Sermon: Three Virtues
Scripture: Matthew 5:7-9
In this week’s lessons we look at three beatitudes that describe our Christian character, which other people must observe and experience.
Theme: Peacemakers for Christ
From our study of the preceding two beatitudes, it should then be evident that in a similar way it is only those who have first tasted peace with God at the cross of Christ who can become peacemakers. Simply because they have known God’s peace, they must be peacemakers. Among other things, they must be peacemakers in the home. Dr. Barnhouse once wrote:
Every minister knows that adjustments must be made by two people who have stopped living in single liberty to take up life with each other. At the time of their wedding, a man and woman are like two planets which have been going around the sun at different speeds and in different orbits. Now they must travel in the same orbit at the same speed. For if they pursue the same path at different speeds, sooner or later there will be a planetary crash.
How can such collisions be avoided? Each must pursue the things that make for peace. I know of a home where the wife asked the husband to repair an electric light over the kitchen sink, and he promised to do so. Next day she again asked him to fix the light and again he promised, but with some irritation. Two or three days later she asked again, and he shouted at her to stop nagging him. Finally, the matter became a source of great tension between them. The proper functioning of the light was very necessary to her work at the sink, but if she had called an electrician to do the job, the husband might have exploded. Yet having promised to do the work, he should have done it; and his failure showed lack of understanding of his wife’s problems. To her it revealed a great flaw in the man she loved: evidently he did not have a proper sense of responsibility and integrity.
The way to avoid such difficulties in the adjustment of husband and wife is to have prayer together every day, asking the Lord to keep both in the way of grace. It is also good for each to be willing to face weaknesses in self and to ask the other, “Is there something that I do that annoys you?” And when the answer is given in love, it is a small matter for love to remove the annoyance.1
In the same way, we may work constantly as God’s peacemakers, in all of the areas of our lives—in the community, at church, in the office, school, store, and even on the international scene. You must think of it in terms of your boss or your teacher. If you are on the management level in your business, you must think of it in terms of your employees. You must think of it in terms of all persons with whom you come in contact. And if your old nature cries out that it wants to be first, that it is being taken advantage of, and consequently cannot have things exactly its own way, then you must look upwards to the Lord Jesus Christ, yielding to him and asking him to crucify your old nature for you with all of its affections and lusts.
You can do it, Christ working in you. Thus we all can grow together into a more perfect reproduction of his gracious life and divine character.
1Donald Grey Barnhouse, God’s Glory (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964), 23.
How does the Bible define true peace? What passages can you find that describe it?
What other verses can you think of or discover that talk about how Christians are to demonstrate peace?
Application: How is God calling you to show toward others the peace that you have received from him through Christ?
For Further Study: Download and listen for free to Donald Barnhouse’s message, “The Blessed Life.” (Discount will be applied at checkout.)