Copyright 1994 - 2023 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
February 2, 2023
Last Updated :
March 6, 2023
The Popularity Of "Blessed Are The Peacemakers", What Does Matthew 5:9 Really Mean?, A Common Understanding, Is Living Peaceably In The World Really Enough?, God's Requirements For Becoming One Of His Children, Danger Of False Religions Which Preach Peace, Jesus Christ's Death Was An Absolute Necessity, Was Matthew 5:9 A Prophetic Statement?, God Is At War Against Rebellion Sin And Death, Adam And Eve Broke God's Law, Sin Is Breaking God's Laws, Peaceful Relationship With God Was Lost In The Garden Of Eden, Jesus Repaired The Breach So That Our Relationship With God Can Be Restored, We Make Peace With God By Accepting Christ's Blood Atonement For Our Sins, We Are Bought With A Price, Importance Of Pointing To God's Word, Verses Regarding Peace With God Through Christ, Children By Adoption, Invitation And Closing Remarks, Suggested Reading
Many people, both Christian and non-Christian alike, are familiar with the phrase "Blessed are the peacemakers". We hear it just about everywhere. In church. In our Christian fellowships. In movies. On the television set. On the radio. In an assortment of publications. However, it may surprise you to learn that most people -- including many Christians -- do not really understand what Jesus meant when He said "Blessed are the peacemakers" in Matthew 5:9. Do you know what the Lord meant? If you are not certain, then please continue reading this short article.
The truth of the matter is that even though I have read and studied the Bible for a little more than fifty years, until a number of years ago, even I did not really grasp the full meaning of Matthew 5:9. Of course, I thought that I did, but it turns out that I was wrong, as I will now explain to you.
At first glance, many of you may be inclined to think that the Biblical phrase "Blessed are the peacemakers" means that we should all strive to live in peace with each other, and refrain from war and all other types of violence. It seems to make perfect sense that this is what this popular phrase means, right? In fact, I can point you to a number of Bible verses which seem to support this particular interpretation of Matthew 5:9. For example, consider the following:
"But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace."
Psalm 37:11, KJV
"My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace. I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war."
Psalm 120:6-7, KJV
"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth."
Matthew 5:5, KJV
"If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, LIVE PEACEABLY WITH ALL MEN."
Romans 12:18, KJV
"Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, LIVE IN PEACE; and the God of love and peace shall be with you."
2 Corinthians 13:11, KJV
Thus we see that there are definitely verses in the Bible which admonish us to live a peaceful life, and which also seem to explain what the Lord meant in Matthew 5:9. However, I am convinced that this common, popular interpretation is not what the verse is talking about at all. Furthermore, I have become convinced that Jesus meant something much deeper than the accepted explanation of the phrase "Blessed are the peacemakers". So let's dig into it, shall we?
To begin with, if we read the verse in its entirety, we can start to understand what Jesus really meant. That is to say, what I personally believe He meant. In Matthew 5:9, the Lord then states "for they shall be called the children of God", as we see here:
"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
Matthew 5:9, KJV
If we simply accept the aforementioned common understanding of the verse, we could erroneously be led to believe that if we live in peace with each other, we will be called children of God. But please stop and think for a moment. Does such an understanding really make any sense? Does it agree with the Scriptures, or is something amiss here? Stated quite plainly, don't we have to repent of our sins -- most notably, our sin of unbelief -- and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior in order to become God's children?
That is exactly right! After all, if we could become children of God just by living in peace with each other, then wouldn't that mean that Christ died in vain? Furthermore, if we could become children of God simply by living peaceably with each other, would not that validate other non-Christian religions -- such as Buddhism -- which also preach and promote living in peace? I mean, if all that is required of us is to live in peace in order to be considered children of God, that totally torpedos the very foundation of our Christian faith, which is faith in the atoning Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Can you see that?
However, as we all know, or should know, Jesus most certainly did NOT die in vain. As I explain in other articles which are listed at the end of this current article, His cruel death on a Roman cross was an absolute necessity. As such, the phrase "Blessed are the peacemakers" must be referring to something else, right? In fact, it does! Not only that, but we get a hint of what it really means in the second half of the verse. That is, in "for they shall be called the children of God." In case you don't see it, please notice that according to the English translation, Jesus does NOT say "they are called the children of God", or "they are the children of God". He very clearly says "they SHALL be called the children of God."
Based on a few other verses which I will be sharing with you in a minute, I believe that it is significant that the Lord says "shall". In other words, at the time that He said it to the large crowd who had gathered on the mountain to hear His sermon, He was putting the possibility of being called the children of God IN THE FUTURE. In other words, something had to happen -- which had not happened yet -- which would make it possible for them to be called children of God. We might say that Jesus was making a prophetic statement, which few of His listeners probably understood at the time. Do you now understand what I am driving at? If not, that's okay. Just continue reading, and your understanding will become clear in just a minute.
Let me ask you a simple question. What is the exact opposite of peace? It is war, correct? You see, quite simply, God the Father has been at war against rebellion, sin and death ever since Satan first tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and they fell from Grace. So God's war is a war against both human rebellion and sin, and also against rebellious spirits. Because of their rebellion, Adam and Eve lost their peaceful relationship with the Lord. A terrible breach was created as a result of their sinning against the Lord when they partook of the forbidden fruit. The first pair broke God's Law; and as the Apostle John informs us:
"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law."
