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Friday, March 9, 2012

The Seventh Beatitude – Significance & Meaning

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” 

Peacemakers not only live peaceful lives but also try to bring peace and friendship to others, and to preserve peace between God and man. Gregory of Nyssa pointed out that by imitating God’s love of man, the peacemakers become children of God.

The peacemakers are those children of God who not only have great love for God, but also have love for all of mankind and they attempt to do everything possible for the advancement of peace everywhere. The term “peacemakers” includes all who make peace between men, whether as individuals or as communities. It includes even those who endeavor to make peace even though they fail.
The peacemakers are those who have a peaceful disposition because to make peace is to have a strong and hearty affection for peace. It is to love, desire, and delight in peace. The peacemakers also want to preserve the peace and when the peace is broken, then the peacemakers have a great desire to recover it as quickly as possible. The peace that God bestows upon his believers is in turn shared by the believers with the rest of mankind, so that the peace-receivers are transformed into peace-givers. Romans 14:19 tells us, “So then let us pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another”.
One would imagine a person of this amiable temper and behavior and who strives for peace would be the darling of mankind. But our Lord well knew it would not be so, as long as satan was the prince of this world. We must realize that not only is satan a troublemaker, but all those who follow him are troublemakers. They all are enemies of God, opposing God in their thoughts, their wills, and their actions. The devil and his followers can be considered the true enemies of peace.
Many will tell you that the world’s greatest need is for peace. But it appears that much of what man does today ends up in discord, dissension, and factions. Neighbors kill neighbors, complete strangers kill each other, brothers murder brothers, religious factions try to wipe each other out, tribes exterminate neighboring tribes, whole nations try to eradicate other nations, and on and on it goes. These horrible examples of hate all begin with the absence of love and having no desire for peace. And thus it seems as if hate in some form or another is the world’s pastime and that peace is the last thing many people want. The children of this world love to fish in troubled waters, but the children of God are the peacemakers, they are the quiet in the land.
However peacemaking does not mean seeking peace at any cost, for the peacemaker realizes that peace at any price will usually end up in complete and total destruction. So a peacemaker is not an appeaser. He’s not one who smiles a lot and doesn’t take a position on anything. He is not one who has an easygoing personality and who is nice and flabby and can easily be shoved around. He’s not a doormat. A peacemaker is one who through strength and Godly knowledge endeavors to establish a right relationship between estranged parties based on truth and righteousness.
The peacemakers realize that there is only one way that this world can have peace, and that is by trusting in Jesus Christ. What Jesus did on the cross was bring peace between not only God and man, but also between man and man. Christ’s death tore the barrier of the veil at the entrance of the Holy of Holies from top to bottom and opened a way for us to have access to God, so that we can now come into the very presence of God and have peace with our Father. And when we are at peace with God, we will be at peace with all men.
By his death Jesus also destroyed another barrier, that dividing wall of hostility between man and his fellow man. Ephesians 2:14 “For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall”.
The reason we can love other people and have peace with them, including our enemies, is because Christ destroyed the hostility between man and man when he died on the cross. Colossians1:20 “And through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross”.

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