The Peacemakers Part 4: The Pursuit of Peace

Preached on April 21, 2024

The pursuit of peace is a generational call that must be answered by every generation. Pastor McCrary calls out to Millennials, Gen X, and Gen Z to answer the call to fight for harmony in this week’s sermon. Join him as the series “The Peacemakers” continue in this week’s sermon about standing with and for your neighbor.


As peacemakers, we are to be lamps in this world of darkness rather than adding to the darkness.  In Romans 12:9-21, Paul wrote about love and togetherness.  Why did Paul write about love and togetherness?  Well, the role of God’s children as peacemakers is to pursue peace, right?  Peace is rest from unrest and confusion.  Peace is love and togetherness.

Love and togetherness, I would say, is much needed in our world today.  So, in my key verse for today, Paul puts the pursuit of peace at the feet of believers.  It takes two to come together in peace, right?  So, Paul tells us, “as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” 

18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.  


The Generational Call

In today’s sermon, we will take a look at the pursuit of peace.  The pursuit of peace is not one that is easy.  Generation after generation have had their share of peacemakers.  Yet, I observe a world today where true peacemakers are a dying breed.  I observe a world today where it seems that many either don’t care to pursue peace or they have given up on the thought of peace.

Frankly, I’m looking to my generation as we are now of the age where we should be taking charge.  I’m looking to Gen X as you too should be taking charge in the pursuit of peace.  Why are we standing by as wicked men corrupt this world?  The pursuit of peace is a generational call, but for the most part, our generations are barely going to the phone.  I tell you today that we cannot give up on true peace; we must put forth the effort to fulfill our high calling.

The Old Command to Love

To live peaceably with all men, Paul calls on believers to love and to do so without hypocrisy (Rom. 12:9).  In other words, our love should be honest and true— sincere.

Love is the oldest of commands.  In the Ten Commandments, the children of Israel were commanded to love their neighbor.  The children of Israel were not supposed to murder, commit adultery, steal, covet, nor bear false witness against their neighbor (Ex. 20:13-17).  Honestly, when you think about it, it’s a real shame that they had to be commanded to love their neighbor.

In the gospels, we see that Jesus had to reiterate the same command.  Jesus spoke of the importance of loving the Lord and loving your neighbor as well.  John wrote, “I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning.  Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you (1 John 2:7-8).”  The command to love is the same before the cross, to those in the Old Testament, and after the cross, for those living in the church age.

Now, something we should understand when it comes to the old command to love others is that love doesn’t sit still.  In 1 John 3:18, John wrote, “let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”  Love is more than just saying (professing) you love someone!  

Paul said that we should give preference to one another (Rom. 12:10).  What this means is that you should put others before yourself just as they should put you before themselves.  We should be committed to each other!  We should be standing by each other’s side helping each other!  So, again, the question has to be asked:  are we doing right by each other? 

Love in Action

After last week’s message, we know what we should be doing.  In Psalm 82:3-4, the psalmist said to “defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy.  Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked.”  

Paul agreed with this notion as he wrote that one should distribute to the needs of others (Rom. 12:13).  Paul followed up by saying we should “rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep (Rom. 12:15).”  In Galatians 6:2, Paul said that we should carry each other’s burdens and in doing so, we fulfill the law of Christ.  

Become an advocate of others

So, scripture once again forces us to take a look at the actions of Christ in order to imitate Him.  Did Jesus defend the poor and the fatherless?  Did Jesus do right by those who were afflicted and in need?  Did Jesus free those held in the hand of the wicked?  Did He rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who wept?

Jesus sat at the table with sinners!  When Martha and Mary lost their brother, He wept!  As we saw in this week’s Sunday School, when they brought the poor and disabled to Jesus, He healed them.  Ultimately, in the pursuit of peace, Jesus gave His life so that we can be freed from the bondage of sin.  This is love in action and simply love in words. 

Jesus was with and for us yesterday and He is still with and for us today!  As John wrote we have an Advocate in Christ who is sitting at the right hand of His Father (1 John 2:1).  So, if He loves us and is our advocate, what should we be for each other?  The psalmist and Paul have shown us that we must become an advocate of each other.

What is an advocate?  Advocate:  one who defends or maintains a cause or proposal; one who supports or promotes the interests of a cause or group; one who pleads the cause of another.

Jesus is our advocate who pleads our case to the Father when we falter or when we need help.  Someone may wonder, if Jesus is our advocate, then why do I need to become an advocate?  As I said last week, the petty squabbles we have over opinions aren’t of much concern to God unless they bring harm to the soul.  Christ is our spiritual advocate— our great Intercessor.

The Pursuit of Peace is Difficult 

 We must remember that God desires for mankind to be fruitful and multiply— to flourish.  Have we been fruitful and multiplied?  There are certainly many bodies in the world.  We also have our technical advancements, don’t we?  But what about justice?  What are our advancements in doing what’s right for each other and living in love and harmony? 

Today, I observe a divided world that reminds me of Isaiah 59:4.  In his day, the prophet saw that no one called for justice, nor did any plead for the truth.  He saw a people that trusted in “empty words” and spoke lies.  The prophet saw a people that conceived evil and brought forth iniquity.  He said, “they hatch vipers’ eggs and weave the spider’s web (Is. 59:5).”

