Blessed are the peacemakers (Part 3)

The Four Gospels   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  41:25
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Morning 29 October 23


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Hymn - AMAZING LOVE (MP 476)

Psalm Reading

Psalm 59:6–10 ESV
Each evening they come back, howling like dogs and prowling about the city. There they are, bellowing with their mouths with swords in their lips— for “Who,” they think, “will hear us?” But you, O Lord, laugh at them; you hold all the nations in derision. O my Strength, I will watch for you, for you, O God, are my fortress. My God in his steadfast love will meet me; God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.


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Philippians 4:4–9 ESV
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Matthew 5:9 ESV
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.


Catalogue of Human Conflict
Root of the Trouble
God’s Word of Peace
Doing the Work
Hard work
Satan does all he can to sow discord and disruptions to all aspects of society
We must therefore consider some of the ways in which peace makers are to operate...

The Permanent Priority

First and foremost, peacemakers are to be people of Prayer
After their return from captivity and slavery God’s people are urged to ...
Psalm 122:6 ESV
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! “May they be secure who love you!
Peace included everything that made for the city’s welfare and for the unity and stability of its people
This is clearly the responsibility of Christians today wherever they live in today’s world
Paul reiterated this principal...
1 Timothy 2:1–4 ESV
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
All Men (all nations & class)
Kings & those in authority
Public office or influence
At the time Nero was Roman Emporer
We must be mindful of ...
Romans 13:1 ESV
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
Why do we pray?
Proverbs 21:1 ESV
The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.
God can change ruler’ policies with ease
Psalm 22:28 ESV
For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations.
The assurance that God governs all the world’s governors should surely be the encouragement to pray
Who can guage
the imacts of the prayers of believers for those in authority?
the extent that God’s wrath has been averted?
what extent that God has soverignly intervened in the affairs of nations in response to payers of His People?
The Beatitudes for Today The Permanent Priority

William Hendriksen says of this aspect of peacemaking, ‘Is not the church the very cork on which the world remains afloat?’

The Beatitudes for Today The Permanent Priority

American preacher Paul Billheimer is even more direct: ‘If it were not for the church, Satan would already have turned this world into hell.’

John Blanchard...
The Beatitudes for Today The Permanent Priority

The unquantifiable but unqualified certainty is that prayer is a powerful weapon in the hands of God’s peacemakers.

Evasive Action

The 2nd way peacemakers operate is by avoiding causes of contention

A W Pink writes, ‘It is part of Christian duty to see to it that we so conduct ourselves as to give no just cause of complaint against us.’

Colossians 3:15 ESV
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
rule (greek: brabeuo) - to act as an umpire
an umpire only interferes when there has been an infringement of the rules
Peter reminded believers of God’s patience in the day of Noah, saving thing means of the ark .... says...
1 Peter 3:21 ESV
Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
Scripture teaches that Peacemakers are blessed, and peace breakers are cursed
Proverbs 6:9 ESV
How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep?
Thomas Watson is right to remind us that ‘our murmuring is the devil’s music’
There is something radically wrong with anyone who seems always to be looking for faults, unsettling relationships, or causing some kind of disturbance in the church or elsewhere.

In Guy Appéré’s assessment, ‘Peace is to the soul what health is to the body, a sign of balance and order.’

Causes of Contension:
Cause of contension: Pride / Conceipt
Proverbs 13:10 ESV
By insolence comes nothing but strife, but with those who take advice is wisdom.
Paul advised to prevent conceit
1 Timothy 3:6 ESV
He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.
Pride/conceit - consider:
Roman, Persian, Egyptian and Greek empires
Dark Ages & Middle Ages
Modern Times… Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse Tung
Pride/conceit and peace are incompatiable
Leads to Self-centered desires, pursuit of personal pleasure and covetousness
James 4 - warned of worldliness - you can’t love this world and Jesus
The Beatitudes for Today (Evasive Action)
The American missionary E Stanley Jones once wrote, ‘The self-centred are the self-disrupted.’
Cause of contension: Anger
Proverbs 15:18 ESV
A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.
Proverbs 30:33 ESV
For pressing milk produces curds, pressing the nose produces blood, and pressing anger produces strife.

