Blessed Are the Peacemakers

The Sermon on the Mount (Part 6)

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).  At the risk of being repetitive, just like our previous verse there is no progression of being a son or non-son of God depending on how well we are practicing our peacemaking.  A person is either a child of God or not a child of God.  It really is that simple.  If you have believed the gospel message of Jesus Christ, you are a child of God.

So thinking about this verse, we have another promise that is looking forward.  See it in the kingdom context of Jesus’ message.  We enter the kingdom through the new birth.  Through the new birth, we become a child of God.  So “sons of God” to use the phrase from Matthew 5:9 is who the new covenant believers will be.  Remember, when Jesus spoke these words prior to the cross, there were no “sons of God” in the new covenant sense.

The disciples were just as it sounds; followers of the Rabbi Jesus, learning from Him.  They were not “saved” at this point as we understand salvation.  They were merely learners, students.  Later, after the cross, His disciples now filled with the Holy Spirit began to be called believers or Christians.  They were literally sons of God.  And they became peacemakers.

The apostles and those of us who followed them in the faith are peacemakers because we carry the light of peace within us.  We carry the peace that Jesus promised to us.  “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you” (John 14:27).

We are peacemakers because we carry the fruit of the Spirit in us.  And one of His fruits is peace.  Does our making for peace always shine through?  No, we can diminish our fruit bearing by our own foolish or sinful choices.  But the fruit is in there.  The peace is in there.

And peacemaking is part of our new mission as Christ’s ambassadors.  “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.  Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (II Corinthians 5:18-20)

Being reconciled to God is being at peace with God.  We become at peace with God through faith in Christ.  “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).  “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26).

We have come full circle to “sons of God”, the same sonship that is promised to us in Matthew 5:9.  We became sons through faith in Christ Jesus.  Should we be peacemakers?  Yes, it is part and parcel of who we are as sons of God.  And living out this peaceful fruit of the Spirit will help those around us recognize us as sons of God.