1. Jesus began His Sermon on the Mount by giving what we commonly call "the Beatitudes" (Matthew 5:3-12). 2. In these Beatitudes, Jesus showed His followers how to receive some very special spiritual blessings. 3. This evening we are concentrating on the 7th Beatitude that Jesus gave in Matthew 5:9 - "Blessed are the peacemakers." 4. To help us appreciate the seriousness of this Beatitude, let us first consider God's feelings.
I. GOD LOVES "PEACE," AND HE HATES "CONFLICT"
A. In Psalm 133 David showed how God feels about "peace." B. In Proverbs 6:16-19 Solomon showed how God feels about "conflict." C. When we understand how God feels about "peace" and "conflict," perhaps we can more fully appreciate why . . .
II. CHRISTIANS ARE REPEATEDLY TAUGHT TO PURSUE "PEACE"
A. Romans 12:18 B. Romans 14:19 C. 1 Thessalonians 5:13b D. Hebrews 12:14 E. To help us understand what is involved in pursuing peace, let us consider . . .
III. THREE PEACEMAKERS IN THE BIBLE
A. According to Genesis 13:7-9, Abraham was a peacemaker. B. Isaac, Abraham's son, was also a peacemaker (Genesis 26:17-22). C. Jesus was "The Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6). 1. He gives peace to His followers (John 14:27; 16:33). 2. We must also consider His teaching in Matthew 10:32-38.
IV. THE NEW TESTAMENT CONTAINS SOME SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR PEACEMAKERS
A. Ephesians 4:1-3 ["endeavor"] B. Philippians 2:1-4 [being considerate of others] C. Colossians 3:12-13 [Christ is our example] D. James 3:13-18 [pursue the right kind of wisdom] E. 1 Peter 3:10-11 [controlling the tongue]
1. Being a peacemaker is not always easy. 2. Being a peacemaker can sometimes be quite challenging, especially in the world we live in today. 3. However, those who make peace will receive a great blessing -- "they shall be called the children of God." 4. We learn how to become children of God in Galatians 3:26-27.