Standing on a New Frontier

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Today we stand on the edge of a new frontier—one of exploration, not fortification. One of discovery, not contentment. In this new frontier, we will navigate the unchartered waters of Jesus Christ, our all-sufficient Lord.

There is so much more of Christ to sail than we could ever imagine. But if the truth be told, we have been handed a shrink-wrapped Jesus.

Christ has become our once-a-week Mascot. We rally around Him on Sunday mornings, selfishly reaching for all we can get from Him—goodies and gifts, all for us. Then we push Him off to the sidelines the rest of the week.

But the game has never been about us; it’s always been about Him.

The gospel that’s so often preached today lacks a revelation of Jesus Christ. The contemporary gospel boils down to a fire insurance policy, a Santa Claus God, or a performance-based religion. As long as we stay on that plane, we’ll never see or comprehend the staggering enormity of our Lord.

Paul of Tarsus was a man who caught a glimpse of the excellencies of Jesus Christ. He preached such a high gospel that it turned illiterate, immoral pagans into full-pledged followers of Jesus who learned to live in authentic community—all in just a few months.

What Paul did is something that our modern gospel could never pull off.

Only a recovery of the greatness, supremacy, sovereignty, brilliance, and “allness” of Christ will lead us to restoration and even revival. The wonder of Jesus as “all in all” is the only hope for igniting the flame of a new reformation and resuscitating a church that’s presently on life support.

The body of Christ is in dire need of a reconversion to Jesus, not as Savior and Lord, but as the awe-inspiring, all-inclusive person He is. To say that He is our Savior and Lord is correct, of course, but it’s inadequate. He is so much more. Christ is:

your Shepherd, your Advocate, your Mediator, your Bridegroom, your Conqueror, your Lion, your Lamb, your sacrifice, your manna, your smitten Rock, your living water, your food, your drink, your good and abundant land, your dwelling place, your Sabbath, your new moon, your Jubilee, your new wine, your feast, your aroma, your anchor, your wisdom, your peace, your comfort, your Healer, your joy, your glory, your power, your strength, your wealth, your victory, your redemption, your Prophet, your Priest, your kinsman redeemer, your teacher, your guide, your liberator, your deliverer, your Prince, your Captain, your vision, your sight, your beloved, your way, your truth, your life, your author, your finisher, your beginning, your end, your age, your eternity—your all and all.

He is the same yesterday, today, and forever; yet He is new every morning. But beyond all of this, He is your King, your judge, and the True Witness.

May God have a people on this earth who are of Christ, through Christ, and for Christ.

A people of the cross.

A people consumed with an unvarnished vision of God’s eternal passion: to make Christ preeminent, supreme, and the head over all things visible and invisible.

A people who have discovered the touch of the Almighty in the face of His glorious Son, Jesus.

A people who wish to know only Christ and Him crucified, and to let everything else fall by the wayside.

A people who are searching His immeasurable depths, exploring His unfathomable heights, discovering His unsearchable riches, encountering His abundant life, receiving His infinite love, and making Him known to others.

In a world that sings, “Oh, who is this Jesus?” and a church that sings, “Oh, let’s all be likeJesus,” may we be a people who will sing with lungs of leather, “Oh, how we love Jesus!”

Christ is the root and essence of Christianity. For that reason . . . 

Christians don’t follow Christianity; they follow Christ. 

Christians don’t preach themselves; they proclaim Christ. 

Christians don’t preach about Christ: they simply preach Christ. 

Christians don’t shout from the rooftops, “Come to church”; they shout from the mountains, “Jesus Christ is born—come to Christ!” 

Christians don’t point people to core values; they point them to the incarnated, crucified, resurrected, ascended, enthroned, exalted, triumphant, glorified, reigning Lord—Jesus of Nazareth, the King, the Messiah—the Christ beyond the tomb. 

It is with a burning heart for Jesus Christ and a guarded jealousy for His preeminence that Leonard Sweet and I wrote Jesus Manifesto. We have written it for Him and to Him. We trust that it has been by Him and through Him.

This glorious One, Jesus the Christ, is our Pursuit, our Passion, and our Pleasure. May He be so to you also.

This post is an excerpt from Jesus Manifesto (Thomas Nelson, 2010). For more, listen to the message Epic Jesus: The Christ You Never Knew. It’s also on iTunes and RSS.

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About Frank Viola

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  • Steve Melvin

    Grace the final frontier. Believers need to take their eyes from their old existence and awaken to the reality of their POSSESSION by God Almighty. When we take Communion we should be ecstatic of what Jesus did on the Cross and who we become in His Resurrection in Him. Communion is taking in the Body and Blood of Christ resembling the fact that we are being completely SATURATED by The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The church is still consumed with sin because it still has a legalistic approach to the Gospel. The Gospel didn’t stop at the Cross it was just getting started at the Cross. The Gospel isn’t about trying to act like Jesus did before He was crucified it is about realizing that Jesus is LOVING the world through us and as us individually touching who we were created to minister too. The church needs to stop segregating the Bible with arguments of Red letter Jesus comments and what Jesus preached through His apostles. The whole Bible should be GLOWING RED LETTERS so that there is no confusion WHO the Author is. Grace and Truth came through Jesus. He didn’t have to preach Grace because HE is Grace. Truth is He came as the last Law Preacher so that the Law could be FULFILLED PERFECTLY. Jesus preached His most Beautiful Gospel of Grace through His Grace Apostle Paul in His Sermon to the World in Paul’s letter to the “Romans”. The Letters Jesus wrote through Paul to the Corinthians outline how it can be distorted, Galatians shows how the Law can curse and stunt spiritual growth, Ephesians is a love letter showing how to embrace our Union with the Godhead, etc. etc. The church needs to learn how to read and accept scripture in context so that it can get off the crazy cycle of spiritual immaturity due to applying scripture to people that it shouldn’t be applied to. In Acts the Apostles agreed that non-believers shouldn’t even be taught the Law. So what does religion teach today none other than the Law and they wonder why sin still has a strangle hold on their congregation while their books sales go through the roof. The Cross changed everything and Religion still has people chained 1 inch from it trying to become who they already are the second they believed. Grace and Truth came in the Person of Jesus Christ to save us and set us free from us. Satan was defeated by the Finished Work of the Cross. We just need to believe it and receive it to set us free from the condemnation of the lie that continues to destroy lives through non-belief. Rest is Jesus and watch Papa God work in you, through you and all around you. Hallelujah


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