Nine Theses: The Expanded Version

1. We believe that . . . one of the greatest gifts God offers, both to His people and to the nations, is a comprehensive hope, for now and forever, based on the nature, character, ministry and victory of His Son. This hope is anchored in four great truths about Him:

who He is as the Son of God,
where He leads in the Purposes of God,
how He imparts the Resources of God
and what He receives from the People of God.

This hope is defined by nothing less than the full extent of His supremacy. We believe that . . . for the Church to experience the deepest impact of God-given hope, our vision of Christ and His supremacy must be shaped and enlarged by the thousands of Biblical promises and prophecies that give expression to His supremacy — that speak to the . . .

  • focus (on the Son)
  • fulfillment (of His Purpose)
  • fullness (out of His Resources)
  • fervency (from His People for ALL that He is)

2. This is true because . . . every promise that Christ will fulfill when His supremacy is manifested in the consummation of all things, He embodies now. Thus, Christ is the supreme hope for our generation now, just as fully as He will be in the End. This is the glory of His supremacy — who Christ is right now . . .

as the Son of God, reigning at God’s right hand
as the unceasing manifestation of all God wants to reveal of Himself,
and all He wants to accomplish for the redemption and transformation
of His whole creation as well as all the saints of all the ages.

3. This is true because . . . whatever Christ will be Lord of when His supremacy is fully manifested in the Consummation of all things, He is Lord of already. This makes Him the supreme hope for our generation now, just as fully as He will be in the End. To understand the magnitude of Christ’s supremacy that’s waiting to be displayed at the end of the Age, when all of God’s promises and prophecies will be totally fulfilled in Him, is to be compelled right now to follow and serve Him as He leads His people day by day into the fulfillment of God’s Purposes in Him.

4. This is true because . . . just as Christ will be seen as both center and circumference for the life of the redeemed when His supremacy is thoroughly manifested in the Consummation of all things, at this very hour He reigns as both the Church’s center and our circumference.

Once again He is known to be the supreme hope for our generation, just as fully as He will be our Final Hope in the New Heaven and earth. Accordingly, the Church lives in daily expectation of experiencing increasing approximations of the Consummation, on many fronts, right now, as we continue entering more fully into the reign of God’s Son, living together each day in growing “intimacy with His supremacy”.

5. This is true because . . . one of the greatest displays of Christ’s supremacy is seen in the response of His people who behold His glory. We put our hope in Him as daily we consume Him and are consumed with Him. As 1 Peter 3:15 urges, Christians must “set apart [consecrate] Christ as Lord in your hearts”, standing ready to “give an answer to anyone who asks of them the reason for the hope that is in them”.

Like Psalm 110 describes in the most frequently referenced Old Testament passage by New Testament writers, “His troops will be willing in His day of battle.” In other words, they are convinced that He has sat down at the right hand of God, that His enemies are becoming His footstool, and that the Father is “extending His scepter to rule in the midst of His enemies”. Our fervency for His supremacy is one major dimension of how His supremacy is displayed and ratified.

6. Therefore, we are convinced that . . . wherever this larger vision of Christ and His supremacy has been diminished and neglected in the Church — wherever Christians struggle with a shortfall of hope about God’s promises in Christ as well as succumb to sagging passion for the advancement of God’s Kingdom in Christ — we face a critical crisis. It is a shortfall in how we see, seek and speak about the person of God’s Son. It is also a shortfall in how we savor, serve and share Him for all that He is.

This shortfall of hope impacts every facet of the Church’s life of worship, prayer, discipleship, community, compassion, service and mission. And since the mission of the Gospel is the greatest hope God holds out to the world, any crisis inside the Church that impedes the advance of the Gospel must be regarded as the greatest crisis facing the world at-large.

The crisis has overtaken us primarily because many believers have settled for a view of the  “centrality” of Christ (“Christ exists for me.”), that fails to move us into the greater dynamic of the “supremacy” of Christ (“I exist for Him.”).

