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Jesus Manifesto

A special summary of the book Jesus Manifesto by Leonard Sweet & Frank Viola.

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for the body of Christ to come to its senses and spell out the biblical bands which define it, the Spirit of God impels us to arise in the same confidence as our ancestors who unwaveringly proclaimed “the present truth” for their day and time and declare the causes which compel this Manifesto.

We hold these truths to be biblically-evident, that all people have fallen short of the glory of God, that they are endowed by their Creator with a Savior, who is Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, our risen, rising, and reigning Lord. He is the heat in our heart, the marrow of our mind, and the art of our life.

Alas, much of the contemporary church has short-changed Jesus. It has replaced Christ with methods, strategies, concepts, principles, doctrines, programs, fads, gimmicks, etc., and has lost Him who is the Center and Circumference of our faith.

To demonstrate this, we submit the following to a candid world:

Jesus Christ is the subject, goal, and motivation of our faith and devotion.

Jesus Christ came to show us how to be a new kind of human, a Jesus kind of human. He came to do what Adam failed to do. He is the firstborn of a new humanity.

Jesus Christ is the “e” that turns the human into the humane – Emmanuel – God with us.

Jesus Christ is alive. He lives. He lives His resurrection life in and through us – members of His beloved bride – the body of Christ on earth.

Jesus is the Way. What is Christianity? It is Christ.

Jesus is the Life. What is the gospel? It is Christ.

Jesus is the Truth. What is truth? It is Christ. Truth is personified in a person. That person is Christ. Truth is not an ideology. Truth is not a philosophy. Truth is not an ethics. Truth is Christ. When the gospel truth becomes something other than Christ, the church suffers from JDD: Jesus Deficit Disorder.

The gospel is the “good news” that Beauty, Truth and Goodness are found in Love, the Love of God in Christ. The mystery of life has a name: LOVE. God is love, and there is no God outside of Jesus Christ. Hence there is no authentic love outside of Jesus. The Greatest Lover that this universe has ever known says to each and every one of us, “Follow me.”

Not “follow my preachings” or “follow my teachings” or “follow my practices” But “Follow me.” Not “follow me” to become more “like me.” That is too low an ambition for a Christian.

Not “follow me” to “mimic me.” But “follow me” to “manifest me.”

Not “follow me” to “imitate me.” But “follow me” to let my Spirit be implanted in you and to you.

Not “follow me” to become more “like me.” But “follow me” to “become part of me.”

“I am in you and you are in me, as the Father is in you and you are in Him. You are my sister and you are my brother.” This is not a metaphor. … Our greatest dream is to write with our lives a Jesus autobiography.

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Category: Living the Faith

About the Author: Frank Viola has helped thousands of people around the world to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ and enter into a more vibrant and authentic experience of church. He has written many books on these themes, including God’s Favorite Place on Earth, From Eternity to Here: Rediscovering the Ageless Purpose of God, Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity, and The Day I Met Jesus: The Revealing Diaries of Five Women from the Gospels. He blogs regularly at Twitter

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