God's wrath is His settled controlled,
holy antagonism against all sin. Propitiate is the
appeasement of the wrath of God by the love of God
through the death of Christ. Christ is the priest
offering Himself as the perfect sacrifice for sin
(Rom. 3:25). God Himself takes the initiative in
sheer unmerited love. He turns His own wrath away by
His own blood. God's justice has now been satisfied.
Our sin debt has been paid in full. His holiness is
satisfied. God's wrath is turned away from us on to
His Son who died in our place. Any other concept of
peace is a "cheap peace." True peace with God is an
expensive treasure. We must never compromise with
truth just to bring about a “false” peace. The
moment we do we cheapen it. A false peace is more
dangerous than open war. All it does is cover up the
symptoms. James wrote, “The wisdom that is from
above is first pure, then peaceable” (3:17). We
enjoy peace with God at a very high price.
Are these peacemakers
those who make peace between man and God or between
man and man? Probably either interpretation is
possible; however, you can never bring peace between
men until they have peace with God. His peace is the
solid foundation for all other relationships.
Peace with God
Peacemakers are at peace
with God (Rom. 5:1, 11). It is a valid observation
that all of the other beatitudes are being acted
upon. Quarrelsome people are not peacemakers. They
have neither found peace with God nor peace within
their own hearts. You cannot be an active maker of
peace until you have first found peace. Peace with
God involves a new nature, and a pure heart. Only
the person who is pure in heart can become a
peacemaker. There must be no hidden agendas, not
selfish ambitions, and no double-mindedness with the
peacemaker. The person who if filled with envy,
jealousy, covetousness, hostility, etc. can never be
Out of the heart proceeds
a whole list of things that prevent individuals from
being peacemakers (Mark 7:20-23). “That which
proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the
man. For from within, out of the heart of men,
proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts,
murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and
wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy,
slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil
things proceed from within and defile the man." The
heart must be cleansed of this evil before man can
possibly make peace. The change must take place from
the inside out.
“Peace” is a fruit of the
Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22; Phil. 4:7). We most resemble
our heavenly Father when we are filled with peace.
The perfect peacemaker is the Son of God. "For He
Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one
and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall"
demonstrate in their own lives how to have inward
peace with God and how to be instruments of peace in
the world. We can never be peacemakers until Jesus
Christ is Lord of our lives and sin is put to death
by the work of the Holy Spirit. We have been called
to be ministers of reconciliation because “we have
peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom.
5:1). Therefore, because we are no longer at war
with God we are no longer at war with ourselves. The
“peace of God passes all understanding” rules over
our lives like a king (Phil. 4:7).
Peace with other
John Broadus said, "There
is no more Godlike work to be done in this world
Peacemakers show they are
"children of God" by using every opportunity to
bring about reconciliation with others. God is a
peacemaker and they are like their father. "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 5:18-20).
Peacemakers seek to live
at peace with others because they are at peace with
God and themselves (Rom. 12:17-21; 14:1, 13, 15-20;
15:1-2, 5-7; I Thess. 5:13; II Tim. 3:16; Heb.
12:14; 1 Cor. 7:15; 1 Pet. 3:11).
Peacemakers use their
influence to effect reconciliation between God and
others (2 Cor. 5:18-20; Gal. 6:1). Ultimately
peacemakers are concerned that all men be at peace
with God. That essentially is the role of the
peacemaker. He goes out of his way to reconcile lost
man with God. It can only take place through the
peace that Jesus Christ gives.
A great example of a
peacemaker is the apostle Paul. If anyone was
transformed from troublemaker to peacemaker it was
Saul of Tarsus. How would you have liked him as a
friend before his conversion to Christ? Luke tells
us the very air he breathed was “threats and murder”
against believers in Christ (Acts 9:1). Then he met
Christ on the road to Damascus and he became a “man
in Christ.” Stephen’s death was a testimony to Saul
of God’s peace in his heart. As Saul’s henchmen were
stoning him to death Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus,
receive my spirit! . . . Lord, do not hold this sin
against them” (7:59-60). You can’t kill a peacemaker
because the source of his peace is an eternal God
who shall never die. Even today in many parts of the
world peacemakers give up their lives making peace.
Men still treat them like they did our Lord.
If you are willing to be
a peacemaker you must be willing to pay the price.
THE OPPOSITE OF
The world has its share
of troublemakers. They are also called agitators,
rabble-rousers, spark plugs, instigators,
dissidents, heretics, insurgents, malcontents,
mavericks, misfits, rebels, renegades, turncoats,
I am not talking about
those agents of change we need in every organization
including the local church. We need those
individuals who make us think, evaluate, and don't
always think the way we do, or see things the way we
However, the opposite of
a peacemaker is one who has attitudes which are
hostile, indifferent, angry, bitter, judgmental,
obsessively critical nit-picking. Even the apostle
John had his Diotrephes, “who loves to be first
among them.” Thank the Lord for Demetrius who
“received a good testimony from everyone” and Gaius
(Cf. 3 John 9-11).
Like the apostles John
and Paul warned, there are shortcuts to peace that
we dare not take. They not only cheapen peace, they
also cheapen grace. We must never sacrifice Bible
truth and solid doctrine for a passing moment of
tranquility. There are some things that must never
HOW DO WE BECOME
Let’s take time to
examine our attitudes and behaviors. Observe your
own behavior and attitudes toward other believers,
the church, and its leadership. If we are prone to
be a bearer of gossip, bad news, negative attitudes,
bitterness, resentments, hostility toward others,
then let’s start working at changing attitudes
toward ourselves and others. Let's decide now to
make love a priority in our lives. Let's make the
building of relationships based on love and grace an
emphasis in our lives.
