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The Radical Gospel

We tend to think of the word “Radical” with a negative connotation. That is because radicalism implies extremism, which is true; however, that extremism is not always a negative thing. When something is radical that simply means that it is an idea that is completely new and groundbreaking. When something is radical it shifts the course of a person’s life and often the course of history itself.

Let me tell you of a radical love that has changed everything. This is the love of God for mankind displayed in the gospel of Jesus Christ. See, most religions require that we perform rituals and life a “clean” life to keep God happy. This was the world that Jesus stepped into. In a culture dominated by rules and obligations, Jesus purposed this radical idea: What if it doesn’t matter what humans do because humans will never be perfect? What if God loves us just as we are? What if He proved it to you?

God did the unthinkable in Jesus. He fulfilled the law and showed mercy all at once. The cross was the perfect mix of justice and grace. The law demanded that a price be paid when it was broken. A just God could not ignore such a heavy price; however, a loving God could not stand to see those whom He loved become lost in their sin. He paid the price Himself and showed His grace by loving man just as he is—perfectly imperfect.

If all of this is true we have an incredible choice to make. So what is our choice then? We can reject this notion. We can say that none of this is true or that we simply do not wish for it to be true. We can refuse to love such a God, no matter how different He may be from the god we grew up hearing about. Or, we could go another way. We could embrace it and see what such an extraordinary truth could do in our hearts and lives. Be careful, though. Choosing this means that there is absolutely no turning back. You will be changed and that change will be painful and difficult. But it will be beautiful and worth it.

The one thing we cannot do is ignore the gospel. You see, the gospel will not be ignored. The more we try to bury it, to fit it into a box, to keep it in tight knit little packages, laws, and letters, the more it cries out. The gospel is not some list of rules or some “nice thoughts” or “kind words” that a “good man” said. It is God in the flesh taking on the struggles of man for the sake of loving man. It is God fighting for the life of the creation He so dearly loves. It is God begging for us to come back and be reconciled with Him. It is Love Himself on a cross for the sake of the unlovable. It is radical! And extreme, extraordinary things refuse to be taken lightly.

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