Matthew 5:9 | Peacemakers

August 28, 2022
Book: Matthew
Series: Matthew

Watch The Online Sermon: 

This Beatitude about peace today is probably one of the hardest to understand. And it’s even harder to live out. So how are we to make sense of all this? And how are we to apply peace to our own lives? Let’s find out!

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Full Sermon Transcript

Rev. Dustin Daniels | River Bible Church

Matthew 5:9 | Peacemakers

August 28, 2022


  • Please turn your Bibles to Matthew 5.
  • Bibles in the back—our gift to you.


For the past six weeks, we have been studying the most famous sermon in Scripture.

It’s called the Sermon on the Mount, preached by the greatest preacher who ever lived and still lives—Jesus Christ.

The first section of Jesus’s sermon is called the Beatitudes.

Beatitudes come from the Latin beati,— which means “blessed.”

That’s why Jesus repeats as He does in the first twelve verses.

Blessed are the poor in spirit…

Blessed are the those who mourn…

Blessed are the humble…

The Beatitudes are foundational and doctrinal teachings for the Kingdom of God.

They are impossible to do from a human perspective.

The Beatitudes drive us to recognize our sin, confess our sin, and be born again.

Only when we are born again can we become humble, hunger and thirst for righteousness, learn mercy and strive for purity.

Last Sunday, we looked at the sixth Beatitude:

Matthew 5:8—Blessed are the pure in heart, 

for they will see God. 

As a review, for something to be pure means that there are no containments in it.

There’s nothing mixed into it.

We discussed the amazing promise for those who are pure in heart: that they will see God.

They will see Jesus as He truly is—not a theophany or any display or manifestation of His holiness, but God Himself in all His glory, majesty and authority.

Seeing God is the supreme blessing for God’s people—Beatific Vision.

So please know that when you take your last breath here on Earth, you will be apart from this body and instantly in the presence of the Lord. (2 Cor. 5:8).

And if you are born again, the presence of Jesus as your Savior instantly removes the remaining sin in your life, and your heart is immediately purified.

And Scripture promises that you will be with Jesus for the rest of eternity.

If you are not born again, Scripture tells us that you, too, will be in the presence of Jesus.

However, the relationship is drastically different.

He is not your Savior but your judge.

And because you refused the offer of salvation through Jesus blood on the cross, (substitutionary atonement) you stand before a holy God on your own merit.

Scripture tells us that your decision to live life on your merit will result in paying for your sin in a very real place called hell for eternity.

Romans 6:2— For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

That’s why the purity of our hearts is such a glorious doctrine to understand.

Last Sunday, we talked about two types of purity:

There is first positional purity and second practical purity.

Positional purity comes from when someone is born again.

Practical purity is where we live out who we are as children of God.

We also discussed two enemies of our purity.

Enemy #1: Synchronism

Synchronism is mixing in the impurities of the world, false religions, and our own false beliefs into the grace of God.

Enemy #2: Entertainment

The more entertained we are by the world, the more we will look like the world.

Lastly, I gave you two suggestions on how to pursue purity for your heart.

  1. Read God’s Word consistently— preferably daily.
  2. Commit to God’s Church.

God’s Word and God’s people are the only two things that are eternal.


Those two suggestions set us up beautifully for our next Beatitude today.

Matthew 5:9—Blessed are the peacemakers, 

for they will be called sons of God.

The subject of peace is a big one.

The world longs for peace but will never achieve it.

The universal church has peace but doesn’t understand it.

We will dive into a unique part of Jesus’ personality today.

Being a peacemaker is part of Jesus’ passion because it ties directly into being pure in heart.

We will see how this beatitude of peace brings some confusion within the Scriptures.

Many people believe that the Bible is filled with all sorts of contradictions.

Many of those so-called contradictions involve the subject of peace.

For example,

Jesus says, is this Beatitude—

Matthew 5:9—Blessed are the peacemakers, 

for they will be called sons of God.

