Matthew 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
What does it mean to be a peacemaker? First, biblical “peace” is not simply the absence of war or conflict; rather, it is an absence of war and conflict because of the presence of Christlikeness. Second, this verse does not say “blessed are the ‘peacekeepers.’” A peacekeeper wants to avoid conflict and keep the peace at all cost. A peacemaker, on the other hand, is willing to fight for genuine peace. A peacemaker never makes peace with sin.
Why should we be peacemakers? Someone who is a peacemaker reflects the character of God. In eternity among the persons of the Trinity, there was never any lack of peace between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God the Father is called the “God of peace” (Hebrews 13:20). He created the world in peace, and even though His creatures have made war with Him, He will bring about peace once again. God the Son is called the “Prince of peace” (Isaiah 9:6). He came into the world in peace, with the angels announcing, “Peace on earth and good will to men.” Luke 2:14, and He went out of the world to leave a legacy of peace, saying, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give unto you” (John 14:27). God the Holy Spirit brings about “the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3) among believers. Peace is a fruit of the Spirit, which the Spirit powerfully works in everyone who belongs to Christ.
Jesus Christ is the great peacemaker. In John 17, Christ earnestly prayed for peace among believers (John 17:11, 21, 23). Hateful arguments and sinful divisions in churches among God’s own people can be incredibly destructive. That kind of division prevents us from moving toward the goal of the church, which is growing in Christlikeness, and defames God’s reputation. Therefore, out of love for His people and for the glory of the Father, Christ prayed to the Father that Christians would have peace. The most wonderful thing about this is that all of Christ’s prayers are answered. One day, in heaven there will be perfect peace among His followers as we all reflect His peace to one another.
Not only did Christ pray for peace. He died for peace. Colossians 1:19-20 says, “For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fulness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.” Isn’t it ironic that mankind’s greatest act of war against God was God’s greatest act of peace? Out of hatred for Christ and for His message they hung Him on the cross and murdered Him. But, how does the cross make peace? The Bible says that the cross is a “propitiation,” or “wrath absorbing sacrifice.” Our angry sins of conflict with one another, of unloving words and jealousies toward one another provoke God’s righteous anger, and are foolish acts of war against a holy and all powerful God. But, on the cross, out of love in His heart, Jesus took our sins upon Him, and embraced all heaven’s wrath in order to make peace between God and everyone who believes in Him.
Does Christ’s peacemaking work soften your heart and make you want to be like Him? He died to win your heart, to make peace between you and God and to make a peacemaker out of you. Are you willing to die in order to make peace with your enemies? Are you willing to give up everything to make peace between others who are at war with each other? Will you lay down your life if that’s what it takes to make peace between your brothers and sisters in Christ? Are you willing to die to your reputation and friends in order to tell the lost about Christ and be an example of His love to them, so that they too can have peace with God?
What does peacemaking look like? It looks like making peace in your own broken relationships. Maybe there is someone you’ve offended, or someone who has offended you. Are you willing to go to that person and deal with the issue in order to make peace with them? I’m not talking about approaching that person in order to tell them how you are right and they are wrong. I’m talking about going to that person in humility, admitting your wrong, dying to your pride, and doing whatever it takes to make amends. Another way to be a peacemaker is to refuse to dwell on the sins and failings of others, and to choose to think about the good qualities in other people. If you’re inclined to see the best in others, you won’t start fights over their failings. One other way to have a peacemaking spirit is to have a habit of loving and being kind to one another, rather than fighting one another. If you have a habit of loving one another at home and in the church, then, you can overlook each other’s faults more easily. If everyone is used to living in a spirit of love and graciousness, then when someone sinfully acts in anger or frustration, then it will be easier to forgive them. But, if you don’t know and love each other, and a conflict comes up, it is harder to believe the best of someone.
The Bible says that if you are peacemaker God will call you “sons of God,” which means you have a right to all the privileges of a son of God, an heir to the throne of heaven, and the unwavering commitment of God the Father. Peacemakers belong to God. So, will you be a peacemaker?