How Wonderfully Blessed !
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).
The Bible opens with peace in the Garden of Eden and closes with peace in eternity. But one of the most obvious facts of history and of human experience is that peace does not characterize man’s earthly existence.
There is no peace now for two reasons: the opposition of Satan and the disobedience of man. The fall of the angels and the fall of man has established a world without peace. Satan and man are at war with the God of peace in a battle for sovereignty. The popular thinking of the world, which is promoted by a lot of counselors, is to put self first. The truth is, when you put self first, peace is last. Self generates strife, division, hatred, resentment, and war. The world loves the powerful and often exalts the destructive as we see in a lot of movies today. The model man is not meek but macho. The model hero is not self-giving but self-seeking, not gentle but cruel, not submissive but aggressive, not meek but proud.
The essential fact to comprehend is that the peace about which Jesus speaks is more than the absence of conflict and strife; it is the presence of righteousness. Until unrighteousness is changed to righteousness there cannot be godly peace. Only righteousness can produce the relationship that brings two parties together. Men can stop fighting without righteousness, but it is righteousness that not only puts an end to fighting, it pours on the healing power of love. God’s peace not only can stop wars but replaces it with righteousness that brings harmony and true well being. The best that man’s peace can offer is a truce, the temporary cease- fire of hostilities and anger. The great enemy of peace is sin. Sin separates men from God and causes disharmony with Him. And men’s lack of harmony with God causes their lack of harmony with each other. The world is filled with strife and war because it is filled with sin.
The Maker of Peace
Men are without peace in their lives because they are without God in their lives. God is the source of peace. Paul wrote, “for it pleased the Father that in Him (Jesus) that all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on the earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Colossians 1:19, 20).
How could the cross bring peace? At the cross all of man’s hatred and anger was vented against God. On the cross the Son of God was put to shame by being reviled and killed. It is through the sacrifice of His Son that God brought peace. When we receive Christ as our personal Lord and Saviour, God imputes His righteousness to us, our war with God ends, and our peace with God begins. Because he has made peace with God he can enjoy the peace of God (Philippians 4:7, Colossians 3:15).
The Merit of Peace
The merit or result of having peace with God and being a peacemaker is eternal blessing as God’s children in God’s kingdom. Peacemakers shall be called the sons of God. Peacemaking is a character of God’s children. God’s peacemakers will not always enjoy peace in a warring world. As Jesus clearly teaches in the last beatitude, persecution follows peacemaking. In Christ we have forsaken the world, and as a result we often will not have peace with the world. But as God’s children we may always have peace even while we are in the world – the peace of God, which the world cannot give and can never take away (John 14: 27).
The bad news of the gospel comes before the good news. Until a person confronts and confesses his sin he can never be saved or have peace with God.