In C S Lewis’ words, ‘When passion enters a situation, human reasoning (unassisted by grace) has as much chance of its retaining its hold on truth as a snowflake in the mouth of a blast furnace.’ In striking contrast to those who have a reputation for resentment, peacemakers are those who, as someone has beautifully put it, ‘carry about with them an atmosphere in which quarrels die a natural death’.

Anger is always out of place
Ephesians 4:26 ESV
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
Romans 1:18 ESV
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
600 references in old Testament to God’s Anger

J I Packer goes so far as to say, ‘The Bible could be called the book of God’s wrath.’

There is something radically defective in someone who never has the courage to be angry. There is no virtue in spineless silence in the face of sin.

Charles Colson is right to say, ‘If Christ is Lord of all, Christians must recover their sense of moral outrage.’

angry with things that are wrong

Preaching on Ephesians 4:26, C H Spurgeon said, ‘Anger is one of the holy feet of the soul when it goes in the right direction.’

We need to be sure that we are not angry merely because we have been contradicted, inconvenienced or hurt
sometimes a very fine line between righteous anger and personal offence
that line is there, and the peacemaker will make every effort to ensure that he does not get on the wrong side of it
Cause of contension: Wrong use of the Tongue
Proverbs 15:1 ESV
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 16:28 ESV
A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.
It would be easy to show that most of the strife, restlessness and turmoil in society at large, in business life, in church life, in family life and in other personal relationships is caused by people allowing their mouths to stay open when they ought to be kept closed.
John Blanchard visit Norway Fjords and asked a guide if there was a danger of avalanches
he replied: ‘Of course, and there are times when the snow is so delicately poised that it can be brought down by the sound of a human voice.’

There are moments in our lives when a situation is so delicately balanced that the sound of a human voice can bring down an avalanche of disruption, misunderstanding and pain

Peacemakers pray ...
Psalm 141:3 ESV
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!

Taking the right Steps

peacemaking involves taking positive action to deal with situations where there is ill-feeling, misunderstanding, conflict or alienation
Hebrews 12:14 ESV
Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
Romans 14:9 ESV
For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
Strive (effort)
overcome our prejudices
suppress our natural feelings
even, at times, to yield ground over an issue in which no biblical principle is involved
Human Example of patient negotiation...
The Beatitudes for Today Steps in the Right Direction

In the early part of the nineteenth century the British engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel had a vision of building a massive bridge across the Avon Gorge at Clifton, on the outskirts of Bristol. His plans met with fierce opposition and it took years of patient negotiation before he was eventually given permission to go ahead. Today, Clifton Suspension Bridge stands as a superb and serviceable monument to its designer.

John Blanchard “There are times when it takes courage and a great deal of patience to build bridges across to the ungodly, the unlovely, the awkward and those who oppose us.”
The Bible understands this...
Romans 12:18 ESV
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
It is a Qualified statement
At times it will be impossible
there will be those who stubbornly refuse to be at peace with us
We are never to sacrifice truth or compromise Biblical principle in order to gain peace
John Stott reminds us that the words “peace” and “appeasement” are not synonyms
We must never settle for peace at the expense of holiness or truth
We must do all we possibly can to handle a situation with love and grace as well as in righteousness and truth
We must never walk away from a situation with an unforgiving frame of mind
The Beatitudes for Today Steps in the Right Direction

When the Puritan preacher Cotton Mather received a number of letters in which he was falsely accused he fastened them together and put them on a shelf with a label on which he wrote, ‘Father, forgive them.’

Genuine peacemakers never surrender the last possibility of peace, but always leave room for the grace of God to work.
Peacemaking also involves trying to reconcile those who are estranged from each other
requiring a great deal of sensitive effort
The Beatitudes for Today Steps in the Right Direction

John Stott wisely warns: ‘In this case there will be the pain of listening, of ridding ourselves of prejudice, of striving sympathetically to understand both the opposing points of view, and of risking misunderstanding, ingratitude or failure.’

This takes peacemaking far beyond spineless compromising and the self-serving attempt to please everybody concerned.
It involves the peacemaker in doing whatever he can to understand the facts, lessen tension, break down barriers and help people to communicate with each other.
Avoid contention
Next time:
Matthew 5:9 ESV
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
For they shall be called Sons of God


Closing Prayer


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