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Summary: Seventh in a series of sermons on the Beatitudes - developing Christian character

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Blessed are the Peacemakers

TEXT: Matthew 5:9

INTRODUCTION

· Working through the Beatitudes – made it to the next to last one

· Ingredients of building a Christian character

· Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God

· Idea of peace is prominent in Scripture

š Over 400 references

š God is the God of peace

š Jesus is the Prince of Peace,

š Fruit of the Holy Spirit is peace

I. PEACE

A. What it is not

1. Absence of conflict

2. Not simply two enemies who are not fighting

B. What it is – an absence of conflict in which opposite sides are being brought

together in righteousness, ending in a right relationship

(IL) Husband & wife may not be fighting, but that doesn’t mean they’re

living in peace – could be silent treatment, ignoring each other,

existing together

1. Need the lack of conflict AND the right relationship

C. Difference between a truce & peace

1. John MacArthur – “A truce just says you don’t shoot for awhile. Peace

comes when the truth is known, the issue is settled, & the parties

embrace each other.

D. Peace – the issue isn’t ignored, but it is dealt with, the conflict has ended, &

a right relationship is established

II. BRINGING PEACE IS PART OF THE CHRISTIAN’S JOB DESCRIPTION

A. Ro 12:18 – If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with

everybody.

B. Heb 12:14 – Make every effort to live at peace with all men & to be holy.

C. Mat 18:15 – If your brother sins against you, go & show him his fault just

between the two of you…”

1. If a brother has sinned against you, rather than being angry & resent-

ful, go & talk to him. Maintain a peaceful relationship.

D. Mat 5:23-24 – If you are offering you gift at the altar & there remember that

your brother has something against you, leave your gift in front of the altar.

First go & be reconciled to your brother, then come & offer your gift.

1. If you have the idea your brother has something against you, it’s your

responsibility to go to him

2. Work for, bring about, maintain a peaceful relationship

E. How do we go about peacemakers? (Very difficult to decide what to preach)

III. SEEK TO UNDERSTAND BEFORE SEEKING TO BE UNDERSTOOD

A. Frequently we want others to understand our point of view in the conflict, why

we feel the way we do, but we make no effort to understand theirs

1. If we are going to be a peacemakers, we have to lower our defenses &

truly try to understand where they’re coming from

a. Their ideas, thought processes, concerns, experience help us

understand where they’re coming from

B. Being a good listener is a must

(IL) Sometimes we’re like the couple who were with some friends and the

subject of marriage counseling came up. Mary said, “Oh, Tom and I

will never need counseling. We have a great relationship. He was a

communications major in college and I majored in drama. He

communicates real well and I just act like I’m listening.”

(IL) We should be like little Johnny

After church, Johnny tells his parents he has to go and talk to the

minister right away. They agree and the pastor greets the family.

"Pastor," Johnny says, "I heard you say today that our bodies came

from the dust & when we die our bodies go back to dust.”

"Yes, I’m glad you were listening. Why do you ask?"

Johnny says, "Well you better come over to our house right away and

look under my bed ’cause there’s someone either commin’ or goin’!"

C. Many times we don’t listen in order to understand, we listen in order to reply

1. So busy thinking about what we want to say next, we really don’t hear

& understand where the other person is coming from

2. Need to suspend our own agenda, our own judgment

3. Give feedback…seek to truly understand

D. Develop your listening skills & seek to understand before seeking to be

understood

IV. DON’T FIGHT DIRTY – AVOID THE FOLLOWING DIRTY FIGHTING

TECHNIQUES (mostly for marriages)

A. Dirty fighting ups the ante rather than brings peace

B. Think about your relationships – especially your family

C. Bad Timing – Pick the right time to begin an argument. Late at night, during

a favorite TV show, or just as someone is leaving for work are good options.

Make sure to go on the attack when they least expect it.

D. Escalating – Move quickly from the issue to the personality of the other

person. If you can throw in wondering whether or not it is worth it to stay

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