1 John 3:4, KJV
Thus, as many Christians know, the Scriptures inform us that Jesus Christ became the "last Adam" -- 1 Corinthians 15:45 -- who repaired the breach, and by thus doing, made it possible for our peaceful relationship with God the Father to be fully restored. So, when Jesus says "Blessed are the peacemakers", I am convinced that what He is REALLY talking about is making peace with God the Father. I don't believe that He is talking about making peace with the world, with your neighbors, with your family members, or anything like that. After all, as we already discussed, doing those things would not merit being called children of God. They are laudable things to do, of course, but they do not grant us Salvation and Eternal Life.
So exactly how do we make peace with God? Some of you will no doubt already know the answer to this question. By accepting Jesus' Sacrifice on the Cross as Atonement for our sins. Once we do that, what happens? We become the children of God, just as Matthew 5:9 says. Let me share that verse with you again:
"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
Matthew 5:9, KJV
Earlier, I mentioned the importance of the word "shall" in that verse. I also stated that in order for us to be able to be called children of God, something had to happen which had not yet occurred at the time that the Lord gave His sermon. That event was His cruel Crucifixion on a Roman cross. Until Jesus shed His innocent Blood on the Cross, there was simply no way for our sins to be forgiven, or for our relationship to be restored with the Father. The New Testament, or the New Covenant, could not come into effect, until it was sealed by Christ's Blood. Jesus had to pay the ransom price for our sins. As I explain in other articles, it required the death of the testator -- meaning Jesus -- for the New Testament -- or Covenant -- to be made valid and enforced. Consider the following verses:
"Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to GIVE HIS LIFE A RANSOM FOR MANY."
Matthew 20:28, KJV
"For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to GIVE HIS LIFE A RANSOM FOR MANy."
Mark 10:45, KJV
"Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, WHICH HE HATH PURCHASED WITH HIS OWN BLOOD."
Acts 20:28, KJV
"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For YE ARE BOUGHT WITH A PRICE: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, KJV
"YE ARE BOUGHT WITH A PRICE; be not ye the servants of men."
1 Corinthians 7:23, KJV
"In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of THE PURCHASED POSSESSION, unto the praise of his glory."
Ephesians 1:13-14, KJV
"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; WHO GAVE HIMSELF A RANSOM FOR ALL, to be testified in due time."
1 Timothy 2:5-6, KJV
So if you accept my above reasoning, then knowing the future and His own coming Death on the Cross, Jesus was indirectly saying that the day would arrive when they would be able to make peace with God, and thus merit being called children of God. Not only could they make peace with God, and be absolved of their sins, but they could be adopted into God's very own royal family. They would truly become His children.
As many of my longtime readers already know, I never make a doctrinal statement unless I can fully support it with the Scriptures. I would not have it any other way, because as I have said many times, your faith should not be in my words alone. Rather, it should be in the direct Word of God. So, allow me to share this group of verses which complete the picture for you. Please take particular note of the words I have placed in uppercase letters:
"Therefore being justified by faith, WE HAVE PEACE WITH GOD THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST:"
Romans 5:1, KJV
"But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. FOR HE IS OUR PEACE, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might RECONCILE BOTH UNTO GOD in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For THROUGH HIM WE BOTH HAVE ACCESS by one Spirit unto the Father."
Ephesians 2:13-18, KJV
So as you can plainly see, the Apostle Paul tells us that it is through Christ that we obtain peace with the Father. Paul tells us that Jesus reconciled both Jew and Gentile to God the Father. Through Christ, both Jew and Gentile have access to the Father. Furthermore, Paul also says that Jesus "came and preached peace to you". Now tell me. Isn't that exactly what we see Jesus doing in Matthew 5:9 when He says "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God"? As I said earlier, Jesus was telling the crowd that the day would soon arrive when they would be able to make peace with God the Father, and thus be called His children. Concerning this process of spiritual adoption, we find clear evidence of it in the following verses:
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:"
John 1:12, KJV
"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but YE HAVE RECEIVED THE SPIRIT OF ADOPTION, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that WE ARE THE CHILDREN OF GOD: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together . . . For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, WAITING FOR THE ADOPTION, to wit, the redemption of our body."
Romans 8:15-17, 22-23, KJV
"For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus."
Galatians 3:26, KJV
"But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that WE MIGHT RECEIVE THE ADOPTION OF SONS. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."
Galatians 4:4-6, KJV
"Having predestinated us UNTO THE ADOPTION OF CHILDREN BY JESUS CHRIST to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,"
Ephesians 1:5, KJV
"Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;"
Ephesians 2:19, KJV
"Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, THE LORD KNOWETH THEM THAT ARE HIS. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity."
2 Timothy 2:19, KJV
In conclusion, does God the Father know you? Have you made peace with Him by accepting the loving Sacrifice of His own dear Son as the only means of Atonement for all your sins? I certainly hope so. If not, I urge you to please do it today! He waits patiently for you to enter spiritual fellowship with Him, as a new member of His royal family.
With these wonderful verses, I will bring this article to a close. I trust that you have enjoyed it, learned something from it, and I pray that it has been a big blessing in your life. If you have an account with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or with any other social network, I would really appreciate if you would also take the time to either tap or click on the corresponding link which is found on this page. Thank you so very much! May God bless you abundantly!
For additional information, you may want to refer to the list of reading resources below which were also mentioned in this article, or which contain topics which are related to this article. All of these articles are likewise located on the Bill's Bible Basics website:
All Are Given a Chance, But . . .
Is the Message of Salvation Meant for All Men?
Not Everyone is a Child of God
Many Are Called, But Few Are Chosen
Marriage of the Lamb
Message to the World
Salvation is Free Through Jesus Christ
The Blood Atonement: In Jesus' Own Words
What It Means to Repent