We can’t talk about peace, especially as something we are to ‘do’ (Matt. 5.9) without talking about relationships and interactions with other people. Peace is not only an important part of who the Church is (those whom God has brought together, the new humanity in Christ) but what we’re called to pursue in our interactions with people outside of the faith. In Romans 12, Paul begins to apply the Gospel (what God has done for us in Christ) to our everyday lives. One of the implications of the Gospel is that we are to seek peace in our relationships with others.
In this message, we find three characteristics of peacemakers. First, peacemakers do the unexpected. While the default expectation of the world when someone is wronged is for that person to seek revenge or to reciprocate wrong for wrong, we are instructed to do the opposite. In so doing, we break the pattern of escalation and retaliation that is so common in our world, leaving room for reconciliation and peace. Second, peacemakers know their place. That is, we recognize that God is the one who is responsible for enacting ultimate justice, not us. In our refraining from responding to evil with evil, we “leave room” for God to do His work. Finally, peacemakers know the secret to victory. Victory is not defeating our adversaries at a game of escalating conflict but, rather, not ourselves being overcome by evil while also overcoming evil with good.