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July 1, 2007 First Baptist Church, Comanche Expositional Studies: Matthew

Recognition of our spiritual fathers

Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they [and they alone] shall be called sons of God.”

“The Beauty of Peacemaking”

Introduction:  Jesus began His sermon with “the Beautiful Attitudes,” statements beginning with Blessed are. Blessed” means “happy” or “fortunate” (cf. Ps. 1:1). The qualities Jesus mentioned in this list, “the poor in spirit,” “those who mourn,” “the meek,” etc., obviously could not be products of Pharisaic righteousness. The Pharisees were concerned primarily with external qualities, but the qualities Jesus mentioned are internal. These come only when one is properly related to God through faith, when one places his complete trust in God.

We celebrate our “freedom” as a nation this week on Independence Day:  many battles fought, many sacrifices made, many lives given, and many foes and their self-serving philosophies defeated because the righteous stood up and stood against the wickedness that God hates.  We can do no less today, and we must do the same in the spiritual warfare in which we are engaged today.

1. The Maker of Peace: God

A.     The Source of Peace—God

B.    The Savior of Peace—our Lord Jesus Christ

C.    The Spirit of Peace—the Holy Spirit [Luke 2:14; John

@ The cost of peace is the cross.  The one who does not belong to God through Jesus Christ can neither have peace, nor be a peacemaker.  God can work peace through us only if He has worked peace in us.  You cannot please God unless we are doing His will, His work, and His way, according to His Word.

Numbers 6:24-26; Judges 6:24; Eph 2:13-14; Col 1:19-20

2. The Messengers of Peace: True Believers

A.     Called to Peace

++  What is peace, just the absence of conflict?  To be a true child of God it is much more likely, and biblical, that we will be involved in conflict, that our lives and our lips will cause consternation in the souls of the wayward, the worldly, and the wicked because we speak peace to them, meaning God’s standard of righteousness, and they rebel against it.  This is the true meaning of biblical peace.

James 3:17, “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” Note well the words “first pure”—peace is not to be sought at the expense of righteousness.

Hebrews 12:14-15, “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification [holiness] without which no one will see the Lord.  See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled.”

B.    Called to make Peace

@  Peacemaking is built on humility, sorrow over its own sin, gentleness, hunger for righteousness, mercy, and purity of heart.

2 Cor 5:17-21; Eph 4:15; 6:15; Acts 10:36; Romans 12:18; Matthew 18:15-17

!!    Biblical illustrations of Elijah [1 Kings 18:17] and our Lord Jesus [John 2:13-16; Matthew 21:12-16; Mark 11:15-18; Luke 19:45-47]

3. The Merit of Peace:  Children of God

A. Character of Faithful

Matthew 5:23-24; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 4:1-3

@  Peace at any cost is not peace at all.  The cost of peace is war; victory is our only option.

B. Called by our Father

@  To attack God’s children is to poke a finger in God’s eye.  Offense against Christians is offense against God, because we are His very own children [Zechariah 2:8 “he who touches you touches the apple of My eye”; Psalms 17:8; Psalms 105:15 “Do not touch My anointed ones, and do my prophets no harm”].

!!    The resurrected Jesus confronted Saul who was angry beyond reasoning [Acts 9].  To be an “accuser of the brethren” is to be in league with the devil [Revelation 12:9-10]. 

!!    Remember, we are in the United States of America because of religious bigotry based not upon God’s Word, but upon the misconceptions and traditions of men trying to be forced upon those who were actually seeking God first.

Conclusion and Application:

When this reconciliation actually takes place, and one has “peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”—even “the peace of God which passes all understanding”—the peace-receivers become transformed into peacemakers. God is thus seen reflected in us; and by the family likeness we as peacemakers are recognized as the children of God. All saints are in Christ [as has been already described], and characterized by these seven Beatitudes we’ve studied as the faithful children of God – that number indicating maturity, and completeness of delineation.

The characteristic of this Beatitude, accordingly, is a passive one, representing the treatment that the true children of God already described, may expect from the world. Our God and Savior the Lord Jesus Christ, Who shall one day fix the destiny of all men, here pronounces us “blessed.” He ends by forewarning us that the world’s estimation and treatment of us will be the reverse of His.

Are you a peacemaker? Then you must be:

Ø      A seeker of God

Ø      A speaker for God

Ø      A maker of peace by God

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