Blessed Are the Peacemakers


I’ve recommended Studies in the Sermon on the Mount by Martyn Lloyd-Jones here, here, and here. As I read through again I’m reminded of the wonderful edifying benefits of Lloyd-Jones’ work. If you have not read this commentary, once again, I highly recommend. Below are some highlights from the chapter Blessed Are the Peacemakers. The entire chapter is a gentle reproof that peace and contentment are not found in self. Peace and contentment are not found in surrounding ourselves with others who only serve to affirm our feelings. Our hearts are deceitful and as a result our feelings can be irrelevant to truth (Jeremiah 17:9). Peace and contentment can’t be manufactured or created by the world and/or it’s foolish philosophies (Romans 3:16-18, Colossians 2:8) . Peace and contentment are gifts (John 14:27). Gifts, like faith and repentance (Ephesians 2:8, Acts 11:18), that are only given by God Himself. As we are conformed into the image of Christ and our minds are renewed (Romans 12:2) we are led to deny ourselves (Matthew 16:24). As we continue to pray for Him to graciously create in us a new heart (Psalm 51:10), providentially increase our faith (Romans 12:3), and mercifully allow us to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18), our desires will begin to harmonize with His. Our desires will not be occupied with self but rather we’ll be satisfied in loving God (1 John 4:19) and serving others (1 Peter 4:10).

The peacemaker is one who is not always looking at everything in terms of the effect it has upon himself. Now is not that the whole trouble with us by nature? We look at everything as it effects us. “What is the reaction upon me? What is this going to mean to me?” And the moment we think like that there is of necessity war, because everybody else is doing the same thing (pg. 105).

We must say about the peacemaker is that he has an entirely new view of himself, a new view which really amounts to this. He has seen himself and has come to see that in a sense this miserable, wretched self is not worth bothering about at all. It is so wretched; it has no rights or privileges; it does not deserve anything. If you have seen yourself as poor in spirit, if you have mourned because of the blackness of your heart, if you have truly seen yourself and have hungered and thirsted after righteousness, you will not stand any longer on your rights and privileges, you will not be asking, “What about me in this?” You will have forgotten this self (pg. 105).

The peacemaker has only one concern, and it is the glory of God amongst men. That was the Lord Jesus Christ’s only concern. His one interest in life was not Himself (pg. 106).

I often remind my family during devotions that the Word became flesh, allowed Himself to be judged by a people who had no right, in order to redeem a people He didn’t even need to create. This is a love that has no interest in self. And it’s in this finished work where true peace and contentment are to be found.

 

 

WCF CHAPTER 15: OF REPENTANCE UNTO LIFE


CHAPTER 15
Of Repentance unto Life

1. Repentance unto life is an evangelical grace, the doctrine whereof is to be preached by every minister of the gospel, as well as that of faith in Christ.

2. By it, a sinner, out of the sight and sense not only of the danger, but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins, as contrary to the holy nature, and righteous law of God; and upon the apprehension of his mercy in Christ to such as are penitent, so grieves for, and hates his sins, as to turn from them all unto God, purposing and endeavoring to walk with him in all the ways of his commandments.

3. Although repentance be not to be rested in, as any satisfaction for sin, or any cause of the pardon thereof, which is the act of God’s free grace in Christ; yet it is of such necessity to all sinners, that none may expect pardon without it.

4. As there is no sin so small, but it deserves damnation; so there is no sin so great, that it can bring damnation upon those who truly repent.

5. Men ought not to content themselves with a general repentance, but it is every man’s duty to endeavor to repent of his particular sins, particularly.

6. As every man is bound to make private confession of his sins to God, praying for the pardon thereof; upon which, and the forsaking of them, he shall find mercy; so, he that scandalizeth his brother, or the church of Christ, ought to be willing, by a private or public confession, and sorrow for his sin, to declare his repentance to those that are offended, who are thereupon to be reconciled to him, and in love to receive him.

BAPTISM RESOURCES


“So long as it remains true that Paul represents the Church of the Living God to be one, founded on one covenant (which the law could not set aside) from Abraham to to-day, so long it remains true that the promise is to us and our children and that the members of the visible Church consist of believers and their children — all of whom have a right to all the ordinances of the visible Church, each in its appointed season. The argument in a nutshell is simply this: God established His Church in the days of Abraham and put children into it. They must remain there until He puts them out. He has nowhere put them out. They are still then members of His Church and as such entitled to its ordinances. Among these ordinances is baptism, which standing in similar place in the New Dispensation to circumcision in the Old, is like it to be given to children.” BB Warfield

After spending many hours over the years reading, studying, and praying on the subject of baptism, I finally made the decision to pull my family from our Baptist church and join the OPC. I could no longer withhold the waters from our children. From the very beginning children of believers have been members of God’s visible church and at no point has He revoked their membership. Instead, He reaffirms. Continuation is evident throughout the New Testament and disregarding (or explaining away) the obvious was no longer an option.

While I believe Covenant Household Baptism (paedobaptist, oikobaptist) to be the correct biblical understanding of the sacrament, below is a list of 3 resources (defending both sides) that I found extremely helpful while studying the subject.

Credo-baptist Position

Baptism of Disciples Alone, Fred Malone

Believer’s Baptism: Sign of the New Covenant in Christ, Thomas R. Schreiner, Shawn Wright

The 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith

Paedo-baptist Position

The Church of Christ, James Bannerman

William: The Baptist, James M Chaney

Westminster Confession of Faith

The Church has always included infants among its members, the proof, after what has already been said, need not demand a lengthened illustration. If the Church of God, made up of His professing people, be one and the same society at all times, and under all its different dispensations, then the proof that infants were members of it at one period must be a proof that they are competent to be members of it at any subsequent period; unless, indeed, some express and positive enactment can be produced, altering the charter of the society, and excluding, as incompetent to be admitted by the new and altered terms of the deed, those formerly comprehended within it. If no such proof of alteration in the charter or constitution of the society can be produced,—if the society itself remains the same in character and terms of admission as before,—then the proof that infants were once its members may suffice for proof that they are still competent to be so. James Bannerman