And then, five chapters later in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus says…

Matthew 10:34 Don’t assume that I came to bring peace on the Earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 

Matthew 10:35 For I came to turn 

a man against his father, 

a daughter against her mother, 

a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 

Matthew 10:36— and a man’s enemies will be 

the members of his household. 

Matthew 10:37 The one who loves a father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; the one who loves a son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 

Matthew 10:38 And whoever doesn’t take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

What on Earth is Jesus doing?

Is He talking out both sides of His mouth?

This Beatitude about peace today is probably one of the hardest to understand.

And it’s even harder to live out.

So how are we to make sense of all this?

And how are we to apply peace to our own lives? Let’s find out!

*Please stand for the reading and honoring of God’s Word.*

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 5:9 CSB

Matthew 5:1— When he saw the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 

Matthew 5:2—  Then he began to teach them, saying: 

Matthew 5:3— “Blessed are the poor in spirit, 

for the kingdom of Heaven is theirs. 

Matthew 5:4— Blessed are those who mourn, 

for they will be comforted. 

Matthew 5:5—  Blessed are the humble, 

for they will inherit the Earth. 

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 

for they will be filled. 

Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, 

for they will be shown mercy. 

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, 

for they will see God. 

Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, 

for they will be called sons of God. 

Matthew 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. 

Matthew 5:11  “You are blessed when they insult you and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of me. 

Matthew 5:12  Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 

**This is the Word of the Lord for River Bible Church.


Matthew 5:9—Blessed are the peacemakers, 

for they will be called sons of God. 

This statement must probably shocked the disciples and the other people listening.

They had the idea that the Messiah was going to be a military man.

And Jesus is, in His second coming.

Isaiah foretold the Jews that the Messiah must first come as a suffering servant. (Isa 53).

Matthew 5:9—Blessed …

“Blessed” in Greek is makários (ma-car-e-ohs), which literally means “happy,”“blessed,” “carefree” and “fortunate”— all at the same time.

Why are these people happy?

Matthew 5:9—Blessed are the peacemakers

The first thing that needs to be said here is that Jesus is not talking about a .45 Caliber Colt Peacemaker.

For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about—

A Colt Peacemaker was a legendary gun in the Old West.

BUT, Jesus did not say, Blessed are those with weapons!

Jesus told Peter, after Peter tried to protect the Lord from being arrested,

Matthew 26:52—Put your sword back in its place because all who take up the sword will perish by the sword.

But a little earlier in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus prepares the Disciples for persecution and says…

Luke 22:36—And whoever doesn’t have a sword should sell his robe and buy one.

Is that yet another contradiction in the Bible?

Well, let’s start with peace.

Jesus said, “Blessed are the Peacemakers.”

When we think of peace today, we generally think about things that prevent violence.

Webster’s dictionary defines peace as a state of tranquility / state of security.

We may also think that peace is the absence of war and conflict.

And to a certain degree, those things are true.

But they are also inadequate.

Scripture contains four hundred direct references to peace and many other indirect references.

The Bible opens with peace in the Garden with Adam and Eve.

And it closes with the promise of eternal peace with the Lord Jesus Christ if you are born again.

But something happened along the way from Genesis to Revelation.

If you gave someone a Bible who had never read Scripture before and told them to read the first six chapters in Genesis, and then the following week, you have coffee with him to discuss what he read.

But, you didn’t tell him that you gave him a modified version of the Bible.

You ripped out the story of The Fall in Genesis 3:1-7.

I mean, it’s only seven verses. What’s the big deal?

Your friend reads Genesis 1, which is the big picture of The Creation.

He read Genesis 2, where God gives more detail about how He created man, woman, and the covenant of marriage.

He gets to the end of Genesis 2—everything is beautiful, perfect, and peaceful and verse 25 says:

Genesis 2:25—Both the man and his wife were naked, yet felt no shame. 

