RCCG Sunday School Teacher’s Manual 31 October 2021 Lesson 9 – Beatitudes.
TOPIC — Beatitudes: The Peacemakers And The Persecuted
OPENING PRAYER: Father, teach me how to be a peacemaker and endure persecution.
MEMORY VERSE: “But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;” – 1 Peter 3:14
BIBLE PASSAGE: Matthew 5:9-10 (KJV)
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:9-10 are parts of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in which He says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’s sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. This lesson attempts to explain who the peacemakers and the persecuted are, as well as why Jesus pronounced these peculiar blessings on them?
TEXT REVIEW: Matthew 5:9-10.
The Lord Jesus Christ stated clearly in these verses the promises of God for peacemakers and those for persecuted being righteousness’s sake as follows:
A. Blessed are…………. V9a.
B. Blessed are…………. V10a.
LESSON OUTLINE 1: BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matt.5:9).
Question 1: Who are peacemakers? ‘Peacemakers’ are:
Answer: i. Generally, those who strive to prevent contention, strife, and war; those who use their influence to reconcile opposing parties, prevent lawsuits and hostilities, 8n families and neighbourhoods.
ii. In the context of the relationship between God and man, those who witness for Christ, share their faith with their friends, and serve others in the name of Christ are the ambassadors for peace (2 Cor.5:18,20).
iii. Those who bring the wonderful message of God’s peace to the world are “peacemakers” (Eph.6:15).
iv. Furthermore, the term includes all who make peace between men, whether as individuals or as communities. Those who worthily endeavour to make peace, even they did not succeed at it are also peacemakers.
Question 1: What blessings are there for peacemakers?
Answer: i. Jesus calls peacemakers the “children of God”
i. Peacemakers shall be called God’s children because:
a. He is the God of peace (Rom.15:33; 16:20; 2 Cor.13:11);
b. God’s supreme purpose is to secure peace (LK.2:14)
c. God gave His only begotten Son (Jesus) to be born into this world as the Prince of Peace (Isa 9:6; Eph.2:14).
d. The Spirit of God is the Spirit of peace. It is by His Spirit that we are made His children.
ii. If we are not peacemakers, we do not have the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 6:14).
CLASS ACTIVITY 1: Class should discuss why some believers prefer to hide their heads when they should resolve conflicts/issues.
LESSON OUTLINE 2: BLESSED ARE THE PERSECUTED
“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt.5:10).
Question 1: What does it mean to be persecuted for righteousness’ sake?
Answer: i. To persecute, means literally to pursue, follow after, as one pursues a fleeing enemy. Here it means to vex, or oppress one, on account of his faith.
ii. Persecution is never pleasant but involves suffering and often severe pain (Rom. 8:18; 2 Cor.4:9).
iii. Some people suffer for doing evil, but that is punishment, not persecution.
iv. Some are persecuted for reasons unrelated to righteousness. But Jesus was not offering a general blessing to all victims of persecution for any cause. He offered it only to those who were persecuted for actively pursuing the kingdom of righteousness and because of their faith in Jesus Christ (Matt.5:11; 1 Pet.2:20).
v. Christians are not expected to seek or provoke persecution. However, we are to consider it a blessing, if in the honest effort to live righteously, others persecute us (2 Tim.3:12).
Question 2: What are the prescribed blessings for those being persecuted for righteousness’ sake?
Answer: It is all evidence that we are the children of God, and that he will defend us (2 Cor.4:9).
Question 3: What are the antidotes for persecution?
Answer: i. Endurance: To endure persecution for the sake of righteousness requires un-compromising faithfulness to God despite every threat and pressure (Rom.8:35-39).
ii. Joy: Rather than feeling discouraged, dismayed, enraged, or depressed, believers who find themselves persecuted for openly living for Christ and His kingdom have good reason to rejolce and be glad for their reward in heaven is great (Matt.5:11-12; Acts 6:8-15).
iii. Eternity with Christ: They have evidence that they are Christians and are candidates of heaven (Acts 7:55-59).
CLASS ACTIVITY 2: Class should site instances when they played the role of
The peacemakers shall be called God’s sons while those persecuted for righteousness shall have a great reward in heaven.
The peacemakers and those that endure persecutions for Christ’s sake are God’s blessed children.
Students should mention some blessings available in the scripture for the Persecuted’.
Father, help me to be a peacemaker and give me the strength to endure any form of persecution that comes my way.
State five (5) distinctions between punishment and persecution.1