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.



My Thought’s on Lent

Ash Wednesday and Lent are becoming more popular within the church these days. Whether it’s the cool thing to do, another attempt of the church trying to be “relevant”, or a lack of understanding church history – I’m not exactly clear. I am clear, however, that these are two made up observances that need not bind the conscience of those who belong to Christ. There are two sacraments given to the church by Christ, baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Anything other than these two sacraments is an unnecessary burden on the believer and should not be instituted by any leader within the church.

The light of nature showeth that there is a God, who hath lordship and sovereignty over all, is good, and doth good unto all, and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the might. But the acceptable way of worshiping the true God is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshiped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scripture. WCF 21.1

Now, above are my thought’s on the church’s observance of Lent. If a believer wants to observe during his/her time away from the corporate gathering of the saints, I really don’t have an opinion other than to say – be careful. Sanctification is not a part-time gig. Those who are in Christ die to sin daily, not seasonally. Besides, boasting about one’s attempt at “religious resolutions” is not exactly edifying for you or for those whom you are a witness.

I encourage those in Christ to rejoice in the two sacraments (ordinances for those of a baptist tradition) instituted by Christ and not entertain the ridiculous thought of extra credit. May we rejoice in knowing we are justified not by works – but by faith. May we rejoice in knowing the Lord will sanctify us daily to better serve Him.

1. They, who are once effectually called, and regenerated, having a new heart, and a new spirit created in them, are further sanctified, really and personally, through the virtue of Christ’s death and resurrection, by his Word and Spirit dwelling in them: the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified; and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces, to the practice of true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.

2. This sanctification is throughout, in the whole man; yet imperfect in this life, there abiding still some remnants of corruption in every part; whence ariseth a continual and irreconcilable war, the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.

3. In which war, although the remaining corruption, for a time, may much prevail; yet, through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, the regenerate part doth overcome; and so, the saints grow in grace, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. WCF 13