Monday, February 13, 2006

A Citizen of Heaven and a Colonists of Jesus

In my sermon prep on Phil 3.20-21, I found useful the 10 point manifesto from Tod Bolsinger which I have reproduced below:

1. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe.

2. The Gospel is a call not only to personal faith in Christ Jesus, but also to a deeply committed and shared life in community with other believers...this community being a Colony of Heaven on earth.

3. The Colony of Heaven is to be a living expression of the Word of God, particularly the Sermon on the Mount which we hold to be the "Ten Commandments" of the New Covenant, the Constitution of God's Holy Nation, according to the Gospel of Jesus.

4. The Colony is an alien community in America, a counter-culture, sojourning here as wedded to God and declaring our Independence from the ideals, ways and the value-set of the world system which surrounds us.

5. The Colony is an incendiary fellowship, kindled at the central fire of Jesus Christ, kicking out sufficient heat to warm one another and sufficient spark in the Holy Spirit to set our neighborhood ablaze in the holy Gospel.

6. The Colony is a unified family, a brotherhood of love, caring for it's own holistically, with truth, affection and discipline in the Gospel. When one suffers, we share in his pain; when another rejoices, we share in her joy.

7. The Colony is an army of love, a militia of New Creation, moving out to conquer our neighborhood with the weapons of word and deed in the Gospel, prepared to endure the sufferings and the losses which are inevitable in any war.

8. The Colony is a specialized task force, a Spiritual Marine Corps., working hard by division of labor to advance and accomplish our mission in the Gospel. Extraordinary effort and exceptional dedication are required of all, just as the Gospel demands.

9. The Colony breathes on the Gospel, but works by the Cross. Our Life is in God, but our life in this world is cruciform. We die daily and we are ready to die finally, that Life may be the issue... for "the blood of martyrs is seed," just as we see in the Gospel.
"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."

10. We believe the whole earth shall be Colonized by Jesus Christ while He remains upon His seat of authority at the Father's right hand in Heaven. "He will not suffer the reproach upon His Name that He was not able to convert the world in righteousness."

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