The Christian life is more than (though it includes) Christ being at the center of who we are, where we’re headed, what we’re doing and how we’re blessed (“centrality”). The Christian life is primarily about the Father’s plan to wrapped us into what He is doing with His Son — to keep us at the center of who Christ is, where He is headed, what He is doing and how He is blessed (“supremacy”).

The failure to understand this distinction is the crux of the “crisis of supremacy” among today’s Christians. It is the primary explanation for many of the other “crises” that paralyze God’s people, crises both inside and outside the Church.

7. Therefore, we are convinced that . . . for the sake of God’s glory within His people and among the nations, this crisis calls for millions throughout the Church to be re-awakened, intentionally and thoroughly, to fresh hope and passion focused on Christ and the full extent of His supremacy —

that is, focused on who He is as God’s Son,
where He leads in God’s purposes,
how He imparts God’s resources
and what He receives from God’s people.

God’s Son must once again become for God’s people the summation, consummation, approximation and consuming passion of all the promises, prophecies and purposes of the Father, for us and for the nations. In one sense, there needs to be a wholesale “re-conversion” of many of God’s people back to God’s Son for ALL that He is. I call this a “Christ-awakening”.

8. Consequently, we urge that . . . for the sake of God’s glory within His people and among the nations — in order to foster a Christ-awakening in this generation — committed Christians everywhere must begin to render to Christ strategic service on three fronts:

  • We must proclaim among fellow believers a message of hope that redirects our faith toward Christ and His supremacy.
  • We must awaken fully within fellow believers the power of hope that reignites our passion for Christ and His supremacy.
  • We must empower fellow believers to join a campaign of hope that recruits Christians everywhere to reorder daily discipleship, individually and corporately, in a whole new experience of living under Christ and the full extent of His supremacy.

9. Consequently, we want to . . . help envision, foster and serve a broad-based “National Campaign of Hope” that mobilizes churches of all denominations, summoning believers everywhere to foster a Christ-awakening movement, on both local and national levels, by implementing three critical roles:

  • We all become Messengers of Hope who take every opportunity, every day, to spread among fellow Christians a larger vision of the full extent of Christ’s supremacy and to give each believer we touch greater reasons to put their hope more fully in Him for ALL that He is.As Scripture says: “Faith comes by hearing, and what must be heard is the message about Christ.” (Romans 10:17) “Christ is in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning every person and teaching every person that we might present every person complete in Christ.” (Colossians 1:27-28)
  • We all become Prisoners of Hope who expand and deepen our own vision of Christ, growing with a consuming passion for Him and the hope based on His supremacy, and allowing all of life’s experiences, including times of suffering, to enlarge our capacity for more of Him and of His hope-filled reign in our lives.”I will free your prisoners from their waterless pits (into) prisoners of hope (as I) restore to you twice as much.” (Zechariah 9:11-12) “. . . so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).
  • We all become Vanguards of Hope who, as we keep growing as Messengers and Prisoners, band together to share a lifestyle focused on the supremacy of God’s Son — a lifestyle that consists of persistent seeking (primarily by prayer) and consistent preparations for more of His supremacy to be revealed.Our lifestyle empowers us to pursue greater manifestations of His Kingdom where we live, and beyond. For us, all discipleship becomes anticipatory discipleship. Our passion to respond to Christ’s lordship springs from the sure hope (anticipation) that our obedience today will lead us into greater experiences of Christ and His glory tomorrow.

How should we respond to all of this? Consider:

“Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow God will work miracles among you.”(Joshua 3:5)  “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”(Philippians 3:12)  “The time is fulfilled, the Kingdom is at hand, repent and believe this good news . . . Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”(Mark 1:15, 17) “Set your affection on things above where Christ reigns at the right hand of God.” (Colossians 3:1)

« Nine Theses Summary Version

christ_maxFor more reading on these issues see 
A Joyful Manifesto on the Supremacy of God’s Son
New Providence Publishers, 2005)