HAPPY: Are the Peacemakers
Updated: Sep 20, 2021
Matthew 5:9 NIV - "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God."
When God created Adam and Eve, they were perfect, at one with God. The image of their creator was clearly seen in them. When they sinned Adam and Eve were infected by "Sin", which is the nature of Satan. That infection, "Sin", separated man from God, diminishing His image in man as well. This condition was passed on to Their children and to every person born since. The result is that rather than bearing the image of God, and being at one with God, we are born thinking like, and inclined to agree with, our adversary Satan.
Isaiah provides a description of Satan and his mindset in the book of Isaiah.
Isaiah 14:13-14 NLT - "For you said to yourself, 'I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God's stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north. 14 I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.'"
Satan was the first to sin, or to rebel against God's will, purposes and plans. He had plans and desires of his own. He desired to stand on his own, to step outside of God's purpose for his existence and to do his own thing. This is the heart of sin and of Satan; it is the infection that has formed the sinful nature within every person ever born.
Declaring his independence from God was a Hostile act against God. It was an act of War. It is the same as when the American Colonies declared their independence from the Rule of Great Britain and the King. From that moment the relationship between the Colonies and Great Britain was a hostile one. A State of War existed between the two.
The Spirit of Peace
When we receive the salvation of Jesus Christ, we are restored to God, voluntarily living under His authority and rule. Even though the decision to rebel against God was not our own, the pervasive power of sin (death) is such that it became, as it were, part of our DNA. When we receive salvation, the Holy Spirit takes up residence within us. His presence within us is evidence of the fact that we are at peace with God. He is the Spirit of Peace.
Holy Spirit's purpose is to help us. But what is it that Holy Spirit is here to help us do? Well, I believe that His primary function is to help us daily transform into the image of Jesus, our Lord and Savior.
In Genesis 1:26, in the Bible, God declares that man would be created in His image and likeness. His likeness is not seen in our physical appearance, but in our character, as evidenced by what we do. We may not see God in physical form but we do see His character expressed everywhere in creation, in what He did. Likewise, it is not in our physical man that God's nature will be seen, but rather in our character , as expressed in what we do. This is where the transforming work of the Holy Spirit is doing His work; it's in our character, in our hearts.
"What a person does is a more reliable indicator of who they are than what a person says."
From Proverbs, the fourth chapter, we are told to "Guard our hearts...for all that we do flows from it." The beatitudes are Jesus describing how the Holy Spirit transforms our hearts bringing them into alignment with the heart of God. Jesus exemplified this when He said that He only does those things He sees His Father doing. What we do in life tells the world around us who we really are. The old expression, "Talk is cheap", is expressing the sentiment that what a person does is a more reliable indicator of who they are than what a person says.
THE GOD OF PEACE
Eight times in the New Testament God is referred to as the "God", or the "Lord of Peace". What is meant by "Peace"? According to "Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words", it means;
"harmonious relationships between men."
"harmonious relationships between nations."
"the harmonized relationships between God and man, accomplished through the gospel."
God is the God of Harmonious relationships between Himself and Man, Man and Man, and between Nations. God is about building and preserving unity. It is an intrinsic part of His nature. When the angels announced Jesus birth to the shepherds, one of the declarations they made was that He is the "Prince of Peace", which is to say that where He rules there will be peace, and hostilities cease.
Essentially, as Dark is the Absence of Light, Peace is the Absence of War and Strife.
To understand what a "Peacemaker" is, is as simple as reading the word itself. Peacemakers are those who, oddly enough, Make Peace.
We've defined "Peace", now let's find out what it means to "make" something. Webster's defines the word "Make" as "to bring into being by forming, shaping, or altering material : fashion." To be a peacemaker is NOT a Passive occupation. It is not enough to simply avoid strife and hostility in your own life.
A peacemaker is one brings peace into being "by forming, shaping, or altering material". Another way to say it is that a peacemaker creates peace where there is none. They put their hands to the work and bring peace into situations, and relationships, where War and Strife is raging.
