Matthew R. Perry

Happy Are The Peacemakers, For Sonship Awaits

In Sermons on April 29, 2008 at 4:28 pm

(This is a portion of a sermon preached on Sunday, April 27, 2008. To listen to the sermon in its entirety, click here. For other audio sermons, click here.)

At a time when we have just acknowledged the fifth anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq where approximately 140,000 of our troops are fighting and where another 31,000 troops are deployed to Afghanistan in a war that began six years ago, we think of peace as a significant goal to attain. Is this the type of peacemaker we should be?

At a time when divorces are so rampant and homes are broken, a peaceful home almost seems too good to be true. Does God want us to be peacemakers in our home?

We live in a small community filled with churches that have arisen from church splits, and sadly church splits and religious divisiveness are par for the course nowadays. Is Jesus telling us to lower our doctrinal and denominational convictions so unity and peace may prevail?

You can see just from these three issues how people can read these verses in many different ways. For some, it means turning into a wishy-washy Charlie Brown type. But the Scriptures tell us that there are times when we need to contend for the faith once and for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). In fact, Jesus says in Matthew 10:34, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” In other words, anyone who denies himself and follows Jesus by faith will have opposition in the world.

So what type of peace is Jesus bringing? The Apostle Paul helps us in 2 Cor. 5:16-21:

From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. [17] Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. [18] All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; [19] that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. [20] Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. [21] For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

The key is in verse 18, “The ministry of reconciliation.” This is the type of peacemaking Jesus is talking about and that Paul echoes, “Be reconciled to God.” True peacemakers are not just ones who try to reconcile nations or families or even churches, but it’s deeper — it’s reconciling a sinful man to a holy God. These are ones who are the “sons of God.” Meaning, as a son you bear the character of your Father who moved heaven and earth to reconcile you to Himself.

Let me ask you: are you a peacemaker? I’m not speaking of trying to reconcile sinner to sinner, but spending time working to reconcile sinners to a holy God? You say, “Well, that’s not my gift.” Nowhere in the Scriptures does it say that evangelism is a spiritual gift, but is part and parcel of being a Kingdom child!

What can we do?

  1. Take time to look through the Two Ways To Live plan to get a good framework of what God has accomplished through Christ.
  2. Ask God to remind you of where you were before Christ.
  3. Ask God to show you the condition of those who are without the peace of Christ.
  4. Ask for a new love for Christ so you will rely more on your love for Christ rather than your fear before man!
  5. Realize that success is in obedience, not their response (HT: William Fay, Share Jesus Without Fear).

Now, let’s go!

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