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The Christian Manifesto (ebook)

The Christian Manifesto ebook

Jesus’ Life-Changing Words from the Sermon on the Plain

from 14 reviews

Encourages Christians from Luke 6 to live a countercultural life and experience true blessing.

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What does genuine Christian living look like in the 21st century, and how can we be motivated to live that way?

The answer comes from Jesus’ sermon in Luke 6 (sometimes known as the Sermon on the Plain), which starts, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God," and goes on to lay out God’s vision statement for the Christian life. It is a manifesto that transcends politics, culture and personality, detailing God’s intentions for his people.

Alistair Begg unpacks this sermon, encouraging Christians to live a radically different life that upends the world's values and philosophies. It's a lifestyle that is counterintuitive and countercultural, yet one that God blesses with true meaning and impact.

As we look at the kindness and compassion of Jesus and ask for the Holy Spirit’s help, we’ll grow in both the motivation and the ability to obey Jesus’ teaching and experience the blessing that comes from that.

This compelling book will remind you of God's grace and what it means to follow him, helping you discover the ultimate blessing that is found in him.

Product details


  • 1. An Invitation to Happiness
    2. A Reversal of Values
    3. An Exceptional Kind of Love
    4. What the Golden Rule Really Means
    5. Generous Forgiveness
    6. A Life of Integrity
    7. A Genuine Desire to Obey
    8. The Heart of our King


Contributors Alistair Begg
ISBN 9781784989101
Format eBook
Case quantity 50
Language English
Publisher The Good Book Company

Colin S. Smith

Senior Pastor, The Orchard Evangelical Free Church, Arlington, Illinois; President of Unlocking the Bible

If you find yourself despairing over the deep cultural divides of our time, you will find hope and help in reading this book. Alistair Begg explores the call of Jesus to a life that is radically different from what we see in the world and sometimes in the church: a life in which we love those with whom we radically disagree, speak with gentleness and kindness, and focus first on dealing with our own sins rather than the sins of others. This book is full of the grace and wisdom of Jesus, that we desperately need today.

Tim Chester

Crosslands Training; Author of Enjoying God

Alistair Begg brings the message of Jesus into our world, clarifying its meaning and relevance without blunting any of its challenge. But Begg also sets that challenge in the bigger context of Christ’s message of grace. As a result, the challenge becomes an invitation—an invitation to a happy life.

Carolyn Lacey

Author of 'Say the Right Thing' and 'Extraordinary Hospitality (for Ordinary People)'

Life in Jesus’ kingdom is life at its very best—liberating, exhilarating, and altogether satisfying. It is also countercultural and counterintuitive. The principles and priorities of the kingdom are wildly different from the values and virtues celebrated in contemporary society, and it’s all too easy for us to conform to the dominant culture rather than embrace our calling to live distinctively. With his typical blend of wisdom, warmth, and wit, Alistair Begg takes us back to Jesus’ teaching and shows what kingdom life looks like—and why it really is the best life.

Customer reviews

Dec. 20, 2023

“A must read for all Christians.”

(Review written for 'The Christian Manifesto')

This was by far one of my most favorite books that I’ve read this year. It was equally encouraging and convincing with the repeated refrain of the gospel woven throughout each chapter. Alistair uses the words of our risen Lord to remind Christians of the life they have been called to as followers of Jesus. We are not meant to be “normal” by the standard set in society, but rather to pursue a Christ-like response in all that we do. The gift of salvation that we have been given through the shed blood of Jesus should be evident in our daily lives. This counter-culture life is also counter-intuitive to our sinful nature. Alistair reminds us that we too were once enemies of God and that it’s only because of His mercy and love that we can be reconciled to Him. While being justified, we’re still sinners and our “natural” response is not always, or even often, in line with how God instructs us to live.

This is a rather short book and Alistair does a fantastic job at cramming so much gospel truth in every page. Honestly, each of these chapters could’ve been twice as long and I would’ve joyfully read each one. Alistair is always such a wise and gracious theologian and this book is no different. He makes the Bible plain - not in a boring way, but in an easily understood and compassionately encouraging way.

I typically share some of my favorite quotes from books, but I’ve noted nearly every paragraph of this book because it’s just that good. The way Alistair has taken familiar Scripture and brought it to light in a new way, reminding the Christian of the amazing privilege of being in God’s Kingdom while also exhorting them to live out that faith, has made this a must-read book in my opinion.

