What is wrong with this word, "Radical." It used today to describe those who are extremely dedicated to something. There are radical Muslims. They are those who take the teachings of the Koran and carry them out to the fullest. We are shocked to think that someone would follow a book and religion so fully. If someone were a radical Jew, he or she would be similar in his or her dealings. In following the Law, they would also put an adulterer to death if caught. So why do we, as Christians, shy away from being radical believers? Why don't we become so dedicated that we become scorned for our devotion to the Lord and His word? Culture has a way of dimming the lights without you being aware of it. Cultural shifts take time until they have enough momentum to surge.
What would it look like if you were a radical Christian? Would you be someone who tolerates everything in society? Would you have blinders on to the ills of your community? Alternatively, would it look like something completely foreign to modern day Christianity. See, when society makes it seem unpopular to be radical in your faith, it will take the persistence of the saints not to back down. That is not always easy depending on the place you spend the most time. So I want to speak on what it might look like if you were a radical follower of Jesus Christ.
1. Radical Love-Radical love would mean that you love God with all that you are. It would mean that you love your neighbors as yourself. It would also mean that you would love your enemies. Some Scriptures for this are:
Matthew 22:37-40; Mark 12:29-31; Mathew 5:43-44; 1 John 4; 1 Cor 13
2. You would be radical lovers of truth. You would desire truth no matter what it meant because the truth will make you free. Here are some scriptures on truth.
John 8:31-37; John 17-14-19; 2 Thes 2:10; John 3:21; John 4:23-24; John 14:1-6; John 14:17; John 15:26; 1 Cor 13:6;
3. You would be powerful, with signs and wonders following. You might not have them right away, but you would be in pursuit of seeing the manifestation of God's glory. Doing the works of Jesus, as Jesus is part of your inheritance. You would be radical workers of miracles and power.
Mark 16:15-18; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor 4:18-20; John 14;12-14
4. You would be radical lovers in radical obedience. You see, we need to understand that loving God is manifested through obedience. It is what the mature sons of the Kingdom do. You might love Him to one level when you met Him for the first time. That love will grow and show itself in radical obedience. Keeping His commandments is not for righteousness, but for love.
John 14:15-28; 1 John 3;24; 1 John 4:21; 1 John 5:2-3; 2 John 4-6; Rev 22:14
5. Radical Generosity-Those, who are radical for God, gives radically. They have the love and faith to push the envelopes. We are not talking about amounts, but about heart. It is one of the gifts mentioned in Scripture.
Romans 12:8; 2 Cor 9:6; Esther 1:7
6. Hospitality-Not sure if I wanted to put this one as radical or not, for it has far reaching consequences. However, Kathy and I walked in this one for about a ten-year season. Mainly it was because we had the room in our house for guest. We had someone for ten years living in our extra bedroom. It was different people, some lasted a year and some as short as a few weeks.
Romans 12:13; 1 Peter 4:9; 1 Tim 3:2; Titus 1:8
Radical mercy and Forgiveness-We have are forgiven of so much that this one should be a no-brainer. Often, however, it is not. Forgiveness is one of the greatest blessings the Father has given us that we are directly commanded to do the same. If we do not, then, it has far reaching consequences in our lives.
Mark 11:25-26; Col 3;13; Eph 4:32; Luke 17:4
You see, the Righteousness we have received by grace, through faith in Jesus is only the start. Then we must learn by the Spirit and the Word, how to walk in Righteousness. Doing the word will not make you righteous. It was not meant to nor is it able. It was meant to teach you how to walk in the Righteousness you have received.
2 Tim. 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
2 Tim. 3:17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
James spoke that we are to be doers of the word, not hearers only.
James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
Now I will admit to you, mush of this is impossible if it were not for God. He is the one who will work all this in you. He will only do it if you first acknowledge the need for Him to do the work. He will not force you, nor will He condemn you. He is the Holy One, but gentle in His approach to His children. Waiting ever patiently for them to wait upon Him. He is the one that works His nature and will in us and through us. It is not a work of yourself, but of grace's continuing work beyond the cross.
So why is it that many choose not to be a Radical Christian? I might have an answer to some of it.
1. I feel the price is too high. It is a high, but the price of not paying is far greater.
2. I have tried before only to realize it was impossible in my strength. It is, but God the Father never asked you to do it, but to let Him so it in you.
3. My friends will think I am nuts. This is a big one. I suggest that you go for it, you might find that others in the group were just looking for someone to take the lead. If not and they decide they do not want to be friends with you, you might have found out something very important.
4. I do not know how to proceed. That is an easy answer. Start by reading the word and praying. The Father will begin to arrange the rest for you.
5. I am the one who is on fire the most already, compared to my friends, I am a rock star. You might be the brightest of the bunch, but are you satisfied with where you are. There is danger in staying in the shallow end of the pool and thinking you are an Olympic swimmer. Here is a word of caution when it comes to being satisfied.
Prov. 27:7 A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb,
But to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.
I want to be radicalized by the Holy Spirit, do you? It is not the term radical that is bad, it just depends on want has radicalized you. If it is God the Father, it is okay. Jesus was the first Radical Christian, follow Him and you will do well.