Summary: Peace is the purpose of God for mankind, the promise of Jesus, the possesson of God’s people, and the pursuit of mankind.
Blessed Are the Peacemakers Matt. 5:9
INTRO.: Peacemakers, it seems, are blessed even above the pure in heart. They will not just see God, they will be called sons of God. Peacemakers enjoy an intimate relationship with God as sons.
Maybe the greatness of the reward reflects the difficulty of achieving peace. Men are not inclined toward peace. This world has never known a time of real peace. We have only experienced war and an occasional uneasy truce. Our most skilled diplomats have not been able to bring peace. At this time of unprecedented scientific knowledge, the menace of a global conflict threatens our nuclear age with mass suicide. The prospects for peace have become progressively worse.
With the world in its present condition, it would seem the crying need is for international peacemakers. Yet, there is a greater need, the need for peace within the individual. There can never be lasting peace until every man is at peace with himself and with his God. We must get to the heart of the matter by getting to the hearts of men.
I. Peace is the purpose of God for mankind:
A. He is the God of peace. Rom. 15:33
1. Peace is an outstanding mark of His character.
2. He is the only source of peace.
B. His ideal is peace on earth. Isa. 2:3, 4
1. In his best times, man has never beaten a single sword into a plowshare
2. Instead of letting God rule, we tend to use God’s gifts to fashion instruments of war.
3. Peace is to come through knowledge of God’s will.
C. Men don’t really know what real peace is, never having experienced it.
1. Peace is not just the absence of violence. Smoldering hatred and fear are nearly as destructive as gunpowder.
2. Not a cowardly isolationism that ignores conflicts. They don’t go away if we ignore them.
3. True peace is harmony, mutual trust, helpfulness.
4. This is God’s purpose for man. Peace within, peace with one another, and peace with God.
II. Peace is the promise of Jesus:
A. It is His legacy to His disciples. John 20:19
1. At His birth, the angels sang, "peace on earth."
2. Peace comes through knowing He lives. That assurance gave His disciples peace in the worst of times.
3. Jesus left us the only peace that has ever existed on earth.
B. We have peace through the blood of His cross. Col. 1:19, 20
1. Man’s most violent and unjust act is God’s means of bringing peace.
2. Jesus’ desire for peace was so great He gave His life to achieve it.
3. This event unites God and man, integrates the sin shattered personality, and has potential to unite all races of men under one Leader, one Law.
C. His message is one of peace: Eph. 2:11-17
1. In His death He fulfilled the Law, erasing the enmity between God and man.
2. He united Jew to Gentile and both to God.
3. Then He came back, in the person of the Holy spirit, to preach this message of peace.
III. Peace is the possession of God’s people:
A. The Christian has peace in his spirit in spite of conflict. Rom. 7:18-25
1. We know there is a war in our soul against sin.
2. No one is ever free from temptation and inner conflict.
3. Yet, the certainty of victory encourages us and brings peace.
B. Justification brings peace. Rom. 5:1
1. It is a peace the world can’t understand.
2. Even tribulation can bring peace if we know God is preparing us for Heaven.
C. Peace comes from God’s Spirit dwelling within us. Gal. 5:22
1. This is how we prove the presence of God’s Spirit.
2. If we are not at peace with God and man, there is room for doubt about the Spirit’s Presence.
3. Peace is commanded by God. Rom. 12:18
IV. Peace is the pursuit of man:
A. In spite of all efforts, sinful man has no peace.
1. This is because sinners don’t have God’s Spirit.
2. The cause of wars is man’s refusal to turn to God for satisfaction of his needs. Jas. 4:1-3
3. If men are united to God, they will be united with one another.
B. Man must first be set at peace within:
1. Sinners can’t trust one another, they constantly fear one another.
2. Distrust and fear foster hostility. There can be no peace.
C. So, evangelists are the true peacemakers.
1. World peace will come only as the result of each Christian winning others to Christ.
2. Christians often take too small a view of God. We have all the answers to the world’s problems if we can get the world to listen to God.
CONC.: Summarize why Christian peacemakers earn the title "son of God.:"