Lesson 7 – Peacemakers


“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God.” Mathew 5:9


Peacemaker-eirenopois.  This is two words; (a). Poieo, to make.  (b). Peace, eirene.  They mean a harmonious relationship between men, nations, churches.  Freedom from molestation: The harmonized relationship between God and man; the sense of rest and contentment consequent thereon.

Called-Kaleo.  To call, with personal object, to call anyone, invite, summon, particularly the divine call to partake of the blessings of redemption.  To call by name, to bear a name.

Sons-huios.  Primarily signifies the relationship of offspring to a parent.  The Lord Jesus used huios in a very significant way, Matt. 5:9; 44, 45.  The disciples were to do these things not in order that they might become children of God, but that being children they might make the fact manifest in their character.

God-theos.  One God or Deity used by Greeks, adapted by the Jews to denote the one true God.

Peace is a harmonious relationship between God and man (Rom. 5:1).  It also describes the same kind of relationship between people.  A peacemaker is one who is able to bring about and maintain a harmonious relationship that did not previously exist.  A peacemaker brings about a peaceful relationship and then he or she is able to cause this condition to be maintained.

Our world today, as it has in each age, needs a large number of people with this quality.  We need these people as the heads of governments to keep the world from war.  Every now and then, too few peacemakers exist in the right places and nations take up arms.  Peacemakers are needed at every level of government and social life.  They are needed on the playgrounds at school as well as in homes between brothers and sisters.  Fathers and mothers must be peacemakers in order to have a peaceful happy home.  It may be true; if we are not peacemakers, we are troublemakers.   The church members who are not peacemakers and are not willing to overcome their problem must be marked or removed from the fellowship of the church (Rom. 16:17, 18; Phil. 3:2; Tit. 3:9-11; II John 7-11).  We obviously cannot qualify as a peacemaker if we are not at peace with ourselves.

Jesus said peacemakers would be “called” sons of God.  Anybody can be a son of God by being born again.  Jesus gave this right to all who receive Him.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.  Who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  John 1:12, 13

Christians are sons of God as soon as we are born again; however, it is only after we become peacemakers that we may be called sons of God.  People recognize the quality of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, within us.  Jesus was truly a peacemaker.  He has made peace, not only between Jew and Gentile, bond and free, He has brought peace between God and man.  Jesus, the Son of God, is the greatest of peacemakers; therefore, all peacemakers shall be called sons of God.

How does Jesus qualify as the greatest of peacemakers?  What qualities does He possess that makes Him a peacemaker?  Perhaps the one most outstanding quality was stated in Paul’s letter to the Philippians.

Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant, and being made in the likeness of men.  Philippians 2:6, 7

Jesus was not selfishly ambitious.  If He had been selfishly ambitious, He would not have brought peace between God and man.  Satan tried to find a crack in Jesus’ character by making offers that selfishly ambitious people would have accepted (Matt. 4:8, 9).  If Jesus had tried to establish Himself as being equal with God while on earth, He would not have gone to the cross for the sins of the world.  Selfishly ambitious people do not serve others unless it will be benefical for them.

And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross.  Philippians 2:8


Peace, like some of the other qualities Jesus mentioned, has often been defined negatively.  For instance, in the minds of some people, peace is merely a lack of struggle.  The epitaph “Rest in Peace,” implies the end of effort and work.  However, Jesus did not have this in mind when he said, “Happy are the peacemakers.”  He was talking about attitudes.  He was speaking of the inner attitudes of the heart.

Just before Jesus went to Gethsemane and later His death He said to His disciples, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.”  John 14:27.  At this time He knew of His upcoming persecution and death.  He also knew of the trials and tribulations to which His disciples would be subjected (John 16:3).  To have promised them outward peace at this time would have been false.  The peace of which He spoke was the inner peace they would have regardless of the external conditions.  Jesus also said “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  This kind of peace is not so much a reduction of struggle as it is an increase in courage with which to meet struggles that challenge our “selves.”

There are three kinds of conflicts that may challenge a person’s peace. The first is the struggle to attain satisfaction for the inherited drives within each individual.  The second is the conflict which arises between the individual and his or her society.  The third is made up of the economic and political warfare which constitute the most serious social problems in societies.  However, all three of these struggles of conflict are really one and the same – inner conflict.  The line of conflict is often more severe between our conscious self and our non-conscious self.  This conflict may be between what the conscious part of a person is actually doing and what the non-conscious part of that person knows they should do.  The non or sub conscious part of a person is where our value system exists.  Even though the person may not be consciously thinking about their value system, it will not lie dormant if it is violated by a faithful Christian’s behavior.

To reduce this inner conflict within us we will need the wisdom of God.  The wisdom of God is what Jesus taught in His great sermon.

Who among you is wise and understanding?  Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.  But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.  This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural and demonic.  For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.  But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.  And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.  James 3:13-18

Jealously and selfish ambitions are enemies of peace.  A person dominated with jealous desires to have what belongs to another may be considered a wise person by some but not according to the wisdom that comes from God.  A self seeking person causes divisions within himself, his associates, and his country.  Jealousy and selfish ambitions are not attitudes learned from God.  They are earthly, natural and demonic.  If these attitudes exist within the personality there is disorder and every evil thing.  We can readily see this person will, indeed, be very unhappy.

The wisdom from God is first of all pure or holy and then just.  It is then peaceable, causing a harmonious relationship between God and man, people and nations.  The application of wisdom from God produces a sense of rest and contentment.  When this attitude of a peacemaker has been developed within an individual he or she is gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits.  They are unwavering and without hypocrisy.