There are many relationships in the world where there is no peace. But there is one relationship, above all others, where peace needs to be restored.
THE GREAT WAR
The great war I am speaking of is not World War I, it lasted only about four years. The great war I am speaking of has persisted since the Garden of Eden. I'm speaking of the hostility that has existed between God and the people He created, who have not yet been reconciled to Him through the salvation that comes through Jesus.
Ephesians 2:14 NLT - "For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us."
The word used in the New Testament, for this ministry of peace, is "Reconciliation". This is what Paul taught about reconciliation.
Peace With God
Colossians 1:19-22 NLT - "19 For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, 20 and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ's blood on the cross. 21 This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. 22 Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault."
Romans 5:1 NLT - "Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us."
Peace With Others
Ephesians 2:15-16 NLT - "15 He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. 16 Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death."
Peace Through Power Between God & Man
At just the right time, and in just the right season, God looked down and said enough is enough. With the greatest demonstration of power that the world has ever witnessed, God took action to end the hostilities between Himself and, His favored creation, Man.
With the Japanese surrender to America, World War II had officially come to an end. This happened when America, growing weary of the staggering cost of the war in the lives being lost each day, decided to use this new weapon known as the atom bomb. It was the most awesome and horrific display of firepower the world had ever seen. The results were devastating, and it ended the war and any further loss of life.
In the years following the Japanese surrender stories started coming out about the discovery of Japanese soldiers who were cut off from their squads and found themselves alone in the jungles, unaware the war was over. For years they lived off of the land, alone, looking for and enemy who was no longer there.
God didn't drop a bomb on mankind, He did something even more powerful. The most amazing and awesome display of Power on earth was when God revealed the power and depth of His love for humanity by sending His only begotten Son, Jesus, to suffer and die for humanity, on that old, rugged cross.
When Jesus died, the war, between man and Himself, was over in God's mind. Still, like those Japanese soldiers, cut off and alone, deep in tropical jungles, of remote islands in the Pacific, there are many millions of people who continue in state of war against God, even though in His mind, the war is over. All they need is for someone to come find them, and tell them that the War is Over.
"THE WAR IS OVER!"
"...He ended the war with their true enemy, Satan, by defeating him, not them."
Every believer is called to the ministry of Reconciliation, or Peacemaking. We are called to go to those who continue at war with their Creator, and let them know that He ended the war with their true enemy, Satan, by defeating him, not them.
"God achieved this victory, not by killing us, but by killing His one and only Son."
We are all called to go into all the world and preach or declare that "The War is Over!", there is peace with God, through His Son, Jesus Christ. We are to tell them that He did not start this war, that the enemy of their souls, Satan, is the one who started this war with his lies and deception. God achieved this victory, not by killing us, but by killing His one and only Son. In doing so He stripped our true enemy of his power, and hostilities between man and his Creator are over.
We are not only called to the ministry of reconciling men to God, but men to each other. We are to go into situations where there is strife and hostility between people and bring, or fashion, peace between them. We should never engage in behaviors that incite hostilities and divisions, because God hates those who bring division among the brethren.
I've often thought of those few Japanese soldiers who didn't know that peace had been achieved through surrender and continued to hide and fight, some for decades after the war had ended. How sad to live such a miserable life when all they had to do was surrender and return to their homeland to live in peace.
The same is true of many millions of people in our world today. Jesus died, was buried, and was raised to life again, achieving the victory for them, not for Himself. God was never the enemy, it was always Satan. But he has convinced so many that God is against, or at war with, them. He has convinced them that He doesn't love or care about them. But my fellow soldiers in Christ, we bear in our bodies the Good News of the Salvation and the resulting peace with God that comes to us through it.
Let's go, bearing the Good News that The War is Over, and that we can live in the peace and prosperity of knowing our God, our Creator, personally. The character of Jesus, based on what He did, is that of a Peacemaker, making the way for man to be reconciled to God. As the children of God, we never look more like our Father than when in the ministry of Peacemeaking.
Let's be Peacemakers, Loving God, Loving and reaching out to Others, and Looking like Jesus.