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Gospel Wakefulness Paperback – October 6, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 75 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Gospel Wakefulness was a joy to read. My eyes filled with tears and my heart flooded with joy on numerous occasions. It’s been a long time since a book created the emotion in me that this book has. The chapters on brokenness and sanctification were humbling and beautiful reads. I am praying that Gospel Wakefulness falls into a lot of hands and hearts.”
Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor, The Village Church, Dallas, Texas; President, Acts 29 Church Planting Network; author, The Mingling of Souls

“Is it possible that in our evangelical desire for bigger, better, faster, shinier, and louder we’ve actually dulled our spiritual senses? What can wake us up? Only the astonishment the Spirit brings through the gospel of Jesus. In his new book, Jared Wilson beautifully keys in on our need to be bowled over by the life, death, and resurrection of the Son of God and helps us seek real amazement in God’s ‘amazing grace.’ Writing with passion and clarity, Wilson shines the light of Christ on every page.”
Ed Stetzer, Billy Graham Distinguished Chair for Church, Mission, and Evangelism, Wheaton College

“Anyone hungry and thirsty for righteousness will be refreshed by the invigorating streams of truth that flow from Gospel Wakefulness. Jared Wilson wants us to delight in the gospel to the point that sin becomes bitter and Christ becomes our supreme treasure. May this book awaken your affections toward the Savior who deserves all praise.”
Trevin Wax, Managing Editor, The Gospel Project; author, Gospel-Centered Teaching, Counterfeit Gospels, and Holy Subversion

“To paraphrase Solomon, of making many books (about the gospel) there is no end. And I’m glad of it! I pray we never reach the day when we grow weary of writing and reading books about the gospel. That is why I’m profoundly grateful for Jared Wilson’s contribution to this growing genre of Christian literature. He awakens us to the power of the gospel—that alone brings hope in the midst of brokenness and joy—in the stunning truth that a holy God is actually for us. If you need to wake up to the beauty of the gospel (and who doesn’t?), this book is for you. If you’ve ever wondered how the gospel quite literally and radically changes everything, both now and tomorrow, Gospel Wakefulness is must reading.”
Sam Storms, Lead Pastor for Preaching and Vision, Bridgeway Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Gospel Wakefulness is one of the most theologically faithful, refreshingly honest, pastorally sensitive, and eminently practical books on the gospel I have read in a long time. Accessible without tiresome clichés or self-serving anecdotes, Jared writes as a man astonished at the riches of God’s grace, committed to the maturing of Christ’s church, and engaged with the advancing of God’s kingdom. The gospel is more clear and precious to me for having read Jared’s book. I cannot think of a greater compliment to be able to offer.”
Scotty Smith, Teacher in Residence, West End Community Church, Nashville, Tennessee

“How many of us really understand the power of the gospel? It’s about more than just knowing the facts; it’s a deep-down realization that something amazing and wonderful has taken place. Jared Wilson explains that our lives will overflow with incredible joy and thankfulness when we truly comprehend the gospel. Jared’s book changes how we see the gospel and reminds us of just how amazing grace is.”
Greg Surratt, Pastor, Seacoast Church

“By God’s grace this book will help ignite a burning obsession with the always-overwhelming, always-underrated, and always-powerful gospel of Jesus Christ. Don’t read this book unless you are ready to be ignited with a passion for the gospel in an extraordinary way.”
Burk Parsons, Copastor, Saint Andrew’s Chapel, Sanford, Florida; Editor, Tabletalk magazine

“You’re a Christian, but you’re lagging. Joy is elusive. You struggle to get as excited about your faith as you do about Monday Night Football or lavishly dressed housewives. As sinners, we will all find ourselves in this position at some point. What we need is a fresh vision of the gospel, a new savoring of God’s grace in Christ. Jared Wilson gives us just this gift in Gospel Wakefulness—a book that makes us laugh even as it makes a mark.”
Owen Strachan, Associate Professor of Christian Theology and Director of the Center for Theological and Cultural Engagement, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; President, The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

“Jared is a brilliant writer with an important message, calling us back to the power of the gospel. He reminds us that we don’t need to desperately try to make it attractive because it already is the most attractive thing in the universe! Wilson demonstrates how we can simply and powerfully proclaim the gospel through our lives and ministries. I feel liberated by this much-needed call to gospel wakefulness!”
Jud Wilhite, author, Eyes Wide Open and Uncensored Grace; senior pastor, Central Christian Church, Las Vegas, Nevada

“You may not recognize your need for this book until you read it. You won’t be sorry that you did, but be warned: Jared Wilson’s relentless focus on the wondrous grace of Jesus Christ may prompt some painful if ultimately liberating reflection on your desperate, everyday need for a Savior. Enjoy highlighting Wilson’s many pithy lines on our ongoing need for the gospel and rejoice over the stories of redemption he tells.”
Collin Hansen, Editorial Director, The Gospel Coalition; author, Blind Spots

“It’s been said you can’t commend what you don’t cherish. It is clear Jared Wilson cherishes the life-saving, life-giving gospel of Jesus Christ. In this book he also commends it, so we will do the same.”
Elliot Grudem, Director, A29 Network; pastor, Mars Hill Church; Editor, Christian Beliefs

Gospel Wakefulness clearly explains the difference between simply knowing the content of the gospel and being utterly captivated by it. Jared masterfully paints a picture of what a truly ‘gospel wakened’ soul looks like, all the while pointing to our inability to accomplish this ourselves. He continually points to the magnificent work of Jesus and clearly states how the good news should influence our lives. This book tells the story of how a proper understanding of the law and the gospel leads to not only a bigger view of Christ, but also to a life completely transformed by him. It challenges both new and seasoned Christians to go beyond merely intellectual Christianity and experience the full majesty of the cross of Christ.”
Justin S. Holcomb, Episcopal Priest; Professor of Christian Thought, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary; coauthor, Rid of My Disgrace and Is It My Fault?  

