Paul the apostle when ministering in the City of Athens (Acts 17) had an amazing message. The centre point of his message was “the unknown is now known, and He is calling for a radical life-change” (Acts 17:30 The Message Version).
Paul is saying a number of things here. First, the things that were hidden for many centuries have now been revealed through the life and ministry of Jesus. As a result God now expects people to respond to the message of salvation and, when they do, to have a radical change in the way they see and live life.
The Christian faith is not simply a set of believes and a list of doctrines. it is an encounter with the living God and this experience will bring with it a new way to see life, a new perspective, and a new set of values and priorities. Life cannot and will not be the same when we encounter the love and forgiveness of the Living God as found only through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
When we encounter the love of God, His total and absolute forgiveness and His acceptance we literally become “new creatures in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17). We are transformed and changed from the inside out. First we experience a change in our heart, our attitude, our thoughts … and then this change begins to adjust and alter the way we see and live life. You simply cannot have a valid encounter with God and remain the same.
Not only is being born again and becoming a disciple of Jesus a life-changing experience. It is meant to be “radical.” The changes we undergo are not minor nor are they simply cosmetic. They begin deep in our soul and result in a change in the way we see ourselves. Our self-image, our self-worth, the way we value who we are all change and this is seriously radical. To discover who God created us to be and begin the live as this “new” person is simply radical.
This radical life-change means removing, with God’s help, all the religious trapping that have been imposed upon us. It means finding healing for the wounds and hurts of the past. It involves digging out from under the expectations and demands of life that are a result of family, friends, and the way we grew up.
Digging out from under everything that has buried the real you is hard work but rewarding. Discovering the real you is explosive. Expressing who you are becoming, this “new creature in Christ,” is an adventure and seriously radical. This is why Paul said, “the unknown is now known, and He is calling for a radical life-change” (Acts 17:30 The Message Version).