“If you don’t understand the resurrection, you don’t understand the gospel”

“If you don’t understand the resurrection, you don’t understand the gospel” June 9, 2010

The following review was recently posted on Amazon:

“I’m a pastor of a recently planted church in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. As with many other church planters down here in Latin America, I lack a formal theological education. My little Bible background was acquired through Sunday school in a classical Pentecostal church (a lot of zeal, with a lack of depth!). But, solely due to the grace of God, a deep hunger for the Word of God was always present in me. When confronted with God’s call to preach (twice a week!), I started to realize how little I knew the gospel, and how little I knew my Savior and his work. One of my main concerns was my utterly lack of understanding of the implications of the resurrection. I simply did not know what to do with it, and much less how to preach about it! For the past 4 Easters I preached solely on the power and meaning of the cross, with the aid of such great works like R.C.Sproul’s “The Truth of the Cross”, J.Stott’s “The Cross of Christ” and J.I.Packer’s “Knowing God”. For our fifth Easter I really wanted to explore the resurrection, so the publication of Adrian Warnock “Raised with Christ” was God’s gift to me.

“Raised with Christ” is a thoughtful, readable, non-technical, comprehensive exploration of the biblical background, story, meaning, actual implications and practical applications of the miracle of the resurrection (I read it in a handful of week nights and air travel time going to and from the T4G-10 conference). The resurrection is not a “bonus track” of the gospel song, but actually the single movement that gives every part of the gospel symphony its actual meaning, the “hinge” that makes all of Christ’s work revolves and function. “Jesus our Lord… was raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24-25) claims Paul, justifying first the work of our Christ, justifying second ourselves that are “in Him”, and then raising us up in the power of the Holy Spirit, to live a new life according to the new covenant that now we are part of (Jeremiah 31:27-40). Raising our awareness of this fact is not only “a nice to have” theological mussing, but uttermost essential to understand “the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe” (Ephesians 1:18-19). Simply put, if you don’t understand the resurrection, you don’t understand the gospel.

One of Warnock’s book welcomed feature is the link between the resurrection theology and its meaning for our personal and corporate revival. Since the resurrection has “connected us” with the power of the Holy Spirit (through the new birth, as exceptionally explained by John Piper’s “Finally Alive”), we are supposed to live in a constant, utterly dependent relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ, firing our zeal for prayer, worship, holy living, missions and evangelism in a world gone mad (with a church barely noticing!).

For me, this past Easter was profoundly affected by the reading of this great book. My preaching was forever changed in a more beefed-up, rounded-up, improved knowledge of the grace of God toward us in His gospel. I strongly suggest you (especially lay people and lay pastors like myself) to get a copy of this book because it will help you grapple the significance of this holy event that enabled God to save us completely, perpetually and finally.”

Amazon.com: Gadiel Rios’ review of Raised with Christ: How the Resurrection Changes Everything.

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