The Good Life – Session 7October 21, 2020
In your browser: bit.ly/crossfirenotes
HAPPY ARE THE PEACEMAKERS
The good life, a life of happiness, is loving , , and all of .
As your group time begins, use this section to introduce the topic of discussion.
Who is someone you think of when you hear the word “peacemaker”? Explain.
Would you say that you seek to be a peacemaker? Why or why not?
Share a time when you reconciled with someone after an argument. How did it make you feel to be at peace with that person again?
Last week we talked about our before God, which comes after God reconciled us to Himself through Jesus. The gospel has granted us with God, and part of living the good life means we extend that to others. In this session, Pastor Derwin speaks about the happiness that comes from being reconciled with other .
READ MATTHEW 5:9.
Reread Matthew 5:7-8. How are these three Beatitudes related?
Pursuing peace (Matt. 5:9) is intertwined with hungering and thirsting for righteousness and being merciful (Matt. 5:7-8). Becoming a peacemaker requires that God has first brought us into peace with Him through the forgiveness that comes by grace through faith in Jesus. Then, out of the overflow of the Holy Spirit’s power, God enables us to live righteously and mercifully in response to the gospel.
Notice that Jesus said happy are the peacemakers, not happy are the peaceful. What’s the difference between those two things?
Peace isn’t passive. Being peaceful is a fleeting state of mind. Peacemaking is an active, God-given pursuit. It’s the intentional act of God in Christ reconciling us to Himself through the cross and enabling us to extend peace to others. Making peace is hard, happy gospel work.
Does it surprise you to hear that peacemaking is “work”? Why must peace be actively sought instead of passively assumed?
The Beatitudes are a manifesto of hope that enable humanity to reimagine how beautiful and lifegiving we could be under the rule and reign of King Jesus. What, then, does a lack of peace in one’s relationships indicate?
Becoming peacemakers flows out of the Holy Spirit empowering us to live righteously and mercifully. How does this challenge your definition of being a peacemaker?
What did Jesus do to make peace between you and His Father?
How does the peace Jesus gives you empower you to be a peacemaker?
The more we soak in God’s peace through Christ, the more forgiving, merciful, kind, and compassionate we’ll become, because He’ll soften our hard hearts with His grace. His love draws us deeper into His heart, and we start resembling Him as we follow Him by faith. Thus, the God of peace will express His peace through us.
Being transformed into the image of Jesus isn’t automatic. Just as we entered God’s kingdom through faith, we also grow as God’s children by faith. It’s often slower and more painful than we would like, but by God’s grace, we cooperate with Him in the process of becoming more like Jesus.
As children of God, peace is part of who we are in Christ. In what area of life do you need to embrace this part of your identity?
When you consider your interactions online, are you a peacemaker? How might you pursue peace in your virtual life?
What does it look like for you to pursue peace across racial and ethnic boundaries? Why is this necessary?
The early church was able to transform the Roman world because the resurrected Messiah brought different ethnic groups and classes of people together in unity. The good life, a life of happiness, is loving God, ourselves, and all of humanity.
Help your group identify how the truths from the Scripture passage apply directly to their lives.
What keeps you from experiencing peace and making peace with others?
Is there anyone against whom you’re holding a grudge and withholding peace? How might letting that go lead to a greater sense of happiness?
Read Ephesians 2:14-16. Do you live as though there is still “a dividing wall of hostility”? What does it look like to embrace the broken wall?
Holy Spirit, help us to be people of peace in a world that needs the peace You secured with Your blood on the cross.
Peace is, first and foundationally, internal and spiritual. It is not primarily physical, military, or political. Peace for the nations flows from peace in the hearts of individuals. Peacemakers are not power brokers but people lovers. The ministry of peacemaking involves resolving conflict by making prompt apologies and acts of restitution, refusing to seek revenge, and humbly serving and loving one’s enemies (5:21-26,38-41,43-48). The promise that peacemakers… will be called sons of God probably means that Jesus’ authentic disciples emulate God by undertaking the ministry of reconciliation. Thus at the final judgment they shall be accepted as the sons (and daughters) of God. The promised kingdom is characterized by peace, as described in Isaiah 9:6-7; 66:12-13; Micah 4:3.