Session #032 Master Peace
Scripture Matthew 5:9
Summary If believers do not first understand peace, how can we be peacemakers according to Matthew 5:9? And yet, that is what Jesus, the Prince of Peace, expects of His kingdom subjects. in this session, Henson teaches about peace and being peacemakers through five points, bringing the listener from meeting the Master of Peace to maturing in the Master’s Peace.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9
This is the 7th beatitude and probably did not sit very well with the original audience either. They were Jews, ruled and oppressed by a foreign power. The peace they desired to have was through rebellion and overthrowing the Romans; but to make peace with the Romans, was unfathomable.
My futile attempts at mustering peace are different from mastering peace. We are all looking for peace and trying to attain a state of peace in all the wrong places and people. The world tells us to be healthy, be wealthy, be relaxed, go for holidays, be happy, avoid problems or toxic people. Get the right job, do things you enjoy, follow your heart, take up a hobby. Do not let the external affect us.
And so we follow the ways of the world and unfortunately, many churches share the same message, allowing ourselves to think we will have peace in these things or such lifestyles.
At peace or in pieces? I am not at peace but in pieces. We need to recognize that we as humanity are all broken. It is dangerous when we minister out of our own brokenness. Broken pieces have sharp edges and we cut each other bringing truth to a saying, “Hurt people hurt people”.
Inner Peace or Inward-looking (selfish) peace? I am not interested in you or others at all. As long as you serve me and my purposes, that is fine.
If peace is the absence of conflict, then whatever pleases you and suits you will cause you to be at peace. If your worldview and mindset are wrong, and the peace you experience will be wrong, and that peace is no peace at all.
You cannot generate, create or muster up peace by yourself. You cannot buy peace. Mustering peace is Not mastering peace.
I need to Meet the Master of Peace and be Mastered by His Peace. Adam and Eve had perfect peace and harmony in the garden. That shalom was shattered the day that they disobeyed and the relationship was broken with God. The moment sin entered humanity, they hid from God. There was fear and they blamed one another, they killed each other. They lost the fullness and wholeness and the blessedness of God. No God No Peace. Know God Know Peace.
God instituted the nation of Israel, telling Aaron to pray the Aaronic blessing upon the people (Numbers 6:24–26).
The people had to understand that the only shalom that they can have and should have is from God. It is a pronouncement of peace, looking to full messianic restoration of Shalom.
All through the Old Testament, they were declaring this blessing and in the New Testament with John the Baptist who guides all into the way of peace, pointing to the One through whom peace with God can be restored (Luke 1:7-9).
Peace with God through Jesus, by the work of the Cross, a restoration of relationship with God, (Romans 5:1–2, Colossians 1:19–20). The Cross brought us out from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God. Through the Cross we are redeemed, we have peace with God, we are no longer enemies of God. In sin, we were estranged from God. Through the Cross, we are reconciled to God, restored to oneness and wholeness.
Through the Cross, we have Peace with Others, oneness and wholeness in Christ (Ephesians 2:14–18).
Ethnic and racial boundaries and prejudices remain a big problem and threat. Social status and class issues continue to present challenges. The rich vs the poor fights, scholars vs heartlanders. Gender wars have escalated in recent times.
Through Christ, and in Christ, these divisions no longer exist. The middle wall of separation is broken down. No more enmity, and distinction from one group with another. There is One New Man in Christ. In Christ, we have peace with God and with others (Colossians 3:15).
We have to be mastered by peace before we can master peace. If this truth is not real in our lives, we will not have peace. God is the God of Peace and Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Being restored to the right relationship with Him means to be ruled and mastered by His peace. Out of His peace, I live at peace with myself, and with others.
The Means and Mechanics of the Master’s Peace
There is a need to realize that it is a different peace because we belong to a different kingdom. A supernatural peace that must be received by faith, trusting in the Master of Peace Himself (John 14:27).
Appropriated by faith, in the Holy Spirit, we have the right mindset (Romans 8:5-8, Colossians 3:2). Mindset must change, looking at the eternal and not on the temporal. Not on earthly hope but eschatological hope. Focus on God and His Peace, not on man who disappoints, but on God who does not disappoint.
