Summary: If we are to be fulfilled as God wants to bring us fulfillment, we must gain the proper perspective on our society and the world in which we live.
The idea of peace dominates the Bible. There are four hundred references to peace in the Bible. It opens with peace in the Garden of Eden and closes with peace in the new heavens and new earth. In fact, a study of redemptive history could be made from the standpoint of peace. Man’s sin interrupted our peace with God. At the cross, Christ became our peace. Because Jesus has provided peace, there can be peace in the heart of one who comes to know Him. One day, Jesus will come again and will establish an eternal kingdom of peace.
God is referred to in Scripture as the “God of Peace” (Romans 15:33), yet there is no peace in our world. There are two reasons for this:
1) The opposition of Satan; and
2) The disobedience of men.
But when a man makes peace with God through faith in Christ, he is commissioned by God to become an agent for peace. That’s what this Beatitude is speaking about.
“Your desire to tell the good news about peace should be like shoes on your feet.” - Ephesians 6:15 (CEV)
As we think about our task in society as peacemakers, we can take as our clue on how to fulfill this calling the fact that the peacemaker will be called a “son of God.” Since this is the case, it stands to reason that we can learn a lot about peace making from THE Son of God. Indeed, he has told us to go about the task He has given us in the same way He went about the task the Father had assigned Him.
“Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’” - John 20:21 (NIV)
With this in mind, let’s think about being a peacemaker in a world that is at war with God.
1. Making peace.
The world’s peacemakers have a terrible record. The peace they hail today is gone tomorrow. It has been said, ‘Washington has lots of peace monuments. They build one after each war.” Peace, as the world conceives of it, is merely a moment when everyone stops to reload.
Which brings us to something that is important for us to understand.
There is a big difference between making a truce and making peace. A truce just says you don’t shoot at each other for a while. Peace, however, comes when the truth is known, the issue is settled, and the parties embrace each other.
In 1945, the United Nations brought itself together with the motto, “To have succeeding generations free from the scourge of war.” Since 1945, there has not been one day of peace on earth.
We have had no global peace, no political peace, no social peace, no domestic peace, and no personal peace. There is no peace in men’s hearts or in the world, because men have no peace with God.
That’s where the peacemaker comes in. The peacemaker is one who has made his peace with God. He is one who has come to know the truth, settle the issue and embrace the One he once had fought against. He has come to know the truth as revealed in Christ, settled the issue of his personal salvation through repentance toward God and faith in Christ, and has embraced God has his heavenly Father.
“Therefore, since we are justified (acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and to enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).” - Romans 5:1 (Amplified)
One cannot be a peacemaker in society until he has first made his personal peace with God. But having made his personal peace with God, he is now called to be a peacemaker; and a peacemaker must do three things:
A. He must observe the peace.
Just because I have peace with God doesn’t mean that I am always at peace with God. When I align myself with that which is in opposition to God, I fail to observe the peace or live by the peace that is mine in Christ.
“If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.” - James 4:4 (NLT)
Paul tells us that to observe the peace, we must not look to the world or the things offered by the world to bring us fulfillment; but instead, our focus needs to be on God.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)