“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9 ESV)
What does it mean to be a peacemaker? Does this beatitude pertain to politics, business, home, school, social relationships, church, or all of the above? Peacemaking involves all human relationships, regardless of their particular category.
The word peacemaker (εἰρηνοποιός; eirenopioi) means to be one who works for peace. It means to be a reconciler in all relationships; whether they be political vocational, educational, familial, social or ecclesiastical. Peacemaking involves every aspect of the believer’s relational life. There are no exceptions.
Romans 12:9–21 (ESV) has much to say about the discipline of peacemaking. This discipline marks the true believer in Christ.
9 “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”
14 “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
The key verse in this extended text is Romans 12:18: “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” We may not be able to control another individual’s behavior, but we can control our own; with the assistance of the Holy Spirit.
Peacemaking is also a Fruit of the Spirit. “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
Earlier, I wrote that peacemaking is the mark of a true believer in Christ. This is supported by the latter half of today’s text from Matthew 5:9. Peacemakers will be called the sons of God. This is because God is a God of peace. Believers in Christ not only have the peace of God, but also peace from God and peace with God (Romans 5:1-2; Phil. 4:6-7; Isaiah 26:3).
“Conflict among individuals, races, and nations comes from our alienation from God. Jesus is the great peacemaker through His wall-destroying death (Eph.2:14-18). In Matthew 5:44-45, Jesus calls the children of God to make peace, even with their enemies,” explains Dr. R. C. Sproul.
With the Holy Spirit’s invaluable help, let each of us strive to be a peacemaker. Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Soli deo Gloria!