Summary: The radical call of Christ is to live with a counter-culture world view based on the paradoxes of Christianity.
A paradox is a statement that doesn’t seem to make sense; but when understood, makes a lot of sense. In fact, a paradox says something that couldn’t be said as well any other way.
Jesus made some paradoxical statements. He did so to draw the attention of His listeners, who then had to think about what He had said. The Apostle Paul did the same.
The Christian life is a paradox to many people, but not to those who really live it. Consider the following paradoxes: they’ll help you to understand what being a Christian is all about.
WE FIND BY LOSING
"He that finds his life shall lose it, and he that loses his life
for my sake shall find it." (Matthew 10:39)
WE RECEIVE BY GIVING
"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back." (Luke 6:38)
WE ARE EXALTED BY BEING HUMBLE
"Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted." (Matthew 23:12)
WE BECOME GREAT BY BECOMING SMALL
"Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:4)
OUR WEAKNESS IS OUR STRENGTH
"And he said unto me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong."
(2 Corinthians 12:9,10).
WE RULE BY SERVING
"You know that those who are supposed to rule over the nations lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all." (Mark 10:42-45)
WE LIVE BY DYING
"I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)
"What shall we then say to these things?" If the Christian life is a paradox, then the actions of individual Christians should make non-Christians wonder. The very fact that Christians do the opposite to what non-Christians would do in the same situation should challenge their whole approach to life!