And then your friend turns the page not to Genesis 3:1, but to Genesis 3:8:

Genesis 3:8—Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Wait, why are they hiding? Shouldn’t they be rejoicing with God in the Garden?

Your friend goes on to read about the big fight where Adam blames God and blames Eve.

Eve blames a talking snake of all things.

Your friend goes on to read about Adam and Eve’s children murdering one another.

And then he gets to Genesis chapter 6 and reads this:

Genesis 6:5—When the Lord saw that human wickedness was widespread on the Earth and that every inclination of the human mind was nothing but evil all the time, 

Genesis 6:6 the Lord regretted that he had made man on the Earth, and he was deeply grieved. 

Genesis 6:7 Then the Lord said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I created, off the face of the earth, together with the animals, creatures that crawl, and birds of the sky—for I regret that I made them.”

Now let me ask you, what do you think your friend would ask at your next meeting?

Wouldn’t he ask something like…

“What happened? In the beginning of the story everyone was at peace with one another, but now there is only hostility, hatred and worldwide destruction. What happened?”

You’d then tell your friend the dirty little secret of ripping out those seven verses called “The Fall.”

The Fall is where peace disrupted the relationship between God and man.

Peace has been broken.

And mankind has been living in brokenness and searching for some kind of peace ever since.

Let me give you some recent examples:

World leaders developed an agency called the United Nations.

The goal of the UN is to maintain peace and security around the world.

Question: How are they doing on that?

How many peace treaties have been broken over the past hundred years?

Answer: All of them.

The Nobel Peace Prize is given to people who strive for all kinds of peace work and concepts of peace.

The Peace Corps has a mission to promote world peace.

But are any of these efforts truly working? No.

Why not?

Because the world is incapable of establishing peace.

But God already has.

So let’s take a look at peace from a Biblical standpoint.

In the Old Testament, “peace” is often used to describe a relationship characterized by loyalty and love.

Peace is perhaps one of the most treasured virtues among Jewish people.

Peace is undoubtedly one of their favorite words.

The Hebrew term Shalom means completeness, fulfillment, and blessings.

The deepest meaning of Shalom is “God’s highest good to you.”

Jehovah Shalom—the God of our Peace.

God told Moses how to pray for the nation of Israel:

Numbers 6:24— “May the Lord bless you and protect you; 

Numbers 6:25— may the Lord make his face shine on you 

and be gracious to you; 

Numbers 6:26— may the Lord look with favor on you 

and give you peace.” 

The Bible also has a lot to say about war.

In this context, “peace” indicates the absence of hostility.

Moses writes in…

Deuteronomy 20:10—“When you approach a city to fight against it, make an offer of peace.

Peace with others is foundational throughout the Scriptures.

For example…

Psalm 122:8— Because of my brothers and friends, 

I will say, “May peace be in you.”, 

But on the other hand, the psalmist also cries out in anguish because of the lack of peace.

Psalm 120:6— I have dwelt too long 

with those who hate peace. 

Psalm 120:7— I am for peace; but when I speak, 

they are for war. 

God teaches us about peace within our provisions.

Proverbs 17:1—Better a dry crust with peace 

than a house full of feasting with strife. 

God teaches parents how to have peace with their children:

Proverbs 29:17—Discipline your child, and it will bring you peace of mind 

and give you delight. 

But the most important part of peace in the Scriptures is having peace with God.

Our peace was disrupted and broken in the Garden of Eden.

How do we get it back? How do we undo what’s been done? How do we make things right with God?

The first thing to note is that having the Peace of God involves much more than the world’s definitions of “the absence of hostility.”

Scripture tells us why the world will always have hostility and never achieve peace.

Isaiah 48:22/ 57:21—There is no peace for the wicked.

If there is no peace for wicked people, aka the world—

This means that the closest thing that the world can experience to peace is a truce.

A truce is not peace.

A truce is a temporary respite from fighting.

A truce sacrifices peace.

