Every Thought Captive

Blessed are the Peacemakers

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Matthew 5:9

This past Sunday we celebrated the Ascension of the Lord. Jesus Christ’s bodily ascension into heaven culminated His saving work, yet often we treat it as an afterthought, as the less-important epilogue to the more-important story of the crucifixion and resurrection. It’s the part of Luke’s Gospel that we read only every now and then if we make it all the way through the rest of it.

Christ’s ascension is essential to our salvation. Jesus ascended into heaven to take His seat at the right hand of God as ruler of the earth, and to send us the gift of His Spirit. Hear the words of Jesus Himself, from the night of the Last Supper: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid…if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you…When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth” (John 14:27, 16:7, 16:13). Through Jesus’s ascension into heaven He sent us the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit applies to us the redemption purchased by Christ, by working faith in us, and uniting us to Christ. If Christ had not ascended into heaven, the Holy Spirit would not have come to us.

In Romans, Paul wrote that “all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God…you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him” (Romans 8:14-17). The Lord, by His ascension into heaven, opened heaven to us, so that we are now children of God.

Paul also connects Jesus’s ascension to our life in union with Him, and what the fruits of that union ought to be. He writes to the Ephesians that he prays “…that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His great might that He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things under His feet and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Eph. 1:18-23). Also to the Colossians: “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Col. 3:1-2).

If Jesus ascended into heaven to establish His reign over His Kingdom, and to unite us to Him through His Spirit, then in the Beatitudes He tell us how to live as sons of God in that Kingdom. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God…blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Jesus Himself is our peace, who has made us one with Him and reconciled us to God. Through Him we have access in one Spirit to the Father (Eph. 2:14-18). The peace that we are called to make is the peace of Christ’s Kingdom, through living out a life in union with Christ, and being filled with the fruits of the Spirit. There is no peace outside of union with Christ through His Spirit, and the peace that is to rule in our hearts is the fruit of His Spirit. Jesus Christ, the risen and ascended Lord, is our Prince of Peace. We are united to Him, and He calls us to spread the peace of His Kingdom. Praise be to God for His indescribable gift!

About the Author

Photograph of Nathan Davy

Nathan Davy

Associate Director of Music and Organist

Nathan Davy is the Associate Director of Music and Organist at Park Cities Presbyterian Church. He is married to Laura Davy, and they have five children. When not making music he enjoys running, reading, gardening, and playing chess.