God is the God of peace.  Christians must be peacemakers among men to be sons of God.  This is a service we do for our Father as His children.  If we are ambitious for our Father’s work and plan, we will not be selfishly ambitious.  However, if we cannot see that God’s big plan for us is to share in His glory later, then we will become ambitious while in the fleshly body.  We will become selfishly ambitious.

All people are born with a need to achieve.  God’s big plan is to have all people as children in His kingdom (I John 3:1; Rev. 21:7).  Christians who focus our lives on this goal will be able to integrate all of our human capacities toward this goal.  The concept of being children of God suggests that we need to find our niche in a family environment – the church.  The concept of family suggests interpersonal relationships.  Interpersonal relationships will always necessitate the need to have a peacemaker attitude on some level for all participating parties.

Selfish ambitions and jealousy are the causes of disorder and evil.  To be a peacemaker, we need the wisdom of God.  Being selfishly ambitious for the things of this world is not the wisdom of God.  The wisdom of God is peaceable.  Before we will be willing to use the wisdom of God in our lives, we must have a strong faith in the resurrection of the dead.  Our ambition for our lives after our resurrection and Judgment begins now for our spirits – our inner-man.  We are slaves to the righteousness of God (Rom. 6:18).

And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.  James 3:18

How has God made it possible for His children, the citizens of His kingdom, to develop this attitude of peace?  First of all He was willing to adopt us into His family as His own sons and give us the gift of righteousness and His own Holy Spirit to dwell within us after we were born into His kingdom.  These two graces were promised to Gentiles through Abraham’s seed (Gal. 3:6-9, 14; Heb. 6:13-20).  In the baptismal process of our new birth God forgives Christians of our past sins.  Because of our faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus’ blood He continues to forgive us of our sins and counts us right while we work to develop His personality (Rom 3:21-26).   He counts all of His children 100% right by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8; I John 3:7).  This leaves no room for jealousy and selfish ambitions because we know that whatever we are is because we are justified by faith (I Cor. 1:26-31; Rom. 5:18).

However, many Christians developed attitudes of jealousy and selfish ambitions before becoming citizens of His kingdom.  Now that we have the peace with God we had while we were children, we can relearn the attitude of being peacemakers.  This relearning process is called spiritual growth or sanctification.  God has set up an environment for our spiritual growth in Christ (Eph. 1:3-14).  Our spiritual growth as God’s adopted children will develop peace within our own “selves” from which we can develop the attitude of a peacemaker.

The specific reward for being a peacemaker promised by Jesus is that we shall be called sons of God.  Notice, He did not say “become” sons of God.  Christians became sons of God when we were born into His family.  However, at that time we, perhaps, did not have the peacemaker attitude and could not be called His sons because of our behavior.  We did not resemble our Father; however, we did love Him and we did have faith in Him.  As the emotions of faith and love strengthened we begin to think, act, and feel as Jesus does.  At this point Jesus is happy to point out to others that we, and He, are a part of God’s family (Heb. 2:11-13).

After becoming sons of God He gave us His Holy Spirit to strengthen our internal identity as His sons and daughters (Rom 8:16; II Cor. 6:18; Gal. 4:4-7).  Because of the love He has shown us and the love we have for Him we have courage and faith to try to think, act and feel as He does.  The healthy mental environment He gives to us in the kingdom of Jesus Christ makes it possible to change our bad attitudes we had when we became His children into attitudes like His.  As we develop in His likeness we have inner peace and become peacemakers.

Jesus struggled for over three years to get the Jews to recognize Him as the Son of God.  Most Jews never did and have not yet.  Jesus pin-pointed their problem; “You do not know me or my Father.  If you knew me, you would know my Father.”  John 8:19.  Jesus then told them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know I am the one I claim to be.”  John 8:28.  Three thousand did recognize Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:41).  They finally called Him the Son of God because of the things He did (John 10:38).

Jesus practiced righteousness with the attitude of a peacemaker.  Some saw God in Him and called Him the Son of God (John 9:35-38; 11:27).  When people witness the wisdom of God in a Christian’s peacemaker attitude they will call us sons of God.  We do appreciate God calling us His sons while we develop the peacemaker attitude.

Therefore, to be a peacemaker we must have a strong faith in the promises of God.  This will keep us from becoming ambitious for earthly things.  Christians can be more helpful to other people as peacemakers if they feel we have no ambitions in the matter that is causing strife.  Sometimes an umpire in a ball game seems to favor one side or the other.  If one of the two teams feels the umpire is ambitious for the other team, we may see an example of how strife is caused.  In a case where two parties have a strong disagreement, they ask an arbitrator to settle their disagreement.  He may be able to make peace because he does not have ambitions for the interest of either side.

How can we be a peacemaker in this world?   When we encounter a disagreement, people will be willing to listen if they believe we have an equal interest for both parties in our hearts.  If we are ambitious for honor or gain in this world, we will be looking with favor on one side or the other, depending on which side we think will serve our own gains.  We cannot be a peacemaker for these people with this kind of problem.  We will not be known as sons of God.  Peacemakers are happy sons of God.  Let us join them.

Questions for Discussion

  1. Why could Jesus tell His disciples, “Peace I leave with you,” when He knew they would face many trials in the near future?
  2. What are three kinds of conflict that challenges a person’s peace?
  3. What causes inner conflict within a Christian?
  4. What is the result of a person being jealous and having selfish ambitions?
  5. Explain James 3:17, 18.
  6. Name one thing Jesus struggled to accomplish while on earth?
  7. Why did Jesus qualify as the greatest of peacemakers?
  8. How has God made it possible for His children to develop the attitude of a peacemaker?
  9. What is the difference in becoming a son of God and being called a son of God?
  10. When did some Jews come to know Jesus was the Son of God?

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