Take some time and do an
in-depth study of the principles of interpersonal
relationships in the Bible. Study Romans
chapters 12-16. You will be amazed at how many
passages are addressed to interpersonal
relationships. These chapters’ emphasize good
relationships in the body of Christ.
Philippians 4:1-9 gives
us an excellent model on becoming "peacemakers."
There were two women who were outstanding leaders in
the church at Philippi. Their names were Euodia and
Syntyche. Paul asked the leaders in the church to
help them. They may have had strong personalities
and wanted to do things their way. Take a piece of
paper and respond to some questions and apply these
verses to your own Euodia and Syntyche.
What are my attitudes
toward Euodia and Syntyche?
What are my feelings
about Euodia and Syntyche?
What am I saying to
myself about Euodia and Syntyche? Use the tape
recorder analogy. If we were to place a tape
recorder against your brain and record everything
you are saying to yourself about these two ladies
and played it back for the whole world to listen to,
what would we hear you saying? Yes, that stuff! What
am I silently saying to myself about them?
The peacemaker also
learns to be quiet. "Be swift to hear, slow speak,
slow to wrath," is the behavior of a peacemaker.
There are times when it is best not to reply, don't
make comment, and don’t react with your natural
instincts. Don't repeat what you hear. Don't take
sides. Lay aside your personal biases in
decision–making. Strive to be objective. Know when
not to speak. Humble yourself before man and God and
ask for wisdom from Him.
Pray with thanksgiving
for Euodia and Syntyche (v. 6). What is it you can
honestly thank God for in the lives of Euodia and
Syntyche? Start with one thing, but don't stop
there. Write them down and pray over them daily.
"Stop being anxious”
about Euodia and Syntyche. "Stop worrying!" "Do not
be full of anxious care" over this situation. You
have committed it to God in prayer; now let go of
Paul says, "In everything
by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving" (v.
6b). Have you sincerely prayed for God's will to be
done? Have you prayed that God will bless your
enemy? "Lord I thank you for Euodia.
Lord bless Syntyche." Be specific in your thank you
Change what you are
saying about these individuals. Apply verses eight
and nine to this situation, "Finally, brethren,
whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is
right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is of good repute, if there is any
excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell
on these things. The things you have learned and
received and heard and seen in me, practice these
things, and the God of peace will be with you."
Do what you know to be
the right thing to do. Instead of expressing your
bitterness, pause and don't say a word, just think
through the situation. Find something encouraging to
say, or don't say anything. Start taking off your
own masks. Remind yourself out loud that just like
you they are sinners saved by grace! In your idle
moments write down the things you like about Euodia
and Syntyche, what you like about your church, Jesus
Christ, etc. Look over your list at least once a day
and remind yourself of the good things in life. You
can become a peacemaker in this situation.
Do what you know to be
the right thing to do at this time for them.
Practice the gesture of love. It is a
volitional choice; it is something we do. It may be
to bake them a pie, or take them out to lunch. I
have a friend who says, "Love them until you slobber
all over them!"
WHAT IS THE REWARD OF
The peacemaker enjoys
inner peace and security in relationships with God,
others and himself.
God is the actor, He will
call them His own children. To “be called" means "to
become." "They shall be called sons of God" means
"owned." “Sons” in this verse is figurative for
children of God. It includes sons and daughters who
have been born of God through the regenerative work
of God the Spirit. God has a relationship with
believers like a father does with his children.
"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be
owned as the children of God." God owns them as His
children. Since we are His children we must act like
our Father. We have His character. When we become
peacemakers we become more like our Father in
God has made peace with
man through His Son Jesus Christ. Christ is our
peace. Peacemakers do what their Father has done.
How often in our selfishness we want to stand up for
our rights and stage a protest. If God did that we
would all spend an eternity in hell. But God in His
mercy and grace sent His Son to make peace with us
through His own blood. The Prince of Peace gave
Himself to make peace with us.
Peacemakers shall be
known as “sons of God” because that is what they
The Bible treats
reference to people as "sons of God" or "children of
God" with great reserve. It is always an act of
God's mercy and grace.
"For it was the Father’s
good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,
and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself,
having made peace through the blood of His cross;
through Him, I say, whether things on earth or
things in heaven" (Colossians 1:19-20). He is our
peace because He gave Himself that we might be at
peace with God.
The promise is that you
will be “called sons (and daughters) of God." If you
want to resemble God, be a peacemaker. The
peacemaker is called "God's sons." There is
something God-like in bringing reconciliation
between men and God. All believers are children of
God, but there is a sense in which peacemakers are
fulfilling what God fully intended them to be as His
children. Such a person is really what the name
indicates, children of God.
Every time we led someone
to Christ we change the tide of world history. You
can't legislate it, you can't socialize it, and you
can't educate it. The problem is so deep in the
heart of mankind that there has to be a radical
change. Only God can do that. He does it one on one.
The heart is deceitful beyond all imagination; only
God can cleanse the heart and make man new.
Do I write to someone
today who longs for this kind of deep inner peace?
You can have it right now by confessing to God your
need and asking Him to give you that peace that
comes only from Jesus Christ.