Thursday, May 6, 2010

‘Raised with Christ: How the Resurrection Changes Everything’ by Adrian Warnock – Book Review

Buzz this

Many of us focus on the crucifixion of Jesus around this time of year.  We don’t focus as much on His resurrection.  In ‘Raised with Christ: How the Resurrection Changes Everything,’ author Adrian Warnock takes at look at why Jesus’ resurrection is of equal importance to his crucifixion.

Here is the ‘blurb’ from the back cover of the book:

“Christianity is in its very essence a RESURRECTION RELIGION,” writes John Stott.  “The concept of resurrection lies at its heart.  If you remove it, Christianity is destroyed.”  In Raised with Christ, Adrian Warnock shows just how true this is.

Here is the biography of Adrian:

Adrian Warnock has been a regular preacher at Jubilee Church in London for more than ten years and serves on the church’s leadership team.  A medical doctor by trade, Warnock runs a popular Christian blog at

Take a look at Adrian explaining why he wrote this book:

In the Preface, Dr. Warnock makes this case for the importance of the resurrection:

When considering if Christianity is true, it all boils down to whether Jesus rose from the dead.  The lives of Christians today demonstrate that the resurrection is still changing people.  It changes fear into love, despair into joy.  The resurrection changes people from being spiritually dead to being alive to God.  It changes guilty condemnation into a celebration of forgiveness and freedom… It can change our sinful hearts so they want to follow the Lord Jesus, and the power of the resurrection is relentlessly killing sin in every true Christian.  Because we neglect to emphasize this truth, many Christians have a meager expectation of the extent to which we can today experience resurrection life and victory over sin.  The resurrection is far from being something we only benefit from in the future! (p. 13)

That is a wonderful truth, is it not?!

Dr. Warnock posits some hypotheses for why he thinks the resurrection might be neglected (pp. 61-66):

1.   The Resurrection Could be Eclipsed by the Prominence of the Cross.
2.   The Resurrection has Missed out on the Beneficial Effects of Controversy and Heresy
3.   Our Neglect of the Resurrection Could Be Part of a Satanic Strategy
4.   The Bible Seems to Rarely Mention Resurrection

I loved his perspective on the way we should view Jesus now:

The degree to which we neglect the resurrection is also the degree to which we neglect to think about Jesus as he really is, now.  Jesus is enthroned in heaven and is reigning inside every believer.  His powers are limitless, and he is at liberty to do as he wishes.  While on earth he did not fully reveal his glory and divine power.  To only think of Jesus as a long-haired, gentle man in a robe and wearing sandals has devastating effects on the church…. The world seems blind to the Bible’s description of the resurrected Jesus, full of power and authority.  This description is highly offensive to the world.  But to worship Jesus as the artists have portrayed him, instead of the Son of Man in all his glory, is nothing short of idolatry. (p. 68)

Dr. Warnock provides an encouraging list of what the resurrection of Jesus has made possible for us – all from the book of Acts (p. 114):

·    The sending of the Spirit (Acts 2:33)
·    Physical healings (Acts 3:15-16)
·    The conversion of sinners (Acts 3:26)
·    Salvation by union with Jesus (Acts 4:11-12)
·    Jesus’ role as the leader of his church (Acts 5:30-31; 9)
·    Forgiveness of sins (Acts 5:30-31)
·    Comfort for the dying (Acts 7)
·    The commissioning of gospel messengers (Acts 9; 10:42)
·    Freedom from the penalty and power of sin (Acts 13:37-39)
·    Assurance that the gospel is true (Acts 17:31)
·    Our own resurrection (Acts 17:31)
·    Jesus’ future judgment of this world (Acts 17:31)

Adrian points out that we have the opportunity to have a personal relationship with the risen and living Christ.  He concludes a chapter focusing on that subject this way:

…we should ask ourselves, do I really love Jesus?  Am I awre of his love for me in such a way that I have a strong desire to be holy?  Am I devoted to Jesus?  Do I glory in him and value him in such a way that when someone looks at me they could say, “His life is all about Jesus”?  This doesn’t only mean that we turn up at church on Sunday morning, although it does include that.  It’s not simply about listening to worship songs in our car or our own personal time with God.  Rather, it means that every moment of every day we actively seek opportunities to give God glory. (p. 206) 

With regard to the Holy Spirit, Dr. Warnock thinks we would do well to want all of His benefits:

If we are more convinced that we need a more conscious awareness of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives and that we long to go on receiving the Spirit and being refreshed by him, what should we do?  The answer is that we should pray and ask God to pour out the Spirit on us. As Jesus said, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13) (p. 224)

Dr. Warnock concluded his book this way:

Christians have the same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead living inside them.  One day that power will complete the work of saving us, but in the meantime the normal Christian life can be one in which we are very aware of the change that the resurrection brings.  We are citizens of the age to come, living in a world that is dead to God.  But we are not dead to him.  We live to him.  May God help us to live in the light of that fact more each day.  One day we will all see that, thanks to the death and resurrection of Jesus, everything really has been changed.  The whole creation will have been renewed, and we will be like him. (p. 262)

I was so blessed by 'Raised with Christ'!  In addition to Dr. Warnock’s own insights, he also provided many affirming Scriptures, as well as teachings by some of the greats over time – F.F. Bruce, Don Carson, Mark Driscoll, Tim Keller, C.S. Lewis, J.I. Packer and Dr. Charles Spurgeon, among many others.  Many Christians are not living with the power that the Holy Spirit, which was sent to believers after the death and resurrection of Jesus, and this book provides all of the information – and all of the incentive to pursue it – that we need to strengthen our walk with the Lord, and to glorify Him more fully in our daily lives.

You can order this book here.

This book was provided by Crossway Books for review purposes.

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