Dec. 18, 2023


(Review written for 'The Christian Manifesto')

The Christian Manifesto by Alistair Begg is a short but concisely fleshed out book on the power behind the sermon on the Plain.

“The Sermon on the Plain, then, is Jesus’ invitation to you to experience life at its very best. It is his description of what life in His kingdom-a kingdom where all that is wrong is being made right- looks like as we live in this world.”

He also touches on a few misquoted verses from the sermon, effectively breaking down the context and meaning of each.

“You will hear the phrase ‘Do not judge’ trotted out by the most unlikely people at the most unlikely times and used in the most unlikely ways. So, again, we need to understand exactly what Jesus is, and is not saying here”.

As someone who is admittedly a bit unfamiliar with the phrase “ The Sermon of the Plain,” I was pleasantly appreciative of this little book which shed some much needed insight on the true meanings behind Jesus’ words.

I recommend for all believers.

Oct. 4, 2023

“An invitation to live a counter-cultural life in Christ”

(Review written for 'The Christian Manifesto')

{Full review posted here:}

The mass of tulip bulbs in my garden bucket are all brown, covered in dirt. You can't tell from these what color the flower will bloom. Who we are in Christ will be reflected by how we bloom, the ways we give and love and serve.

In the hustle and bustle of our days, a pause is beneficial, to stop and consider how our being influences our doing.

"When Jesus challenges us not just to say, “Lord, Lord” but to mean it and to live it, it is this Jesus, full of compassion and power, who is issuing that challenge. When Jesus calls us to be different—to embrace upside-down values, to pursue a different kind of love, to be marked by integrity, and to live a life of obedience—it is this Jesus who is calling us."

We will spend our life learning and striving for this life. One where good works flow from a good heart.

The author writes this book to invite you to the best possible life. It’s not a gimmick. It’s a personal and relational life outlined for us in Jesus’ sermon on the plain, found in Luke 6:20-49.

Each chapter takes us through a segment of Jesus’ sermon on the plain in Luke 6. He provides us with the context of the passage, helps us understand the teaching, and unpacks how we can take these truths into our lives today.

This journey through Luke 6 is an invitation to live a counter-cultural life in Christ. If you’ve felt the Lord leading you to a new lifestyle or have been searching for how to be a light in this darkness, this resource will help you understand and show you the difference we, as his disciples, can be.

*A big thanks to the Good Book Company for the complimentary copy of this book and the opportunity to post an honest review!

Sept. 26, 2023

“Live Like Christ”

(Review written for 'The Christian Manifesto')

What did Jesus really mean? In The Christian Manifesto, Alistair Begg explains Jesus’ life-changing words from the Sermon on the Plain.

Radically Different

At just over 100 pages, this small book is packed with insight. Begg examines Luke 6 and exhorts us to live like Christ. While I was familiar with this section of Scripture, Begg allows you to look at it with fresh eyes and with new understanding.

I was most surprised to see how radically different the Christian life looks like when compared to the world. Begg does not shy away from the fact that the world sees Christian characteristics as the marks of losers. Begg reminds us that true happiness is found in our counter-cultural Christ.

Live Like Christ

I was most challenged to see Begg point the finger back at himself and other Christians. When speaking of censoriousness — a spirit of self-righteous, self-exalting, hypocritical, harsh judmentalism — he says that even Reformed churches are perhaps most in danger. He calls us to be a forgiving people, while still being faithful to Jesus.

This book is a quick and refreshing read that will challenge, equip, and compel you to live like Christ. You will be blessed to sit at the feet of Jesus, hear from his heart, and let his words impact your world.

I received a media copy of The Christian Manifesto and this is my honest review.

Sept. 18, 2023

“Short and inspiring”

(Review written for 'The Christian Manifesto')

In a world mired in shifting values, evolving cultures, and diverse personalities, Alistair Begg seeks to illuminate a path that transcends the transient nature of human ideologies. He meticulously unpacks Jesus’ sermon, offering insightful reflections and encouraging Christians to embrace a life that defies societal norms.

This book is a quick read, comprising only eight brief chapters. But its brevity does not diminish its impact. Alistair Begg masterfully navigates through the nuances of the Sermon on the Plain, shedding light on topics such as happiness, integrity, loving your enemies, the heart of Jesus, and the true essence of the Golden Rule.