About the Author

Jared C. Wilson is the director of content strategy at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri, and managing editor of the seminary's website for gospel-centered resources, For the Church. He is a popular author and conference speaker, and also blogs regularly at Gospel Driven Church hosted by the Gospel Coalition. His books include Your Jesus Is Too Safe, Gospel Wakefulness, Gospel Deeps, The Pastor’s Justification, The Storytelling God, and The Wonder-Working God.

Raymond C. Ortlund Jr. is the pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, Tennessee. He is the author of several books, including the Preaching the Word commentary on Isaiah, as well as a contributor to the ESV Study Bible. He and his wife, Jani, have four children.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (October 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433526360
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433526367
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #282,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
What's the thing that's supposed to captivate Christians, above all else? What should motivate us to greater heights of joy, to greater levels of confidence and boldness in our daily lives? The gospel. For the Christian, there's no better news than the good news of Jesus' perfect life, death and resurrection. Nothing comes close. So why is it that we seem kind of ambivalent to it--as it it were something that we need to hear once and then can move on to "bigger and better things"?

What's happened to us that causes us to stop marvelling at the gospel? What's made us fall asleep--and how do we wake up? Jared Wilson wants to help us do that in his new book, Gospel Wakefulness. In this book, Wilson seeks to help readers regain a sense of wonder as he explains what it means to be awakened anew to the gospel and it's implications.

They say that you shouldn't write a book that you haven't lived. And if this book is any indication, Wilson has lived his subject matter well. His love and passion for the gospel is evident in this book--his awe, his excitement, permeates every word as he explains all the concepts behind gospel wakefulness.

And what does gospel wakefulness mean, exactly, anyway? Wilson defines it as, "treasuring Christ more greatly and savoring his power more sweetly" (p. 24). Whether it's a "quantum leap forward" or a "gradual dawn," gospel wakefulness occurs through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, "administering the goodness of the gospel" (p. 31). So basically it's a greater understanding and sense of awe and amazement at who Christ is and what He has done. It's an awakening of the renewed and redeemed affections that we've been given as new creations in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).
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Format: Paperback
What is Gospel Wakefulness?

For some people it happens simultaneous with conversion but for others, like me, it happens at a time after conversion. What is gospel wakefulness? Wilson defines it as "treasuring Christ more greatly and savoring his power more sweetly". (24)

It is not a second conversion experience nor is it equivalent to the new birth (24). It is a strengthening of the affections for Christ alone that comes through beholding the glory of Christ at an intersection of profound brokenness (32). It is Wilson's contention that those that are bored with the gospel say such things because they have never experienced gospel wakefulness.

If I understand Wilson correctly he is saying that gospel proclamation is its own catalyst. Rather than being afraid of the monotony of the gospel we should proclaim it over and over and over and over and over again. The more it is proclaimed the sweeter it becomes. Rather than becoming boring and drab the gospel actually gets better the more it is experienced and beheld. (Perhaps it may be better to say Jesus becomes sweeter the more He is experienced and beheld).

As Wilson weaves stories, illustrations, and biblical defenses throughout this book he is making one simple point Jesus is big enough to captivate our every affection so rather than assuming the gospel let's proclaim it over and over again. The gospel is what drives sanctification. The gospel is what ties a broken and depressed person to a strong and faithful Christ, so let's proclaim it in the midst of darkness. The gospel transforms our hearts and therein also transforms spiritual disciplines. It brings confidence as it links us to Christ.
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Format: Paperback
Jared C. Wilson, Pastor of Middletown Springs Community Church in Middletown Springs, Vermont has written a heart-felt call to the spiritually lazy Christian to re-awaken to the beauty, freedom, and necessity of the Gospel in the midst of a cultural christian message that has served to place a pillow under the head of well meaning followers of Jesus Christ.

From the beginning Wilson refuses to cut corners as he presents a reminder of what the true Gospel of Jesus Christ is, and begins to describe the concept he refers to as "Gospel Wakefulness", "Treasuring Christ more greatly and savoring his power more sweetly (24)." His goal, as laid out in chapter one, is that, "as we pour over this robust gospel together, you will find more and more cause to exalt in your gospel wakefulness, or perhaps experience it for the first time." This book spoke to me on several different levels, reading this book I found that the Gospel continues to inform my thinking personally in my own walk with Jesus Christ, and as a Pastor of Biblical Counseling.

Wilson presents the concept all to well. In fact, the concept almost immediately becomes the desire of the reader, the "Spiritual euphoria, the exorbitant joy, the desire to leap and praise...spiritually seeing with eyes of faith what you always assumed was there" (33). What true follower of Jesus Christ does not desire that? What true follower of Christ wouldn't want to know how to grow in that concept? Wilson paints a beautiful picture of what our relationship with God can be under the banner of "Gospel Wakefulness" and then brings a disappointing truth to bare on the conversation when he writes, "I cannot lay out gospel wakefulness in a technique or a system like your mom might lay out your Sunday clothes (35).
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