Apologetics · Atheism · Bible · Biblical Doctrines · Church · Culture · Culture & Society · Holy Spirit

The Paradox of Being a Peacemaker

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matt. 5:9).

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword” (Matt. 10:34).

Following a public presentation of the seventh beatitude, given by Christ in His Sermon on the Mount, as to the importance of being a peacemaker, a fine gentleman in the audience told me that as I was speaking, he could not help but wonder about the words of Jesus where the Lord said He did not come to send peace, but a sword. “Is there not a contradiction?”

To all such inquires, the answer is, “No. Our Lord did speak in parables, mysteries, and paradoxes, but He never contradicted Himself. He was never foolish. Christ was never inconsistent.”

A paradox is that which seems at first appearance to be a contradiction, but it is not. There are a number of paradoxes in Scripture.

The Christian finds life, by losing it. “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it” (Matt. 10:39).

The Christian learns to live, through dying. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (John 12:24).

The Christians receives a blessing, by giving. “I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

The Christian finds freedom, through servitude. “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness” (Rom. 6:18).

A Christian is strong, through weakness. “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Cor. 12:10).

There is exaltation, through humiliation. “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name” (Phil. 2:8).

It is better to lose all things, in order to win Christ. “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (Phil. 3:7).

The Christian is lifted up, by being humble. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” (James 4:10).

Christ was the Prince of Peace, and taught His disciples to be peacemakers, while recognizing that His message of peace would bring revolution and violence.

As a student of Christ, Mahatma Gandhi (October 2, 1869 – January 30, 1948), experienced what Jesus taught. While others rose op in violence, he sat down in peace. Gandhi was a peacemaker, but his message of peace brought bloodshed, and violence to India, until the darkness of colonialism was dispelled.

Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was a civil rights leader in America. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, but Dr. King advocated harmony between the races. Nevertheless, during his brief, but important life, violence followed Dr. King, who led many marches against racial segregation, and social injustices.

Christians are to endeavor to be peacemakers, but they are under no illusions about the consequences of such an effort. The gospel of peace first condemns the natural heart of an individual, and calls upon every person to find peace with God through repentance of sin, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Without confession of sin, gospel repentance, and faith in Christ, a fearful judgment awaits the soul. People who believe they are naturally good, do not want to hear they need to find peace with God. People do not want to hear they have rebelled against God by breaking His Law. Many do not want to believe that God exists. They simply want to eat, drink, be merry, die, and be absorbed into oblivion. They care nothing about having peace with God, and resent any peacemaker who tries to bring them to Christ in order to be reconciled to God.

For those who would try to find fault with Christ, or Christianity, know this. Lack of understanding is never to be used as an excuse for rejecting Christ, or God, or the Bible. I challenge every skeptic, every unbeliever, every atheist, or agnostic, to say the words of this song as a personal prayer.

“Open my eyes, that I may see
glimpses of truth thou hast for me;
place in my hands the wonderful key
that shall unclasp and set me free.
Silently now I wait for thee,
ready, my God, thy will to see.
Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine!

Open my ears, that I may hear
voices of truth thou sendest clear;
and while the wave notes fall on my ear,
everything false will disappear.
Silently now I wait for thee,
ready, my God, thy will to see.
Open my ears, illumine me, Spirit divine!

Open my mouth, and let me bear
gladly the warm truth everywhere;
open my heart and let me prepare
love with thy children thus to share.
Silently now I wait for thee,
ready, my God, thy will to see.
Open my heart, illumine me, Spirit divine!”

Clara H. Scott
1841 – 1897

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