I believe the Christian life hinges on a thorough understanding of the gospel. Gospel Transformation is suitable for readers who are exploring Christianity, new believers, and yet it has life-changing insights for mature Christians. It has 179 pages and sells for $12.95.
Gospel Transformation falls loosely into two sections:
Saved by the gospel
Scripture teaches a person can be saved if they hear and respond to the gospel. The gospel is simple, yet profound. Today there is much confusion as to what the gospel is and what is include in the saving gospel. Gospel Transformation make it crystal clear.
Transformed by the gospel
After we fully understand the gospel and have responded in faith to the offer of God’s grace in Christ, then we set our minds on things above by affirming the biblical truths of the gospel. These truths are the “in” and “with” Christ truths, the magnificent and precious promises, and the declarations made to true believers. We are take our eyes off our own personal behavior—the Romans 7:14-25 experience of defeat and failure. Rather than focus on our own lives we focus on who we are now “in” and “with” Christ. This results in the Romans 8 experience of victory and joy. The Holy Spirit is the active agent in our personal transformation. He will work out the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.
The big words of the gospel
The first seven chapters are a study of the “big words” of the gospel: righteousness, justification, redemption, propitiation, reconciliation, and substitution. The gospel is like a diamond with each of these facets flashing a fire of a different color. When studded together they reveal the brilliant rainbow of God’s grace, mercy, and love.
The “in” and “with” Christ truths of the gospel.
The last five chapters are designed to clarify bible truth by showing how the Christian life is transformed by the gospel into the image of Christ. This is done by the Holy Spirit as we focus on who we are now “in” and “with” Christ.
What readers say about Gospel Transformation
I am deeply grateful
I am deeply grateful for Dale Ratzlaff’s understanding of and love for God’s gospel which shines on every page of this little book. By taking us into a consideration of the great words of the gospel and by reminding us of the wonderful truth of our union with Christ, he not only increases our understanding of God’s work on our behalf, he deepens our love for Christ. Christians are good news people. We are created by the gospel, and are called to be centered on and shaped by it. Our calling is to be gospel people, good news people who believe, guard, proclaim, and embody the gospel. God’s Word tells us that as we behold the glory of the Lord we are being transformed by the Spirit into the image of Christ. The gospel is sufficient to save us and powerful to transform us. Dale’s book is a God-given aid to enable us to behold the glory of our Lord Jesus in the gospel and thus to experience Gospel Transformation. Gary Inrig, D. Min., Th. M., Redlands, California
This book is needed everywhere the name of Jesus Christ is preached
Gospel Transformation is a positive and humble explanation of the divine work of God in redemption and sanctification through the power of God. The book illustrates that salvation is the inflow and outflow of the wonderful grace of God who saves us from sin and its wages. This book is needed everywhere the name of Jesus Christ is preached so that the true gospel will shine out and above all false teachings which darken the council of God. Andre R. Hill, Ph.D., Education Ministry Literacy Coordinator, Jamaica
Great analysis of the salvation process
I really enjoyed Gospel Transformation and found it to be a great analysis of the salvation process. It is such a basic function of being a Christian that it is often taken for granted. When you take the gospel step by step you see the importance of understanding God’s work in our lives, the power of His grace, and what saving faith looks like. I loved the focus on being “in Christ” and the importance of knowing the impact this has on our life. This has been a transforming part of my life. It gets me pumped being reminded of who I am “In Christ.” I believe this will be a book that transcends the Adventist world and will be read and enjoyed by all Christians. Great work in your “old age”! Dan Burton, Missions Chair, Waverley Baptist Church, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
I strongly recommend Gospel Transformation
I grew up as a Seventh-day Adventist and attended Adventist schools through my Master’s degree at PUC, I taught in the Adventist system for 42 years so I am very familiar with salvation by the grace of God with a “but”. “If you want to spend eternity in heaven then believe in Christ, but you have to stop beating your wife, but don’t tell lies, and be sure to keep the 7th day Sabbath holy.” Christ, when on earth did NOT say “believe in me and keep the Sabbath and thou shalt be saved.” He only said “believe in me.” Dale has done a marvelous job of unpacking this concept of “belief,” documenting it from the books of the New Testament and making it understandable. I have not only been blessed by this reading, but my faith in Christ and my assurance of salvation have grown. I strongly recommend Gospel Transformation for those who want to know and understand God’s grace and the full concept of belief. Gilbert J. Muth, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Biology, Pacific Union College, Angwin, California