A truce says that you lay down your guns for a moment, giving everybody enough time to reload.

Scripture provides two primary reasons that the world will never experience peace:

  1. The opposition of Satan
  2. The disobedience of mankind.

Jesus tells us Satan’s mission statement in John 10:10—to steal, kill and destroy.

Both the OT and NT tell us about the disobedience of mankind.—

(Psalm 14/53, Romans 3:12)—There is no one who does what is good, 

not even one., 

So if no human being is good and therefore cannot bring peace to the world in which he lives, what’s the solution?

The solution comes from outside of us.

Here’s the fascinating thing—the solution was provided by God moments after Adam and Eve sinned.

Genesis 3:15— I (God the Father) will put hostility between you (Satan) and the woman, 

and between your offspring and her offspring. 

He will strike your head, 

and you will strike his heel. 

Who’s the He in this verse?

Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity.

Genesis 3:15 is known as the Protevangelium.

It’s a Latin term which means the first Gospel.

How do we know that Genesis 3:15 is talking about Jesus?

The prophet Isaiah reveals…

Isaiah 9:6—For a child will be born for us, 

a son will be given to us, 

and the government will be on his shoulders. 

He will be named 

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, 

Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

In other words, the world will never know peace—because they don’t know Jesus.

They can talk about peace, but what they’re really discussing is a truce to the hate they have in their hearts toward God and one another.

Men are without peace because they are without God, who is the source of peace.

So when Jesus says,

Matthew 5:9—Blessed are the peacemakers, 

Jesus is speaking much more about the absence of conflict.

A Biblical definition of peace is not the absence of something— but rather the presence of something.


Peace is the presence of righteousness.

And the reason Jesus is the Prince of Peace is that He ushers righteousness and holiness into a dark, broken, and sinful world.

Only righteousness can produce the peace that brings two parties together.

Sinful men cannot create peace.

Because sin in their hearts produces nothing but conflict.

Sinful men are not pure in heart—they are deceived about their self-righteousness.

So the best that the world can do is either call a truce where you either separate the parties or establish a compromise at some level.

A truce is a form of peacekeeping—it is not peacemaking.

A truce is always broken. Why?

Because although you may separate the parties from one another, you are not separating them from their sin.

And there’s the key to being a peacemaker—addressing sin.


A peacemaker addresses sin.

A peacemaker cannot sidestep sin because sin is the source of every conflict.

And Jesus, as the Prince of Peace, never bypassed the issue of sin.

When Jesus said,

Matthew 10:34—Don’t assume that I came to bring peace on the Earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

Jesus came to bring peace—but not at any price.

In other words, there will be opposition before there is harmony.

There will be conflict before there is peace.

To be peacemakers on God’s terms requires righteousness—right thinking that leads to a right doing—which the world despises.

Did Jesus ever keep his mouth shut for the sake of false unity and peace?

No. Jesus confronted sin at every level.

So although Jesus was the Prince of Peace, He knew He first had to be a disrupter to the illusion of peace.

Everywhere Jesus went, He disrupted the normalcy of life—so much so they murdered Him for it.

The apostles in the book of Acts did the same thing.

All through Acts, Paul was causing riots.

Yet, in nearly every epistle Paul wrote, he opens the letter with “Grace to you and peace….”

So what was wrong, Paul? Why was he causing riots but writing about peace?

This is the heavenly dichotomy that we face with the Beatitudes.

The truth is a hard pill to swallow—and the truth is this:


The person unwilling to address sin cannot be a peacemaker. 

And yet, Scripture tells us that God is not a God of disorder but of peace. (1 Cor 14:33).

One of the primary reasons that so many critics of the Bible believe there are contradictions in the Bible is because they read it in the first person.

They insert themselves into the narrative—and the Bible is not about them.

It’s about Jesus, who has a heavenly zip code—He’s not from here.

His ways and thoughts are higher than ours. (Isaiah 55:9)

That’s why the cross is the most significant peacemaking symbol there is.

