The Christian Manifesto

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

from 19 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

Free extras


Contributors Alistair Begg
ISBN 9781784988708
Format Paperback
First published September 2023
Dimensions 129mm x 198mm x 8mm
Weight 0.12 kg
Language English
Pages 112
Publisher The Good Book Company

John Woodhouse

Retired Principal of Moore Theological College, Sydney, Australia

Here is a book to be read slowly—and more than once. This is not because it is difficult to understand (it isn’t), but because it is so important and good. Alistair Begg casts a brilliant light on the remarkable life into which Jesus calls his people. How does the life of a Christian actually show the reality of their salvation? How does it show their delight in values that are contrary to those of the world? Readers will find real answers. More than that, they will find themselves rejoicing in the privilege of being among those Jesus described as 'blessed.'

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

3 Feb 2024

“Quality book and quality service”

(Review written for 'Alistair Begg Book Bundle')

I love Alistair's books. Quality man of God, quality, solid biblical teaching. Stayed the course!
This devotional no exception. Had his Vol 2 last year so wanted to get Vol 1 this year. Not disappointed.
And my confidence in Alastair has not wained despite current controversy, as I know the man's heart and stand on moral issues - much of current public criticism is unbalanced and out of context. Read his book Christian Manifesto to capture something of this man's heart.

16 Jan 2024

“This really is "truth for life"!”

(Review written for 'Alistair Begg Book Bundle')

I chose this as a Christmas present and am enjoying it very much. It gives you a truth to get your teeth into and mull over during the day. I love the cross-references which link passages in a way that I might not have thought of and the extra passage to read also throws more light on the topic under discussion. I'm not convinced it would work for a new Christian or someone who doesn't know the Bible very well and so may not understand the context of the verse or verses being explained and applied or the cross-references. But if you're reasonably familiar with the Bible and want to deepen your understanding, this book is really good.

21 Dec 2023

“A must read for all Christians.”

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.

19 Dec 2023


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.

27 Nov 2023

“Impossible to read without a magnifying glass”

(Review written for 'Alistair Begg Book Bundle')

Well, I’d love to leave a great review, but for some unknown reason the publishers decided to use the teeniest font size they could find. It’s impossible to read without a magnifying glass! Why on earth would you do that - is it trendy to use a tiny font size or something?! So dreadfully disappointed in wasting my money on something I can’t even read (even with glasses!) :(

8 Nov 2023

“Excellent service and wonderful quality books”

(Review written for 'Alistair Begg Book Bundle')

Parcel packed very well, delivered on time, all books are of excellent quality.
Bought for a gift, loved by the recipient.

4 Oct 2023

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

{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!

27 Sep 2023

“Live Like Christ”

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.

21 Sep 2023

“A book of wisdom”

(Review written for 'Alistair Begg Book Bundle')

This isn't a light-hearted- make-you-feel-good devotional. This is truth that focuses on God, leads you to God, and keeps you in God's Word. Outstanding!

19 Sep 2023

“Short and inspiring”

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.

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The Christian Manifesto | Alistair Begg |