Blessed Peacemakers

  • By Pastor Boffey
  • on Thursday, April 10, 2008
(Mat 5:9) Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. There is a time for war (ECC 3:8) but not all times. Peace is a preferable estate and in the zeal of righteous indignation against sin and sinners, in the heat of contention for the faith (JUDE 1:3) or the correction of injustices, believers must not forget that while they are eschewing evil they are to “...seek peace, and ensue it” (1PE 3:11). Since peacemaking is at issue, “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace...” (ROM 14:19) that we may be assured of the blessing. It will be observed that some of the things which make for peace require us to sacrifice our personal peace for true peace as God defines it. It is incumbent upon salty brethren to especially “...have peace one with another” (MAR 9:50) but the Holy Spirit does not by this intend that we have no such responsibility to those “on the outside” as if the only ones with whom we should live in peace are fellowbelievers. Paul makes clear that “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men” (ROM 12:18). This command, though, shows that there are times when such attempts will be futile owing to the implacable nature of hard sinners (ROM 1:31). The Psalmist lamented, “My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace. I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war” (PSA 120:6-7). Try as we might to be pacific, raw human nature unrestrained by grace, law or consequence will reject the effort. Of man under sin, Paul observed, “And the way of peace have they not known” (ROM 3:17). Howsoever the efforts may be received, we should still strive to avoid strife. “Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm” (PRO 3:30). One good reason that strife should be avoided when possible (ROM 12:18) is that “The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with” (PRO 17:14). It takes only a small breach in the dam of self-restraint to begin the explosive emptying of the entire reservoir of man's natural vitriol. And hasty strife can bring humbling shame (PRO 25:8). Brethren in a church should especially, as Jesus said, “...have peace one with another” (MAR 9:50) and to that end should forbear and forgive (COL 3:13), even suffering themselves to be defrauded (1CO 6:7) as Abraham did by giving his knucklehead nephew first choice of dwellingplaces (GEN 13:7-10). Soft speech can turn away wrath (PRO 15:1) or break a bone of contention (PRO 25:15), and “...he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife” (PRO 15:18). These are some of the things which make for peace we are to follow after (ROM 14:19). If brethren must strive, let them “Strive to enter in at the strait gate...” (LUK 13:24), strive together in prayer (ROM 15:30), strive “...together for the faith of the gospel” (PHIL 1:27), and especially be “...striving against sin” (HEB 12:4). There are times when we may be blessed to help others who are in strife to come to peace. Jesus did so when His disciples were striving over who could be the stinker or the thinker among them (LUK 22:21-27). But let the ambitious peacemaker beware: such “help” is not always well-received, as Moses discovered when he tried to referee striving brethren (ACT 7:26-27). Some strifes are best left alone. “He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears” (PRO 26:17). We do well to with quietness work and mind our own business (2TH 3:12; 1TH 4:11) because meddling with other people's business is almost a certain means to unquietness. If striving brethren can be left alone, leave them alone---sometimes folks simply need a little time and space to work out their differences on their own terms. In following after the things which make for peace (ROM 14:19), it must be noted that peace is a fruit of righteousness (ISA 32:17; JAM 3:17-18) and it is therefore a false peace that is purchased at the expense of righteousness. Compromise of principle may yield peace but only for a season. Samson's wife betrayed him for the sake of peace and safety (JDG 14:15-17) only to die shortly thereafter by the very means that she had hoped to avoid (JDG 15:6). The Jews sold out the Righteous Messiah out of fear that the Romans might take away their place and nation (JOH 11:48-53), only to have the Romans come a few years later and take away their place, nation, city, temple and their lives. “There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked” (ISA 48:22). It is a false peace and safety which the world longs for and gives (JOH 14:27) that will meet with sudden destruction in the day of Christ (1TH 5:2-3). Righteousness and peace have kissed each other (PSA 85:10); peace at the expense of righteousness is a kiss of death. The “...wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable...” (JAM 3:17), for it springs from Jesus Christ, Whose priesthood denotes King of righteousness before denoting King of peace (HEB 6:20; HEB 7:1-3). Those who preach the gospel are appropriately called “peacemakers,” not only for showing righteousness to be the way of peace but especially when they show men Christ, the Prince of Peace (ISA 9:6), Who is our peace (EPH 2:14). Christ took away not only the barrier between Jew and Gentile (EPH 2:14) but the enmity of the Holy God towards sinners. He “...made peace by the blood of His cross...” (COL 1:20), the “...chastisement of our peace was upon him...” (ISA 53:5). Spiritual Jerusalem's “...warfare IS accomplished...her iniquity IS pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD's hand double for all her sins” (ISA 40:2): a blood offering of one sacrifice for ever that purged our sins in eternity (HEB 7:27; HEB 9:12; HEB 10:14; HEB 1:3), and a blood presentation that yet speaks in heaven (HEB 12:22-24) for daily cleansing and sanctification (1JO 1:7-9). Those who abandon their sins and self-righteousness to embrace this truth truly and personally “...have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (ROM 5:1). Those who preach the gospel of peace (ROM 10:15) that God “...HATH reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ...” (2CO 5:18) beseech believers “...be ye reconciled to God” (2CO 5:20) that they need not be chastened in order to find the peaceable fruit of righteousness (HEB 12:5-11). It has been accurately said, “Know Jesus, know peace; No Jesus, no peace.” Such are the ways of blessed peacemakers, children of the God of peace (PHIL 4:9).

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