Winning Attitudes – Part 3

What is peace? How can we be a peacemaker? How can we be joyful in the midst of persecution? What are the right and wrong reasons for suffering? What perspectives keep us strong and always victorious in difficult times?

Overview

Ref: Matt 5:9-12, Lk 6:22Overview

Key Verses

Blessed are the peacemakers:

  • Meaning of peace, peacemaker
  • Creator of Peace
  • Condition for Peace
  • Cost of Peace
  • Channel of Peace

Overview (Cont'd)

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness:

  • Reason
  • Related aspects
  • Response
  • Reward

Discussion

Key Verses

9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matt 5

Who is a “Peacemaker”

The Greek word translated “peacemaker” is only used on one other place in the NT. It refers to one who reconciles man to God – the primary role of a peacemaker.

 “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross.” Col 1:20

Creator of peace

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to 
proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to
proclaim liberty to the captives
and 
recovering of sight to the blind,
to
set at liberty those who are oppressed,
19 to
proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Luke 4:18,19

Condition for Peace

A peacemaker needs to be controlled by the peace of God or an undivided communion with God.

Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Cost of Peace

Peace is hard won

Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.

Channel of Peace

A peacemaker is one who is completely reconciled to God, and prepared to pay the price to reconcile others to him. In so doing they truly become “sons of God”

Blessed are the Persecuted

Matt 5:11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Reason

In most cases doing good as a Christian should not attract persecution

1 Peter 3:13 Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed.

Reason

Jesus states two reasons:

  • “because of me”
  • “for righteousness”

Reflection: Is the persecution we receive due to Christ or due to our own failure??

Related Actions

Lk 6:22 Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man.

Response

  • Rejoice (Matt 5)
  • Be glad (Matt 5)
  • Sanctify Christ in heart
  • Be prepared
  • Be reverent and gentle

1 Peter 3:14b  AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, 15but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;

Reward

  • “Theirs is’ the kingdom of heaven” – Jesus attributes this privilege to two categories of people – persecuted and the poor in spirit (5:3)
  • “Reward is great in heaven” (5:12)

Recap

Blessed are the peacemakers:

  • Meaning of peace, peacemaker – reconciliation with God
  • Creator of Peace – God
  • Condition for Peace – God’s peace
  • Cost of Peace – immense personal sacrifice
  • Channel of Peace – like Jesus, sons of God

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness:

  • Reason – Christ, righteousness
  • Related aspects – hate, ostracise, insult, assign evil, etc.
  • Response – Rejoice, be glad, Sanctify Christ, Prepare, reverence

Reward – Kingdom of God

DIscussion

1.How does the biblical definitions of “peace” and “peacemaker” impact your perspective on your understanding of the terms?

2.What are the ways we can be “peacemakers” today?

3.Give examples of how people mistake “persecution” due to their own immaturity to God. Add examples of true persecution in today’s perspective.

4.How can we rejoice in persecution?

Referennces

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