Summary: The characteristics of a believer. Who is a peacemaker.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Matt. 5:9

This is the last Beatitude that speaks of the character of the follower of the Christ, the

Christian. However this is not the last Beatitude in the series; for we have two more to look at - one speaks about the reaction of the world to the Christian who is striving to develop these characteristics and the other speaks of the response of the world to the relationship between the follower of Jesus and Jesus. However this one sets the top stone of that pyramid of character that Christ has been building in the life of the believer. We have talked about in previous studies how these various traits of the Christian life stem from the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

With each beatitude another nail is driven into a coffin. Inside the coffin lies the corpse of a false understanding. This false understanding states that a person can inherit eternal life even if his attitudes and actions are like the attitudes and actions of unbelievers.

One after the other the beatitudes tell us that the blessings of eternity will be given only to those who have become new creatures. 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 sons of God.

Therefore the beatitudes are like long spikes holding down the lid of the coffin on the false teaching which says that if you just believe in Jesus you will go to heaven whether or not you are merciful or pure in heart or a peacemaker. However from the beginning to end the Sermon on the Mount cries out, "Get yourself a new heart. Become a new person. " And Jesus warns in verse 20: "Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:20).

Also at the very end of the sermon in 7:26f. the Lord calls out over the crowds, "Every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it." In other words, a life of disobedience to the Word of God will go against us on the day of judgment.

The Greek word translated "peacemaker" is used in only one other place in the New Testament, in a slightly different form - Colossians 1:20 says, "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."

As we read through Scripture, we find two very real elements of peace. There is peace with God and the peace of God. It is impossible for anyone to experience being the true peacemaker without first experiencing peace with God. So if anyone wants to be a peacemaker, we must first start with knowing the peace of God and then we can help people know peace with God.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul describes our devastating position as rebellious sinners against our holy Creator. Because of sin, there is essentially a war between man and God (Romans 5:10).

He goes further and states in Romans 5:1 that through faith in Jesus Christ we have been justified (made right in God’s sight) and are no longer at war with God. Instead, we have obtained peace with God. Having peace with God through Christ also opens up the door to have the peace of God in our lives because our future in Christ is certain for all eternity.

There is no such thing as peace at any cost. The gospel message is about both repentance of sin and salvation from judgment through Christ. It is not a feel-good message of misdirected love and tolerance.

This verse reveals that a peacemaker is one who has received peace by acknowledging his or her wretchedness before God, and through repentance and faith has been adopted into God’s family. Following this, the peacemaker enters the Father’s business of spreading the full mes-sage of the gospel to others so that they may also know true peace. What is truly wonderful is that when we know peace with God, we experience the wonderful peace of God as we tell others about Him. This is Christian living.

William Barclay's Daily Study Bible Series gives us an understanding of shalom the equivalent of the word "peace"

"In Hebrew peace is never only a negative state; it never means only the absence of trouble; in Hebrew peace always means everything which makes for a man's highest good. In the east when one man says to another, Salaam—which is the same word—he does not mean that he wishes for the other man only the absence of evil things; but that he wishes for him the presence of all good things. In the Bible peace means not only freedom from all trouble; it means enjoyment of all good. "(vol. 1, p. 108)

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