I have observed that while the pursuit of peace, the seeking of true justice, is sought by some, it’s often frowned up.  Just a few years ago, I remember how protesters were seen as a nuisance for clogging streets.  I can even remember one crazed man plowing through a crowd of people and killing a protester.  Even today, those who seek to hold wrongdoers accountable are accused of being evil by the wrongdoer.  

To me, the world is still filled with poisonous vipers!  The wicked are everywhere and they seek to sink their fangs and venom into those that stand against them.  We live in a world where the wicked spin up their webs to snare, entrap, and devour those caught up in it.  So, we certainly need more to call for justice and to plead for truth— to advocate for peace.

Though we know we ought to be advocates for what’s right, many believers are slow to move for what is just.  Why is that?  Why are some believers slow to do what’s right?

Don’t know how to help

Some are slow to help because they don’t necessarily know how to help.  A lot of times our first instinct is to take action right away but if we can’t see the action to take, some of us will freeze.  Well, in such a scenario, the best way an advocate can help is to listen.  Let me tell you something, you can never go wrong by listening!  

As James wrote, we should be swift to hear and slow to speak (Jas. 1:19).  We can’t do what’s right by someone if we don’t take time to understand their plight.  Too often, many people choose not to care about what someone may be going through.  Even worse are those that think they know what’s best for someone without ever listening to them!

In order to pursue peace, Paul wrote that you can’t be proud nor conceited (Rom. 12:16).  This is a major problem we face today:  proud men trying to force their ideals onto others.  The only thing that has come from the way of proud men has been anger and discontent.  Rather than working in harmony, they have chosen to work apart. 

Peacemakers, advocates, we must learn to be guided by the Spirit and walk in the Spirit.  As Paul said, when we are guided by the Spirit, we are able to produce its fruits.  So, rather than discontent, we are able to produce love, joy, and goodness (Gal. 5:22-26).  From the fruits of love, joy, and goodness we can all flourish!

Fearful to cause trouble

A few weeks ago, I said that the Jesus I know turned over tables in the sight of wrongdoing.  Some are slow to help in the pursuit of peace because they’re afraid to turn over tables.  Why are we afraid to turn over tables?  Some have a fear of causing trouble.  Well if those that do wrong aren’t fearful of causing trouble, why should you?

Some are fearful of getting in trouble in defending others and helping them in their affliction.  This fear and trepidation is why so many choose not to even say a word in the sight of wickedness.   Silence, inaction, in the sight of wrong shows complicity and solidarity.  Leviticus 5:1 even tells us that your mere silence in the sight of sin is a sin.

Who are you going to be in trouble with?  Peter asked, “who will harm you if you become followers of what is good (1 Pet. 3:13-14)?”  Peter then said, “even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed.”  I’m more afraid of being in trouble with God for inaction than being afraid of man!  No matter what one tries to throw our way, we cannot be afraid to stand against all wrong and advocate for justice!

Blinded by darkness

Some are slow in their pursuit of peace because they are in the dark and are walking without the light.  Though Paul warns against it, again, there are many proud believers who are wise in their own opinions.  

In 1 John 2:3-11, John speaks about those who profess to know God and be in fellowship but don’t live in obedience.  John wrote, “He who says he abides in Him (God) ought himself also to walk just as He walked (1 John 2:6).”  Again, we are to be imitators of the Lord.  Therefore, John wrote, “He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now … darkness has blinded his eyes (1 John 2:9-10).”

Now, let’s be very clear about this, the mention of “brother” by John is speaking of your neighbor.  Let us remember that Paul said we ought to be affectionate to one another with “brotherly love” (Rom. 12:10).  When one adopts the principles that James described as “sensual, earthly, and demonic”, they will always be slow in the pursuit of peace (Jas. 3:15).  The reason why is because those demonic principles are of bitter envy and self-seeking— two bitter poisons that’s covering the world in darkness.

Can fruit grow in darkness?  Absolutely not.  All plants need light in order to grow and bear fruit.  Without light, plants will die and bear nothing.  Many, believing they are doing what’s good, fail to see the hurt and harm they are doing.  Why?  Because they are blind in darkness.  Again, James wrote, “where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there (Jas. 3:16).”

Time to Sow Peace

I observe that we live in an hour that John spoke of in 1 John 2:18.  John wrote, “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come.”  So that there is no confusion about this, John wrote that those who deny the Father and the Son are of the spirit of antichrist (1 John 2:22).  To be more clear, denial can come in both word and in deed!

Those of such a wicked spirit take advantage of the helpless rather than defend them.  Those of such an evil spirit will make light of the injustice one suffers rather than stand with them and fight for what’s just!  So, rather than delivering the oppression of the wicked, the corrupt and bitter soul will support the oppressor.  We live in a world where the wicked rejoice in all of the suffering!

What will you do about the work and the rejoicing of the unjust?  May I encourage you to take a stand against them?  Someone is being trampled on by these people of great wickedness and we need to be there to help them to their feet!  We must be advocates for justice in this world today!  We must sow for peace in this field!

Again, I say to my generation, Gen X, and even Gen Z, we must set the tone today and send a message that we don’t stand with darkness.  We must set the tone today that we are going to be lights in this darkness!  The only way we can overcome evil is with good, so let us do just that – fight the good fight (Rom. 12:21)!  Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy.  Deliver the poor and free them from the hand of the wicked.

Thank You For Visiting New Found Faith

Sign up to our newsletter today so that you can stay up to date with New Found Faith