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SERIES: The Sermon on the Mount
TEXT: Matthew 5:9-12
MESSAGE: “God’s peace in a hostile world”
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“Resolved: That all men should live for the glory of God. Resolved second: that whether others do or not, I will.” — Jonathan Edwards
“The Sermon on the Mount challenges us with this question: ‘To which drum are we marching?’ Are we marching to the drum of the world…or are we marching to the drum of God’s kingdom as we hear it in God’s Word…”  Iain Duguid
“Are you known as a person of peace?”
TEXT: Matthew 5:9-12
 
“Within the total biblical framework, the greatest peacemaker is Jesus Christ — the Prince of Peace. He makes peace with God and man by removing sin, the ground of alienation; he makes peace between man and man by removing sin and by bringing men into a right relationship with God…Thus the good news of Jesus Christ is the greatest peacemaking message, and…the Christians role as peacemaker extends not only to spreading the gospel, but to lessening tensions, seeking solutions, ensuring that communication is understood. Perhaps his most difficult assignments will take place when he is personally involved.” — D.A. Carson
Three questions about God’s peace. (1. How do we receive it? How do we know we have it? Whats the result?)
  1. How do we receive it? (v 9a)
Blessed are the peacemakers…”
“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son…”  Romans 5:10
 
“For the one principle of Hell is “I am my own. I am my own king and my own subject…My own glory is, and ought to be, my chief care; my ambition, to gather regards of men to the one centre, myself. My pleasure is my pleasure. My kingdom is — as many as I can bring to acknowledge my greatness over them. My judgment is the faultless rule of things. My right is — what I desire…” George Macdonald (19th Century Pastor)
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. — Romans 5:1
“Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us, we have to see it as something done by us.― John Stott
  1. How do we know we have it? (v 9b)
Blessed are the peacemakers…for they shall be called sons of God.
“Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” 
— 2 Corinthians 5:18
 
“To proclaim, ‘Peace, peace’ when there is no peace, is the work of the false prophet, not the Christian witness. Many examples could be given of peace through pain. When we ourselves are involved in a quarrel, there will be either the pain of apologizing to the person we have injured or the pain of rebuking the person who has injured us. Sometimes there is the nagging pain of having to refuse to forgive the guilty party until he repents…true peace and true forgiveness are costly treasures…(in disputes) there will be the pains of listening, of ridding ourselves of prejudice, of striving sympathetically to understand both the opposing points of view, and of risking misunderstanding, ingratitude, or failure.”  John Stott
  1. What’s the result? (v 10-11)
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
“The final beatitude does not say, Blessed are those who are persecuted because they are objectionable, or because they rave like wild-eyed fanatics, or because they pursue some religio-political cause. The blessing is restricted to those who suffer persecution because of righteousness (1 Peter 3:13; 4:12-16). The believers described in this passage are those determined to live as Jesus lived.” — D.A. Carson
 
“Christians are persecuted for the sake of righteousness because of their loyalty to Christ. Real loyalty to him creates friction in the hearts of those who only pay him lip service…But such integrity challenges the moral indifference of the world…Not to do the things ‘everybody does’ stirs the worlds sleepy conscience. More than that, it irritates it, and causes annoyance and even anger.” — Sinclair Ferguson
 
“Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” — John 15:20
 
TAKEAWAYS: Next steps…
(1) Examine yourself before God
 
(2) Seek honest feedback about yourself
“Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”
Proverbs 27:6
(3) Remember that a Christ-centered life will bring hardship
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” — 1 Peter 4:12
 
“The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.” -Elisabeth Elliot
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” — John 16:33