The cross of Christ is ironic, violent, and blood-stained, yet, Jesus embraced all of it for peace and reconciliation.

It’s through the cross of Jesus Christ that we are reconciled back to a Holy God.

The apostle Paul writes…

Colossians 1:19— For God was pleased to have 

all his fullness dwell in him (Jesus), 

Colossians 1:20— and through him to reconcile 

everything to himself, 

whether things on Earth or things in heaven, 

by making peace (Jesus made peace, how)

through his blood, shed on the cross., 

Dear friends, the most crucial type of peace you will ever experience is peace with God.

And that’s what the Gospel is all about.

Matthew 5:9—Blessed are the peacemakers, 

for they will be called sons of God. 

They (autos) are—a specific group of people.

Called means ‘owned.’

A more literal translation reads:

‘Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be “owned” as the children of God.’

Jesus chooses a particular word in Greek for “sons.”

He had two options to choose from:

1. Teknon (child) is a term for tender affection and endearment.

But that’s not the word Jesus uses.

2. He uses huios (hee-yos). / Sons.

Huios expresses a dignified and honorable son to the parents.

As God’s peacemakers, we are promised the blessing of eternal sonship.

We are dignified and distinguished as sons of God—we are not like the world.

And that brings us full circle with this Beatitude.

Matthew 5:9—Blessed are the peacemakers, 

for they will be called sons of God.

Why are peacemakers blessed?

Because peacemakers don’t look and act like the world.

They look and act like their Heavenly Father.

Peacemakers reflect the purity of God’s heart and care about the sin that drives people apart.

They also care about the sin that prevents people from having a saving relationship with Jesus.

It’s a primary reason we teach the Bible verse by verse—so that you can share Jesus day by day.

We are equipping you to be so loving, gracious and bold with the truth so that you can be a peacemaker.


There are many applications to this Beatitude today.

I want to end today by focusing on some of the most obvious.

To experience true peace in your own life means that first must be born again.

We see God in His fullness with how He provides peace.

The Father is the source, Jesus as the Son is the sign/display/manifestation/model, then the Holy Spirit is the agent of that peace in our lives.

So the first priority in experiencing peace is to be born again:

Confess your sins to God, turn from those sins and believe that Jesus is God because He was raised from the dead.

Secondly, peace is never found in circumstances.

This is one reason I encourage you to turn off the world through news, entertainment, and social media.

Those mediums are based on circumstances.

The state of affairs will not bring peace to your life.

It will only escalate your fear.

And that’s one of the many reasons we don’t do newspaper exegesis—if we preached topically, we would never get to the Gospel!

Are you really surprised that there are wars and more rumors of wars today?

If you are a born-again Believer, you shouldn’t be.

As a Believer, the news should confirm the biblical teaching you’re getting here today.

Why is it a confirmation? Because we’re a group of people who believe in the Book.

And the Book tells us about the holiness of God and the depravity of sin.

The Book tells us how the whole things ends—our peace comes from the Book.

It’s why Bible is our middle name!

Lastly, we all have someone in our life that we are not at peace with.

Let me give you one last verse to chew on before we leave.

Romans 12:18—If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

When it comes to that person that your thinking of, have you done your part to be a peacemaker?

Once again, this is not about a truce or compromise—that’s keeping the peace.

Most of the time, peacemaking takes time—a lot of time.

Jesus has been reconciling the world back to him now for 2,000 years.

So if you’re in an uncomfortable peacemaking situation, start small and walk slowly.

As it depends on you, pray—and find some point of agreement.

And then allow everybody to chew on that and continue walking slowly in the mess.

This Beatitude leads us into the last one for next Sunday.

If we are confronting sin, we are going to have problems.

Nobody wants their sin confronted.

Next week, God willing, we’ll study the last Beatitude which deals with the reality of being a peacemaker.




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Tommy Nelson, Denton Bible Church. Matthew 5:1-12

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