The Christian Manifesto is a short and inspiring read and it gives you the opportunity to reflect on your life and the words of Jesus. Alistair Begg's eloquent exploration of Jesus' sermon is really thought-provoking and moving. I can see myself re-reading this again.

Sept. 14, 2023


(Review written for 'The Christian Manifesto')

I absolutely love this book!
This is the first piece of literature I have read by Alistair Begg and it is exhilarating.
What Jesus teaches us is counterintuitive to how the world lives; and every single day I am so thankful for Jesus!
This book is an inspiring read, which should be read more than once!
Full of wisdom and truth, the chapters in this book cover many topics that help us to live out our daily Christian walk.
Alostair Begg writes with such passion and conviction, it is truly encouraging to read his work, and the gospel truths presented throughout the text.
I highly recommend this encouraging read!
I received a copy of this book from The Good Book Company in exchange for an honest review.

Sept. 12, 2023

“Encouraging and Challenging”

(Review written for 'The Christian Manifesto')

The Christian Manifesto is a very encouraging and challenging book. Begg has very thoughtfully expounded upon Jesus' words from the sermon on the plain. He starts off with an invitation to happiness showing that the world is always trying to promise happiness. Everyone wants to be happy and live their best life, however Jesus' teaching on this looks very different to what the world has to say on the matter. Begg takes what is a familiar passage to many and does an excellent job of engaging our minds as we think through the verses of the sermon causing the reader to reflect and examine themselve to see if their life matches their lips. Just like his preaching; Begg has a wonderful way of explaining the text in a very accessible manner filled with wit whilst bringing great depth. This is a great book to have us think about what faith in practice looks like. I think it's a great book for all Christians whether they be a new believer or someone who has been a Christian for many years, it's a great reminder for us all on how Jesus calls us to live.

Sept. 10, 2023

“I can already see myself rereading this one!”

(Review written for 'The Christian Manifesto')

“The Christian Manifesto” is an inspirational book about Jesus’ foundational speech called the Sermon on the Plain, detailing how we honor Him in our lives and relationships as members of His kingdom. It is “a description of the life we were all made for,” and yet it challenges us because it is difficult to act and operate differently than the world around us.

When I first saw this book’s mention of “the Sermon on the Plain,” it left me wondering because I had never heard the passage in Luke’s Gospel labeled this; I thought it was simply a condensed version of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. So through this book I first learned something I didn’t know: Each of these sermons took place at separate times and locations with different audiences.

The chapters of the book elaborate on topics such as Kingdom values, loving our enemies, and what the Golden Rule actually means. Each chapter seemed to helpfully build upon itself, and each was convicting in how it called us to represent God through how we live—with His help—in doing even the difficult, such as truly loving our enemies.

This is a book I could already see myself reading again and I definitely recommend it!

A few highlights:

“The hallmarks and priorities of Jesus' kingdom are different from this world's—and so its citizens will be different too. Jesus' call is deep, and it is wide, and it calls us to turn everything we naturally think upside down.”

“Advertisers may make good money, and politicians may win fleeting power, but members of Jesus' kingdom can make a difference for eternity.”

“God has showered his love upon his people—it is not a trickle, it is a torrent—and as our hearts are filled with our Father's love, so out of our hearts may flow his love toward others.”

Thank you to @thegoodbookcompanyusa for providing a copy of this book for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Sept. 5, 2023

“An Easy-Read Introduction to the Sermon on the Plain”

(Review written for 'The Christian Manifesto')

Alistair Begg writes some great, encouraging reflections around the Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6 and 7), sharing the radical nature of the manifesto Jesus sets out for his followers. A life following him is not an easy life, but it is the best choice we could ever make. It's a life that is counter-cultural, completely unlike anything we could imagine to be the sensible way to get ahead in life, and yet it is an invitation to experience life in all its fullness. This is a really encouraging read that won't take much longer than a couple of hours, so give it a go!

Sept. 4, 2023

“Great for reflecting”

(Review written for 'The Christian Manifesto')

This book takes a look at the Sermon on the Plain from Luke and dives into how that should influence you as a Christian to live. It is a short book and easy to read but does cover many topics that are at the heart of Christian principles from love and forgiveness to integrity and obedience. There are some areas of the book that I do wish Begg included more depth especially in terms of historical context to examples or passages given but this is still a good read!
I would recommend this book as it gives you the opportunity to reflect on your life and the words of Jesus.

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The Christian Manifesto (ebook) | Alistair Begg |
$9.99 $5.99