Studies In

The Sermon on the Mount

                          THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT -- LESSON SEVEN
                                     "Blessed Are The Peacemakers"
                                                    Matthew 5:9

I.   One of mankind's oldest, deepest longings is the desire for peace the
     opposite of conflict, discord, strife, anxiety and fear.

II.  But for centuries the search for peace has seemed at times, to some,
     largely in vain.

III. This is true in spite of the fact that "The Prince of Peace" was born
     2000 years ago in Bethlehem of Judah, and his birth was announced
     to the shepherds in the words, "Glory to God in the highest, And on
     earth peace among men in whom he is well pleased" (Luke 2:14;
     Cf. Isaiah 9:6).


     (Psalm 133:1).

     A.   "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace..." (Gal. 5:22).

     B.   Peace is not merely the absence of strife, a ceasefire, or an end of
           hostility, or just giving up the struggle (John 14:27).

          1.   It is not just a fear to fight, but something produced by and
                which follows "the good fight of the faith" (1 Tim. 6:12).
          2.   It is not what the world calls peace, apathy or death (John
          3.   It is not weakness, surrender to or compromise with evil:
                Withdrawal from reality by wishing for "the wings of a
                dove," etc., does not bring peace (Psalm 55:6).

     C.   "The kingdom of God is .... righteousness and peace and joy
           in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17).

     D.   The genuine peacemaker puts an end to strife by working
           actively for and bringing in its opposite:  He substitutes love for
           hate and greed; right for wrong; truth for error, falsehood and
           deceit; friendship for hostility; tranquility for discord/turmoil; joy
           for sorrow: He overcomes evil with good!

          1.   Christian peacemakers engage in righteous activity: They
                turn "swords into plowshares...spears into pruning-hooks" 
                (Isaiah 2:4; Galatians 5:22).
          2.   Its basis is set forth plainly: Peace follows purity and
                righteousness (James 3:17; Romans 14:17; 2 Timothy 2:22).
          3.   The mind and spirit of the peacemaker is divinely pro-
                grammed and plainly identified in the Bible (Romans 8:6; Gal.
                5:19-22; Isaiah 26:3; 1 Timothy 6:9, 10; 1 Corinthians 1:10).

     E.   Because peace does not come by itself, or by accident, it
           must be sought, produced and made to exist, to be enjoyed &
           shared (1 Peter 3:10-12). Therefore,


     A.   Because the lack of peace on earth is so widespread (Isaiah

          1.   Everyone talks of some aspect of this need (Jeremiah 6:14).
          2.   Beginning with Adam/Eve, man has been at war with God.
          3.   Beginning with Cain/Abel, man has been at war with his

     B.   The need for peacemakers is very great because true
           peacemakers are so scarce, while the number of peacebreakers
           is very large (Proverbs 6:16-19; Matthew 24:5; Galatians 5:19-21;
           1 John 4:1).

     C.   The need for peacemakers is very great because enmity, hate and
           strife are exceedingly costly and unwise.

          1.   This is true in the conflict between and among men, where so
                little has been and is being done for peace: Hate is the most
                costly part of every city, county, state and national
          2.   It is also seen in the widespread enmity between man and
                God his Maker, where even less has been and is being done
                for peace:  Hate is enormously costly to family, church,
                nation, the world, and eternally costly to individual souls.
          3.   Only God can measure the sorrow, pain, heartache,
                burdens, despair and death which pride and greed, discord
                and strife have inflicted upon this sin-cursed and enemy-filled 
                world from the beginning until now.

     D.   True peacemakers are desperately needed now!!


     A.   First step: A right relationship with God, in Christ (John 16:33):
           "Peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1;
           "He is our peace" Ephesians 2:14; Philippians 2:5-8).

          1.   To establish peace with God through Christ, one must
                believe, turn from his sin, be baptized, resist/wage war
                against the forces of evil, including Satan (Galatians 3:26, 27;
                James 4:5-10).  "Fight the good fight of the faith" (1
                Timothy 6:11, 12).
          2.   Peace is a by-product of righteousness:  Right thinking, 
                right-doing, and right speaking, "as a good soldier of Christ
                Jesus." (2 Timothy 2:1-5).
          3.   This establishes peace with God, inner peace, within self.
                (Philippians 4:4-9).

     B.   Second step:  Peace in the kingdom of God is the purpose of the
           gospel and the aim of every New Testament book.