A joyful affirmation for those who have rested in Christ
Gospel Transformation helps me understand that I am not only counted righteous but am a genuine child of God and am entitled to all the privileges and benefits He offers His children now and forever. I like that it includes lots of Scripture and that there are enough Greek explanations in the text so that one can discuss the issues. The book also gives me enough ammunition to more thoroughly discuss the issue of “cheap grace”. This is a great primer for those who are new to the concept of the simple gospel and also a joyful affirmation for those who have rested in Christ for years. Richard Regester, Elder, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Green Forest, Arkansas
This book opens the window
I studied Gospel Transformation and found it very refreshing. It takes a giant leap beyond the traditional pedantic approach of fossilized religion. This book opens the window into the realm of the Spirit where we begin to breathe the fresh air of revelation. Sam Pestes, Retired Pastor, Kelowna, BC, Canada
Your Book is really needed
Dale, I have read your new book, Gospel Transformation. It is a spiritual blessing to see these truths put into a simple and yet systematic order so that anyone who has even a basic understanding of Scripture can understand these profound truths. I really liked your explanation about being baptized into Christ by the Holy Spirit. This concept has often been lost when one reads water baptism into Romans 6, instead of seeing that it is the work of the Holy Spirit whereby we identify with Him, whom to know is life eternal. You book is really needed in the Philippines. So many pastors here have been taught about works righteousness, sacramentalism, and old traditions, instead of the simple gospel of faith in Christ. Pastor Verle Streifling, Ph.D., Iloilo City, Philippines
The final two chapters of the book are worth the price of the book
I highly recommend Gospel Transformation. In a clear, concise and easy to understand manner Dale carefully leads the reader to the proper biblical meaning of what it is to be “in Christ”, thereby breaking the shackles of religious legalism and spiritual bondage. I enjoyed this refreshing book from cover to cover, particularly from the beginning where he dedicates this book to his own sons, their wives and his four grandchildren, demonstrating the kind of love he has put into this work. The final two chapters of the book are worth the price of the book because here Dale succinctly outlines what it means to have a “gospel transformation” by being “in Christ.” May the Lord use this book for His glory and give spiritual freedom to those who are now suffering under the weight of their own imperfect acts of righteousness, rather than resting in what Christ has already accomplished through His perfect sacrifice for sins at Calvary. Larry Wessels, Director, Christian Answers, Christian Debater, Austin, Texas
Being “in Christ” is the only way we can be transformed
I highly recommend Gospel Transformation to anyone who wants to have the assurance of salvation in the mercy and grace of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Too often we try to add our own works to the finished work of Christ. Our human tendency is to think that if we are just good enough, or if we would keep certain day, or refrain from this or that, we will be saved—as if we can help our great God do a work that is already finished through His Son. The Bible clearly teaches that it is the finished work of Christ and our faith in His sacrifice for sins that assures our salvation. Dale has clearly outlined this truth in his new book. Being “in Christ” is the only way we can be transformed into new creatures and this book helps us to know how to do this. This is a great resource for anyone who is willing to study the Bible and humbly submit to its truths. Darlene Bieber Hanson, Event Project Administrator, The Well Community Church, Fresno, California
What a blessing this book is to me
I have just finished Gospel Transformation. What a blessing this book is to me and I’m sure will be to many other readers. I believe those from a Seventh-day Adventist background appreciate the gospel more than many Christians who may take it for granted. I plan to read this book over and over and over to remind me of the “in Christ” status that I seem to forget sometimes. This book will be a wonderful blessing to all who read it and absorb the principles you teach. God bless you and I will pray that this book will be able to be read by thousands of people. Jim E. Duncan, Compass Church, Bend Oregon
Companion articles on the gospel