This Preaching in Shorts sermon series is called “Developing Well”.
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We are talking about Developing Well. As people who have said yes to the question do you want to get well, now cooperating with the Holy Spirit to grow and mature in the Lord. We are looking at the beatitudes as the attitudes that are developed in us as we cooperate with the Spirit as citizens of the Kingdom.
Last week we talked about becoming “pure in heart” and we defined integrity.
I was going to do a sermon on peacemaking today, but I am going to have to cancel it due to a conflict.
2 Corinthians 5:14-21 (NIV)
14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Matthew 5:9 (NIV)
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
1. What does it mean to be called the sons of God
It means that as His children, we are displaying the character of our heavenly Father.
We know that our heavenly Father is a God of peace…
1 Thessalonians 5:23 (NIV)
23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
…and even more importantly we know that God is a peacemaker…
2 Corinthians 5:19 (NIV)
19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
All of His story, as demonstrated in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, is about God making a way to bring lasting peace between Himself and His rebellious creation (us). And as His children, this is our desire as well. We love what He loves. We are to be peacemakers because He is a peacemaker.
2. What is a peacemaker?
We have to remember the way the beatitudes have been building on each other to this point. We have been made aware of our desperate need for God because we are broken. This realization causes us to want above all else to live for Him, living by trying to do the next right thing. Understanding our own need for mercy, we extend that mercy to the world around us, with a heart that is in the process of being made new and allows us to see the beauty of potential in the lost and broken people in the world. With all of this at work in us by the power of His Spirit, we are now ready to become peacemakers.
A peacemaker is someone who is at peace with God, because they experiencing the peace of God. Their desire is to live at peace with everyone, always being ready to share the reason of for their peace by proclaiming the gospel of peace so that everyone would come to know His peace.
a. A peacemaker is at peace with God
Romans 5:1-2 (NIV)
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
We have confessed with our mouths and believed in our hearts that Jesus is Lord and we have been saved, born again, made new. Our sins have been forgiven and we are reconciled to God, we are at peace with Him.
b. A peacemaker experiences the peace of God
Philippians 4:7 (NIV)
7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Since we are at peace with Him, we now have access to His peace. We don’t need to live lives of worry and fear, we can experience His peace and the fullness of the now and forever life that He came to bring us.
c. A peacemaker seeks to live at peace with everyone
Romans 12:18 (NIV)
18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
We are to live at peace with people. I believe that this means we are to live in this world as the light of the world. Not critical and judgmental as though we are somehow superior to the lost and broken people in the world around us, but as people who know how to love like Jesus did. Jesus loves the lost. He never took sin lightly, but He didn’t make a person’s sin the focus. He loved the person by seeing the beauty of their potential. As He loved them, they wanted to change.
d. A peacemaker is ready to proclaim the gospel of peace
Ephesians 6:15 (NIV)
15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
We are to live as His ambassadors with the message of the Good News at the ready. Not only to speak the message, but to live out the message by acts of kindness and words of encouragement.
e. A peacemaker desires that everyone would come to know His peace
Romans 15:13 (NIV)
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We are to live as a people of mission, partnering with God in the mission of reconciliation.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God!!!!!