• Matt Beaney

#287 – MAKING PEACE WITH GOD (16/2/21)



This week we are considering the seventh Beatitude,

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

We can define a peacemaker as those who seek to bring people to peace with God and others.


Today, we are considering how we can make peace with God. oftentimes people believe that we restore or lose our peace with God based upon our good works. At the other extreme, many believe that everyone has peace with God simply because He accepts us and overlooks our sin. Of both approaches God says,

“They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:14)

We all need to learn what it truly means to be a peace-maker. True peacemakers understand that peace is restored through repentance and faith in Jesus. Paul writes,

‘Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Romans 5:1)

A Christian is ‘justified through faith’. Justification is a legal idea. It’s to be declared righteous (without sin!) regardless of our behaviour. At the moment of faith, God sees us as having kept the law perfectly in Christ.

Justification leads by necessity to the restoration of ‘peace with God’. Because our sin has been removed and Jesus’ righteousness has been credited (imputed) to us, we are restored to peace with God.

In case we’ve missed the point, Paul reiterated that this is ‘through our Lord Jesus Christ’; the gift of righteousness and peace with God came through the death of Jesus for us.

Repentance (a change of mind) and faith (total trust) in Jesus is the way to peace, and it becomes the peacemaker’s message. Jesus told His disciples just before His ascension to heaven,

“This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:46-47)


RESPONSE

Peace is objective before it is subjective. We can always know its true, even if we don’t feel it is true! Faith in Christ is the only way to peace with God. And, never forget, the only way to maintain a sense of peace with God is through faith in Christ. We must never be tempted to put our faith in our performance, in our feelings or our circumstances. Is your peace by faith alone?



COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS


Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.


Suggested opener/Ice-breaker

When have you acted as a peacemaker and/or have you had an example of your efforts to make peace going wrong?


Introduction - please share in your group

This week in our discipleship series, we are considering the seventh of the Beatitudes,

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

We can define a peacemaker as those who seek to bring people to peace with God and others.


Being a peacemaker, most importantly, involves our being at peace with God and then helping others to have peace with God.

Peace with God is the biggest need of all human beings. All face God's wrath for sin and need salvation.

A Christian is ‘justified through faith’. Justification is a legal idea. It’s to be declared righteous (without sin!) regardless of our behaviour. At the moment of faith, God sees us as having kept the law perfectly in Christ. Peace with God is not the result of our good works. Rather, it by faith in Christ. We read,

‘Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Romans 5:1)


However, being a peacemaker also involves doing all that we can to bring peace to human relationships. Peacemakers are called 'children of God' because they reflect the family-likeness of Jesus, the ultimate peacemaker.


Bringing peace is not always easy and we need to seek God for wisdom.


Discussion questions

1. Did God speak to you about anything in particular from Sunday's message or the blogs this week?

2. Do you understand 'justification by faith'? Do you understand that you have peace and can only have peace with God through faith in Jesus?

3. We can allow our performance, feelings, circumstances to dictate our peace. How do you, or could you, ensure that you live in the peace of Christ at all times?

3. On Sunday we were asked to consider if we are modelling peacemaking. How well would you say that you are doing this?

4. Nev encouraged us to write down any situations and steps that we will take to make peace. Do you have anything that you would like to share?


Investing and inviting

As peacemakers, we are to bring the message of the gospel to those in our lives.

1) Who has God put into your life that we could pray for together?

2) How are you planning to 'invest and invite'?

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