Matthew 2:9 – “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
On Sunday, Pastor Fran Lerro preached the seventh sermon in our series diving into the Beatitudes. There were two main emphases in the sermon:
- Jesus, the Ultimate Peacemaker, has made peace between us and God through His death on the cross.
- Because of the cross, we have received the mantle of peacemaker, through the ministry of reconciliation. (2 Cor. 5)
We dealt with the reality that everyone wants peace, we want freedom from opposition and tranquility, but also that society’s idea of peace is very shallow. Countless peacekeeping efforts have sprung from this secular, humanistic paradigm, but they have all failed. We looked at some compelling statistics, tracking all of the recorded armed conflicts that have taken place over the past 60 years. This data made it clear that our ‘peacemaking’ has been ineffective.
We then examined the reality that only God gives peace. We spent time looking through the OT for examples of peacemaking and found, that God gave Israel peace when they were obedient to His commands. And by contrast, in times of disobedience, they experienced no peace. This made clear the point that horizontal peace with others is only the byproduct of vertical peace with God . This truth we followed into the NT as Jesus made peace during His earthly ministry. He made peace for Zacchaeus and for the demonpossessed, who then turned and became peacemakers themselves. This is the model for Christians, Christ the ultimate Peacemaker, met the righteous requirements of the law for us, died to take on Himself our punishment, and has sent the promised Holy Spirit that we might be peacemakers in the Earth. As we experience peace with God through Christ, we are empowered to make peace for others through the Gospel in the power of the Spirit.