Summary: Jesus Christ came into the world so that we might be reconciled to God. Those he has reconciled have been called to become agents of his peace in the world. How can we become peacemakers?
Every believer is to be a peacemaker both in the church and in the community. Christians should never seek conflict or be responsible for it.
Yet, we find that conflict if often the result of one’s coming to Jesus Christ. For example, a college professor shared his personal testimony in chapel one day. He told how he had been forced to leave home when he received Christ into his life. Jesus warned us that things like this might happen. He said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his on household.” (Mt. 10:34-35).
Why is there such a lack of peace in the world today? The fact is that peace has never been characteristic of man’s earthly pilgrimage. There are two reasons for this lack of peace: (1) Satan’s opposition and (2) man’s disobedience. The rebellion and fall of man in the Garden of Eden led to a world without peace. Jesus Christ came into the world so that we might be reconciled to God. Those he has reconciled have been called to become agents of his peace in the world. How can we become peacemakers?
I. MAKE PEACE WITH GOD
Sin is the great separator causing our fellowship with God to be broken. Moreover, this broken fellowship with God has led to inevitable conflicts between people and nations. Sin is the great barrier that prevents us from experiencing God’s peace. Would you make peace with God? You must come to Christ because:
A. Christ is our peace: “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.” (Eph 2:14)
B. Christ purchased our peace: “And having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things to himself.” Col 1:20
“The chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isa. 53:5)
“Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Rom 5:1)
II. BE AT PEACE WITH YOURSELF (Philippians 4:5-10)
This speaks of that inner peace that is available to those who have made peace with God. Those who have made peace with God can know the peace of God. Listen to the words from the forth chapter of Philippians.
“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
The believer is to replace worry with prayer and supplication. He is to do it with thanksgiving. God’s peace – a peace that is beyond our human comprehension will guard – garrison our hearts and minds in Christ.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of a good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. These things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of Peace shall be with you” (Phil 4:8-9).
Isaiah wrote: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee.” (Isa. 26:3)
Paul wrote to the Colossians, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” (Col 3:16)
This is the kind of peace that will sustain us in the storms of life.
III. LIVE IN PEACE WITH OTHERS
To be a peacemaker, not only must one make peace with God and be at peace with himself, he must live peacefully with others.
A. With Non-believers: “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” (Rom 12:18)
B. With those in the Church: As believers we must “follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.” (Rom 14:19)
The child of God should never be the source of strife and conflict in the church and in the world. He should always be an agent of peace and reconciliation. And example of this is the story of Euodia and Syntyche in the church at Philippi. It seems that those two women had both been very faithful to the Lord, but something had happened to cause them to have a conflict with each other. We don’t know what the conflict was but we do know that it affected the fellowship the church as well. Paul wrote to the leaders of the church: