“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” - Matthew 5:9
Wait a second, aren’t we already the sons of God by faith alone and grace alone and not as a result of works? How can a “work” such as peacemaking secure our place in the family when Christ has already done so?
Let’s think about this a bit. Have you ever heard someone say of someone else that they are a “chip off the old block” or that “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” in reference to their resemblance to a parent? Of Peter and John it was said that the people “recognized they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13). We become the children of God through adoption into his kingdom:
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. -Galatians 4:4-7
And because we are his sons and heirs we have his spirit, the spirit of peacemakers, in our hearts!
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. - Romans 8:14
So we do not earn sonship through obedience in peacemaking, we demonstrate our sonship by imitating our Father, by doing what we see Him doing.
We do not earn sonship through obedience in peacemaking
What do we see the Father doing as a peacemaker? What is it that we are to imitate so that we can reflect his image to others?
Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men)—remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Ephesians 2:11-18
Christ destroyed barriers of hostility for those without hope and brought those excluded from Christ closer to him with his own blood. He brokered the greatest peace of all through the sacrifice of his own life. He did not reconcile truth with a lie, he did not silence hostilities, gloss over them, or ignore them. In all things and in all ways he pointed to the truth, to the father, and to the only possible reconciliation, his own blood poured out for the undeserving. Just so, we must pour out our own lives for others, pointing always to Christ, to truth. He has already destroyed any true barrier between him and those who he would make his own, we must imitate him by tearing down any lofty ideas raised up as a barrier between him and his people, between him and those he calls to be his people.
When we make a way to him, we make a way between all of those who belong to him, to pursue him in unity, sharpening one another, always from love and always with grace.