From Receiving (Gift) to Mastering (Fruit). Practice makes Perfect Peace. As we continually give away the peace, we will master the peace, moving in the realm of the Spirit, bearing the Fruit of the Spirit as in Galatians 5:22-23.
Peace comes with thanksgiving and obedience, which will guard your hearts and minds.
Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-9).
Grounded Upon Righteousness
The God of Peace is also the God of Righteousness. In Hebrews 7:2, Melchizedek (King of Righteousness) and King of Salem (Peace). The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever (Isaiah 32:16-17). This is an eschatological picture because our works of righteousness at this point may not always yield the peace we desire. Ultimately, this Peace is a Victorious Peace (John 16:33) and in Romans 16:17-20, there will be divisions and dissensions will continue, but we must continue to be obedient to be peacemakers. The promise is God will crush Satan under our feet, the feet of the peace-makers.
Be Ministers of Peace in the Master’s Masterpiece
Our tendency is to swing towards extremes such as getting involved in all things, when I consider it all my business may lead to gossip, slander, being a busybody; or the other end when I consider it none of my business, therefore avoidance of conflict and confrontation at all cost. Preferring peace over truth or righteousness.
We should be as peacemakers considering it our Father’s business. Only then will we be featuring in the Master’s masterpiece as His Ministers of Reconciliation, “how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace” (Romans 10:15). There will be reconciliation to God; and then for reconciliation to one another, “and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15).
As William Barclay says, “Blessed are those who produce right relationships in every sphere of life, for they are doing a Godlike work.”
Peace must be made, not just wished or hoped for. Peacemakers take the initiative to pursue peace, motivated by love, out of a pure heart. “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). “Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2 Timothy 2:22).
Blessing others in spite of evil, “let him seek peace and pursue it” (1 Peter 3:11). “Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavour, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.” (Mark 9:50)
Being a peacemaker may not always be possible, appreciated, accepted or reciprocated, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” Romans 12:18. A peacemaker may even be opposed as not everyone appreciates peace. Be prepared for opposition. There are people who want peace on their terms, and that may not always align with righteousness, or God’s ways and standards. They only want you to agree with them and there will be peace (Matthew 10:34–39).
The Mark of Maturing in the Master’s Peace
Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God (Matthew 5:9)
Notice that the verse does not say that they shall be sons of God, but they shall be called sons of God. We become children of God when we receive Jesus, the Word (John 1:12).
In believing the name of Jesus, in receiving the Living Word, the Logos of God, you will have the right and authority to be called the children of God. It is by faith that the title belongs to us (John 1:12–13).
We are given the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of adoption that enables us to cry, “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15–17).
The Holy Spirit leads us in the ways of the King and His kingdom. Only those who are so led are considered sons (huioi) of God (Romans 8:14).
Huios: Matured Sons
Matured sons of God transformed by the Holy Spirit bear the likeness of God and will reveal the character of the Father. They will be peacemakers as the Father was through Jesus Christ. In other words, when people see us as peacemakers, they have a glimpse of our heavenly Father.
Jesus’ examples of how these beatitudes are applied. Peacemakers go the extra mile to pursue peace and to restore relationships (Matthew 5:43–45).
We live in a ‘Broken World” where it is crying out for restoration and reconciliation, but it is not found in methods of the world. In a restored world, Shalom is only found in the God of Peace, the Prince of Peace, the Master of Peace. There will be wholeness and harmony, and it will be beautiful. It will truly be a Masterpiece. Jesus did not address global issues but personal and relational ones. What if your kingdom assignment is to paint a masterpiece with God? We are not called to bring world peace because that is not our assignment. We are however called to make peace in our individual areas of influence – marriages, families, church, workplaces; and community. We are to bring peace and make peace, to produce Right Relationships in every sphere of life. That is our part and it will do well if we start there and leave God to settle what He alone can settle. Remember do not try to do it on your own strength for that is not possible at all. Settle our own brokenness by allowing Jesus to heal and restore us first. Look to Him and be mastered by His peace, allowing that to rule in our hearts. Out of that, minister peace to others around us, discerning when and how enabled by the Spirit. That will cause us to mature as sons and daughters of God, bringing the Father pleasure.