Jesus Continued by J.D. Greear is a book about the Holy Spirit. The subtitle is a better description about the big idea in Greear’s book – “Why the Spirit Inside You is Better Than Jesus Beside You.” If nothing else, the subtitle is bound to prompt discussion about the role of the Holy Spirit. Ultimately, if the discussion follows the basic flow of the book, the discussion will, in the final analysis prove fruitful and worthwhile.
Part One: The Missing Spirit
In part one, the author makes an absolutely crucial point that runs through the rest of his work, namely – we cannot fulfill the Word apart from the Spirit. That is to say, the Spirit of God uses the Word of God to transform the people of God. Eliminate the Spirit from this maxim and the result is dry academia which influence no one. Eliminate the Word from this maxim and the result is fanatical extremism which may influence some people but is utterly useless. Greear makes it clear that Christians must be “led by the Spirit and taught by the Word.”
The author discusses the role of the Spirit in the Christian life. He adds, “Devotion to the mission of Jesus and the fullness with the Spirit of God, you see, always go hand in hand … The primary objective of God’s Spirit is to complete the mission. To know him is to be devoted to that mission. Without him, we cannot hope to succeed. With him, we cannot fail.”
Greear clearly describes the role of the Spirit in the life of the believer and reveals the benefit of the indwelling Spirit which is better than “the Jesus beside you.”
Part Two: Experiencing the Spirit
In part two, the author helps readers understand how to experience the Holy Spirit. He notes that Christians experience the Holy Spirit in at least six specific ways:
- In the Gospel
- In the Word of God
- In our giftings
- In the church
- In our spirit
- In our circumstances
Greear gives practical illustrations how the Holy Spirit is experienced and offers biblical support throughout.
Part Three: Seeking the Holy Spirit
Part three combines the best of parts one and two and challenges readers to surrender afresh to the Holy Spirit and to expect personal and corporate revival. He encourages readers to pursue the “ordinary means of grace” by 1) repenting of sin, 2) preaching the gospel faithfully, 3) saturating themselves in the gospel, and 4) persisting in prayer.
Readers are urged to seek the Holy Spirit in prayer and living by faith in the promises of God. In the final analysis, Greear writes so that Christians will see the Holy Spirit is beckoning them to follow him.
Several features not only make J.D. Greear’s book noteworthy; these features make this book one of the best Christian books of 2014.
- Jesus Continued is saturated in the Reformed tradition. While the author writes with Reformed convictions, his focus is on the Holy Spirit which should encourage charismatics and challenge Reformed thinkers.
- Jesus Continued is a fresh look at the person and work of the Holy Spirit by a pastor who has a heart for theology and a love for the people of God.
- Jesus Continued presents a pneumatology which is Scripture-soaked.
- Jesus Continued is a personal work and practical work. While this is the work of a top-notch scholar, the writing is simple enough for a high school student to understand but will also challenge seasoned pastors.
I highly recommend Jesus Continued. I trust that it will receive a wide readership and that God will use it in mighty ways. May Christ-followers surrender afresh to the ministry of the Holy Spirit!
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review.