Blessed are the Peacemakers

The blessings of God, part seven

This week’s scripture reading, Matthew 5:1-12, 

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto 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] they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed [are] the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed [are] they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed [are] the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed [are] the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed [are] the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed [are] they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when [men] shall revile you, and persecute [you,] and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. 

Two Key Points

What does being a peacemaker mean? Well, for readers who have been following along in the blessed series from Jesus’ teaching in the book of Matthew, there is likely a growing awareness of two key points. First, it is important not to view or see the blessed teachings in isolation from each other; they are rather quite interrelated and interdependent. Secondly, since they all go together, it is becoming more evident that they all stem from and originate from God as their source.

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Romans 5:1

Source of Blessings

What does it mean when God mean says you’re a peacemaker and what are the characteristics of a peacemaker? Recall during the last Bible Study on the subject of being pure in heart. Something that profound must come from the regenerated spiritual rebirth through a person’s belief in the Lord Jesus Christ as their atoning saviour. Similarly, any notion of Blessed are the Peacemakers from a Godly perspective, must have its origin in this same regeneration of spirit within us. Jesus is not inferring a world peace movement as in global peace versus war, not to diminish the merit of that initiative. He is rather making the point that inward spiritual peace is derived from the new birth, much as Paul indicated later in Rom. 5:1, Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 

Isaiah 9:6b

God is our Peace

The emphasis here is that spiritual peace comes from God since scripture indicates that he is the very peace himself as noted in Heb. 13:20, Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Spiritual transformation therefore, is the pathway in which inward spiritual peace originates through the indwelling Christ within you.

This premise also harmonizes with the prophetic declaration for the Prince of Peace, made seven centuries before Jesus was manifest in the flesh on earth as shown in Is. 9:6, For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. This is truly the source of Blessed are the peacemakers.

Worldly Peace

It is also important to highlight that peace obtained through the Christian faith is completely different from peace that may be derived from worldly pursuits, whether it be from other religions, meditation or any other initiative that may instill a sense of inner peace. While these may have some carnal or mental benefits for people, they are respectfully not originating from the regenerated spiritual rebirth. As Jesus was speaking to his disciples, he differentiated between this exact same point in John 14:27, Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.

John 14:27

Peace in Jesus

Later on, as Jesus was speaking further to his disciples, he also indicated that peace comes from dwelling in him as noted in John 16:33, These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. Paul also wrote in his letters, references to carnality (earthly focused life) versus a spiritually focused life in Rom. 8:6, For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace. Paul further wrote to Christians in Rome listing more distinguishing points to clarify this point of the physical realm versus the spiritual realm in Rom. 14:17, For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

Interestingly, all the letters written in the New Testament tend to commence with prefatory greetings that encompass the many blessings that come from God, such as peace, thus reinforcing the point that they collectively originate from God and indwell believers through Christ. The commonality of greetings are evident in all letters to Christians such as in 1 Tim. 1:2, Grace, mercy, [and] peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

When people gain a sense of Blessed are the peacemakers that comes from God they will find that it is much like all other attributes of God as Paul writes in Phil. 4:7, And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. In reality, the depth of peace, the depth of purity, the depth of God’s mercy and love are truly beyond measure and human comprehension.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:7

Living as Peacemakers

Christians are then able to personify Blessed are the peacemakers which is principally done in two ways. The early Christian disciples of Jesus did this by sharing the gospel, or good news of the risen saviour to a world in need of a saviour as noted in Rom. 10:15, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! This commenced early on with John the Baptist as the forerunner to Jesus with John’s father Zacharias speaking of this prophetically in Luke 1:79, To give light to them that sit in darkness and [in] the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

From there, Jesus continued in this manner and taught his disciples to follow in the same path of peace as shown in Acts 10:36, The word which [God] sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:). This message of peace through the gospel is only obtained from what Jesus did for all of us on the cross as noted in Col. 1:20, And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him.

The second aspect of living the Blessed are the peacemakers life in addition to preaching the gospel of peace to a hurting world is by the conduct and actions of followers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul frequently wrote of this in his letters such as in Rom. 14:19, Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. More comprehensively, peace comprises only part of Christian living as Paul instructs us to bear fruit from Christ’s indwelling spirit in many ways as indicated in Gal 5:22, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

In some letters, there was also very specific guidance provided but still applicable to all believers such as his comments to Timothy in 2 Tim. 2:22, Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Paul was unfailing in his preaching and teaching to the Christians living throughout the regions writing several letters and encouraging them to follow his guidance as noted in Phil 4:9, Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

The Peace of God

To reiterate, this is only a peace that comes from the living God and not from any worldly pursuits or ventures as Paul comments in Col. 3:15, And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. As Paul often commenced his letters with a greeting of peace, he also concluded his letters in a similar heartfelt and sincere manner with common writings such as in 1 Thess. 5:23-24, And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and [I pray God] your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful [is] he that calleth you, who also will do [it.]

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly;

1 Thessalonians 5:23a

Children of God

The last part of this Blessed are the peacemakers is “they shall be called the children of God.” What a measure of incomprehensible blessing to be called a child of the living God, for as Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 14:33, For God is not [the author] of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. To see the vital importance of peacemakers is something clearly not to be taken lightly as written in Heb. 12:14, Follow peace with all [men,] and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.

As readers embark on living out the indwelling Christ in their lives, be encouraged to seek out where the gospel of peace may be shared with people in need and to find ways of living in peace, not only among fellow people of faith and loved ones, but strangers and individuals with whom Godly peace will truly be a blessing upon them. Paul concludes one of his letters in this spirit of love and kindness for all to consider in 2 Cor.13:11, Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. 

Bible Study Questions

  1. In this study on Blessed are the Peacemakers, what are two key points noted in the opening?
  2. How would you describe spiritual peace verses peace that may be obtained from worldly initiatives?
  3. Who is the Prince of Peace as noted by the prophet Isaiah?
  4. In Philippians 4:7, what peace passes all understanding and will keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus?
  5. In Colossians 1:20, what does it mean when the peace is made through the blood of the cross to reconcile all things to himself?
  6. True or false, peacemakers will be called the children of God?
  7. Is there an area in your life where you could instill more peace with someone whom you love?

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