June 14, 2021
Preached on 6/13/21
BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS
We’ve talked before about the sequence or order of the Beatitudes. The first seven Beatitudes fit a beautiful pattern. The first three lead up to the fourth, to Hunger and Thirst after Righteousness, which seems to be a kind of apex. You begin with a beggar’s Poor Spirit, and out of that comes a Mourning over your sin. When you see yourself as a total sinner, you become Humble and Meek before God. At that point you cry out for His Righteousness. Then God acts and you find His Mercy, Purity of heart, and then the gift of Peacemaking. So these last three Beatitudes flow out of the fourth, which was led up to by the first three.
The idea of Peace is prominent in the Bible. The Scriptures open with Peace in the Garden of Eden and close with Peace in eternity with Christ in His Kingdom. Man’s sin interrupted Peace in the Garden. At the Cross, Christ restored the idea of Peace and became our Peace and Righteousness.
The Peace we hail today begins to collapse tomorrow. In this world we do not have political Peace, economic Peace, social Peace, or domestic Peace. We have Peace nowhere because we have no Peace in our hearts. Someone has said, “Washington has lots of Peace monuments. They build one after each war.”
To begin today let’s look at Peace from a different direction, let’s go to The Revelation. Let’s look at what John tells us in Revelation 6:3-4 When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword. (NIV). The second rider of the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” takes Peace from the earth. This is ALL Peace. Not just Peace, as the absence of war, but Peace of mind, and… Peace in our hearts. And holding Peace in our hearts is one of our most valuable commodities we can find. Think, if you can, about what it would feel like to have no Peace, no Peace at all, no feeling of the presence of God in your life. That, in my mind, is the definition of hell, the absolute absence of God, with NO Peace.
As God sees it, Peace is far more than the absence of war or turmoil. It is the presence of Righteousness that leads to right relationships, especially a right relationship with God. Peace is not just stopping war; Peace is creating Righteousness that brings enemies together in love.
Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Isaiah 48:22 tells us, “There is no Peace for the wicked.” So, where does that leave us?
If you have Righteousness, Purity, and Holiness in your life, you will know Peace. And if you have Righteousness, Purity, and Holiness in your marriage, your home, or nation, Peace will be there, also. Once you have Righteousness, you are at Peace with God, with man, and with yourself. The latter is sometimes the hardest!
We know we have Peace with God because it came through the cross of Christ. Paul tells us in Romans 5:1-2 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. (NIV) That Peace is ours now. We have that Peace because we have the Righteousness of Christ in our lives, His Righteousness bestowed upon us. That is the Holy Position in which we find ourselves. We are His children and as such we have His Peace.
But, having that Peace is like having a rib eye steak on the plate in front of you. It does you no good until you take it in. Too many times we have gifts from God that we just will not use. Why? Why just let them lie there?
To be a Peacemaker you have to have that Peace of God in you to begin with, and you do, so then you have to use it. You can’t share Peace you don’t possess. You can’t do it on your own. Jesus Christ became our ultimate Peacemaker on the Cross. He provided the Righteousness that allows man to take the hand of God. Colossians 1:20 says that Jesus Christ was able “to reconcile all things to Himself, having made Peace through the blood of His cross.”
Do you have that Peace within you today? Do you feel it? Do you sense it? Is it something you would love to leave here with today? Today is the day you begin restoring Peace within. And our altar is the best place to start.
After all that has been said, let’s look at something even more intricate than the way the first few Beatitudes fit together:
The first and the fifth, the second and the sixth, and the third and the seventh seem to fit together.
It is the poor in spirit (first), who realize that they are nothing but beggars, they are then going to reach out in mercy to others (fifth).
Those who mourn over their sin (second) and seek forgiveness from God are going to know purity of heart (sixth).
Finally, there are the meek (third) who are the Peacemakers (seventh). The beautiful weaving together of the Beatitudes shows how the mind of God works. And it’s nothing short of amazing. 
Today is a great day to start realizing the effect of the Beatitudes. Today is the best time to start.
Bostwick UMC 6/13/21
 MacArthur, John, The Only Way to Happiness, (Moody Publishers, Chicago, 1998) 154