A Journey through the Beatitudes”
Using as a guide the book “Studies in the Sermon on the Mount”
by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Continuing from last month:
We will continue to look at what a person becomes if they in truth have entered the kingdom of God.
Verse 9: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God”.
Remember we said that the Beatitudes needed to be taken as a whole, that all the verses are connected together. The link between all of them is waiting upon God for that fullness which He alone can give. This shows us that the outworking of the Christian life is altogether and entirely different from everything that can be known by any person who is not a Christian. Our Lord is establishing an entirely new and different kingdom. We can begin to see why the Jews of Jesus’ day had such difficulty with this idea of peacemakers. They were expecting the Messiah to come as a king and military leader to restore Israel to its former glory. They misunderstood that the Lord was bringing in a spiritual kingdom. Unfortunately, many parts of the Church today are still making the same mistake.
What then are peacemakers in the kingdom of God? In general terms we can say two main things. First, they are peaceable, for a quarrelsome person or troublemaker cannot be a peacemaker. Second, they actively seek to make peace. Having a pure heart and meekness makes for a peacemaker. It is what delivers a person from self-interest, self-concern, over-sensitiveness, touchiness, and self-defensiveness. Those self-traits always led to quarrels, misunderstandings and disputes. That is the theory of peacemakers, but what of the practice? Here again the answer is always the same, it is to be found in the rest of the “Sermon on the Mount” and the scriptures as a whole.
James tells us in Chapter 1:19-21 “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” Anyone who says that it is easy to do all of that does not understand how strong the natural man is in us, and our utter need of the total implanting of the Beatitudes into our hearts by the power of God. Oh, the wonder and blessing we have in the scriptures, which are another gift from God.
The blessing that is declared for peacemakers is: “…they shall be called sons of God”. The scriptural meaning for the word “called” is “owned”; “owned” as the children of God. Peacemakers are showing in their actions the image of God. War, quarrels, misunderstandings and disputes come from man, from sin and from Satan, but “Peace” comes from God through Jesus Christ. He gives us born again believers peace with God, peace within ourselves and peace with others and the enabling power to bring peace to those living in a fallen world. That is what the Lord is saying: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God”.
Next month we will continue our “Journey Through the Beatitudes”