          1.   "Be at peace among yourselves" (1 Thessalonians 5:13). 
                "Walk worthily of the calling wherewith ye were called...
                giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the
                bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:1-3).
          2.   We must strive to be at peace with our brothers and sisters
                in Christ (Matthew 5:23,24).
          3.   How? By seeking and pursuing peace (1 Peter 3:11). 
                "Giving diligence ("Make every effort") to keep the unity of
                the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Cf. 1 Corinthians 1:10).

     C.   Third step:  Righteous family relations and peace is an
           enormous and urgent need of our time.

          1.   The greatest single threat to the nation and western
                civilization is the breakdown of the family as God ordained it.
          2.   The greatest poverty on earth is the poverty of faith in God's
                truth represented by the poverty of values and morality
                which is devastating the world, which should be a wake-up
                call for a true "Back To The Bible" movement.

     D.   Fourth step:  Maintain peace and good will with all men, "as
           far as it depends on you" (Hebrews 12:14; Romans 12:18).

          1.   "Love does no ill to his neighbor" (Romans 13:8-10).
          2.   "Love thy neighbor as thyself" and "love your enemies" as
                Jesus did (Luke 6:35-38).
          3.   This demands a good disposition constantly, which is an
                attitude of sustained, unbroken good will!!!

     E.   Fifth step:  "GO FOR IT!"  "Things that make for peace" must
           be "follow(ed) after"  (Romans 14:19; Hebrews 12:14).

          1.   The wisdom from above is "first pure" (James 3:17).
          2.   Hence, the true peacemakers must think on things that are
                "true... honorable... just... pure... lovely... and of good
                report," and do the things Jesus teaches, and then "the
                God of peace shall be with you" (Philippians 4:8,9); and our
                lives will be filled with "mercy and good fruits, without
                variance, without hypocrisy."  Because "the fruit of
                righteousness is sown in peace for them that make peace" 
                (James 3:17,18).
          3.   We must sow the seed of God's kingdom to enjoy the
                fruit of God's kingdom  (Luke 8:11; John 17:17-21.
          4.   We must practice Christian love, longsuffering, forbearing
                tolerance, an essential Christian virtue which includes
                meekness and is forgiving:  We must guard against giving
                needless offense to others (1 Corinthians 16:13,14).  And we
                must "Avenge not" ourselves, but "Overcome evil with
                good" (Romans 12:19-21; Ephesians 4:1-3).


     A.   "Blessed are the peacemakers:"  Happiness and joy is the
           portion of God's fellowworkers who share in His ministry of

          1.   Joy is the wonderful possession and feeling which follows
                children of peace those who partake of the nature and work
                of the Father of mercies/ God of peace, as surely as reaping
                follows sowing (Isaiah 26:3).
          2.   It is a fundamental part of the life and harvest of one who has
                decided and determined to "love life and see good days"
                rather than enjoy (?) "the works of the flesh" or "the
                pleasures of sin for a season" (Hebrews 11:25).
          3.   "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace" because "the
                tree is known by its fruit" (Matthew 12:33).

     B.   "...For they shall be called sons of God," by those who know

          1.   They partake of, demonstrate and reflect the nature of their
                Father.  "Sons of God" are those who imitate God, follow His
                Son, and are like Him.
          2.   The Bible calls people "son of" a person because they are "of"
                him, and are like him, or they resemble him.
          3.   Do you resemble Jesus, the Son of the Living God?  Read
                Mark 6:35-38, and compare yourself!

     C.   Peacemakers are most appropriately called "sons of God:"  Their
           God is "the God of peace" (Romans 15:33; Philippians 4:9; 1
           Corinthians 14:33); their Lord is "the Prince of peace" (Isaiah
           9:6,7); and their message, "the gospel of peace," is "the word of
           reconciliation" to God (Romans 10:15; 2 Corinthians 5:19).  They
           give their lives to God's work like Isaac, Jonathan and Jesus.

     D.   The task of peacemakers is difficult and dangerous, but not
           hopeless or impossible.  And those who engage in this work
           may be "called everything else but sons of God by their
           contemporary peacebreakers."  But the benefits and blessings
           are always worth the cost and those principles are effective.  The
           reward is enormous here and in eternity:  Far Greater than any
           Nobel Peace Prize!  The pay here may not seem great but the
           eternal retirement plan is unbeatable and out of this world! 
           (Revelation 14:13; 22:14,17).


     A.   Will you be one?  Peace alone does not make us sons of God
           (John 3:3,5).  It takes more than a peace-loving desire and
           disposition to go to God's heaven.

     B.   But if we are sons of God, we will be both peace-loving and

     C.   Can God count on you to be both?  If not, why not?  If not now,
                                                                       --Charles E. Crouch

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