What does it take to be a peacemaker?

Our God is a God of peace. He created a world of peace and harmony in the garden of Eden. When man disrupted peace with sin, He sent His Son to be the manifestation of peace on earth. He died on the cross to establish peace, then He sent the Holy Spirit to be the agent of that peace. Through the Holy Spirit residing in the hearts of believers, He wrought in them the fruit of peace, made them the ministers of peace. One day Jesus will return to finally restore creation back to its original peace and tranquility.
 
Jesus calling peacemakers blessed sons of God (Matt 5:9) should not be a surprise. Every family has a heritage and God’s family has a heritage of peace. Much like when people think of the Kennedy’s as a political family, the Rockefellers as an oil family, and Queen Elizabeth’s family as the royal family, the family of God should be known as the family of peace.
 

If we know that Jesus said “blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God,” then a peacemaker is what we should individually strive to be. Let’s spend some time, then, thinking through what it takes to be a peacemaker.

 

1. To be a peacemaker, one must first make peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ.

 
Apart from Christ, there is no peace with God. Scripture teaches that before we came to faith in Christ, we were enemies of God. We were dead in our trespasses. We were children of wrath like the rest of mankind. (Eph 2:1-3) We had gone our own way. The way of peace we had not known. (Roman 3:10-18) We do not find peace with God until our hearts are awakened and we place our faith in what Jesus did to reconcile us to God.
 

Having peace in one’s life does not begin and end with faith in Christ though. Peace comes through living by faith and obedience to God. To be a peacemaker, one must have peace in his or her life, and one cannot have peace if they are living in disobedience. Where willful secret sin is present, even in the life of born again believers, fellowship with God is strained making the enterprise of peacemaking difficult to impossible.

 

2. To be a peacemaker, one must lead others to make peace with God.

 
John Macarthur writes in his commentary on Matthew 5:9, “To preach Christ is to promote peace. To bring a person to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ is the most peacemaking act a human being can perform. It is beyond what any diplomat or statesman can accomplish.”
 
To lead others to peace with God, we must humble ourselves. If we look down on others’ weaknesses and are blind to our own… if we discount our faults while elevating the faults of others, then we actually lead people away from the gospel and peace with God.
 
 Peacemakers boast in their absolute inability to save themselves. They glory in the strength and righteousness He gives. They acknowledge Him as the One who keeps them from evil. They make much of the mercy He has shown them and the grace He has gifted to them. Peacemakers speak of the promises He has kept in spite of the promises they have broken and in so doing, show the world the peace of God.
 

3. To be a peacemaker, one must lead others to reconcile conflicts.

 
Peacemaking involves helping conflicting parties see what they have in common. A conflict where no common ground can be identified is a rarity. All people are created in the image of God, valued by Him, and are neighbors at least in that way.
 
Once common ground is identified, the peacemaker must do the dirty work of dealing with sin both in his brother and in the enemy of his brother. At the root of every conflict is a festering cyst of sin that must be identified and mashed out. The process can be painful, so the conflict often gets worse before it gets better.
 

Finally, peacemakers mediate the process of bridge-building. Bridges are built over vast gulfs when hurts on both sides are aired out, acknowledged by the wrongdoers, and forgiveness is offered. Bridges have two sides, the same is so where a conflict exists. Very rarely is a conflict one-sided. Both sides must participate in building their respective side of the bridge.