Called to Make Peace

KEY VERSE: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” —Matthew 5:9

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Matthew 5:9,38-48; Romans 12:14-21

THOSE who are humble, meek, merciful, and pure in heart, will naturally radiate peace in their associations. This will be the outflow of the peace of God which fills their hearts, that peace which they enjoy because of their confidence in God and in his promises to care for them, and to give them wisdom and strength in their every time of need.

The followers of the Master are peacemakers in still another sense, in that through their ministry of the Word of truth they participate in the work of establishing peace between God and men. The whole world of mankind is alienated from God through wicked works. (Col. 1:21) Provision for reconciliation has been made through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. But for this to be effective, the Word of reconciliation must be proclaimed, and those who hear must accept; and it is our privilege to be heralds of the message.—II Cor. 5:18,19

Thus it is that we are ministers of reconciliation, or peacemakers, participating in the work of reconciling the world to God. During the present age, those who are reconciled lay down their lives in joint-sacrifice with Jesus. They are planted together in the likeness of his death, and if faithful even unto death will be exalted in the first resurrection to live and reign with Christ. Through the kingdom reign, all mankind will be enlightened, and given a full opportunity to accept the provision of life through Christ and to be restored to at-one-ment with God.—Rom. 6:3-8; Rev. 20:6

Jesus said these peacemakers in the divine plan shall be called “the children of God.” The children, or sons, of God of the present age, constitute the ruling house of God. Paul wrote, “If children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ.” (Rom. 8:17) It is appropriate, therefore, for those who will reign with Christ to establish peace on earth, and peace between God and men, to be called the children of God.

The present-day standards for peacemaking are set forth by Paul in Romans 12:14-21. To the worldly-minded it seems foolish to “bless” those who “persecute” them. The entire way of love is beyond the concept of the world, which is governed largely by self-interest

These instructions are for the consecrated followers of Jesus. These find it a delight to “rejoice with them that do rejoice,” and their sympathetic love causes them to “weep with them that weep.” The world caters considerably to the great, the rich, the influential. But the Christian endeavors to be the same toward all. Christians are not overly impressed with the great, but “condescend to men of low estate [Margin, be contented with mean things].” (vs. 16) And even more important, they are not wise in their “own conceits.”

True followers of the Master are not to render “evil for evil.” (vs. 17) “If it is possible,” they are to live peaceably with all men. (vs. 18) This suggests the possibility that we will not always be able to live peaceably. We cannot compromise principle in order to be in agreement with others. There may have to be a parting of the ways, but even this is no reason for rendering evil to those with whom we disagree.

“Avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath,” writes Paul. (vs. 19) It is not for us to punish those who render evil to us. This is God’s prerogative. “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord.”—Lev. 19:18

“Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.” This is an illustration evidently designed to suggest the idea of being ashamed of their actions because we have treated them kindly in return.—Rom. 12:19,20

If we allow the evil things which are done cause us to retaliate in kind, then we have been overcome with evil. On the other hand, if we render good for evil, then we are overcomers of evil, at least in our own hearts and lives. This should be the desire and endeavor of every Christian.

God is preparing a people to participate in a government purposed to bring absolute peace to the earth. How appropriate that all who will share in this authority be thoroughly schooled in the principles of peacemaking. “Blessed are the peacemakers for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Dawn Bible Students Association
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