Book Review: Jesus, Continued...: Why the Spirit Inside You is Better than Jesus Beside You by J.D. Greear

Rooted in the Gospel and the Word of God, this book is a call for Christians to turn toward, seek out, and implore the Holy Spirit to do His transforming work once again in our lives, churches, and world. J.D. Greear engagingly, simply, and yet thoroughly shows the reader our need for and purpose of the Holy Spirit.

In part one, Greear shows how, in many Christian circles, we have neglected the essential role of the Holy Spirit, to our peril. We may have become experts on strategic church growth or programs, but the very power source of the church for life, godliness, and joy - The Holy Spirit - as been neglected as the ‘forgotten member of the Trinity”

Where the gospel is not cherished, the Spirit will not be experienced. And, on the flip side, where the Spirit is not sought, there will be no deep, experiential knowledge of the gospel (p. 24).

Part two is about how we experience the Holy Spirit.  Here Greear shows what the role and function of the Holy Spirit is (and what it is not), and how His role works itself out in our lives and our churches. Perhaps one reason many Christians have neglected the Holy Spirit is because of what is perceived to be misuses of the Spirit in the church by some charismatics. Rather than throwing the baby out with the bath water, we should seek to experience the Spirit in every area of our lives. When we do that, we are encouraged, empowered, filled with the fruit of the Spirit, and Jesus is magnified as the all-sufficient and beautiful Savior that He is.

The Holy Spirit makes the gospel come alive, allowing you to truly see it. Doctrines become multi-dimensional. God’s words in the Bible become his voice to you. This illustrates why the Holy Spirit is a better teacher than even Jesus and confirms why Jesus said having the Holy Spirit in us would be better than having Christ beside us. The Spirit teaches us from the inside out(p. 108).

Part three lays out practical steps for us to seek the Holy Spirit in our lives. We are reminded of the necessity of prayer and humility before God as we ask Him to pour out His Spirit in and through our lives. The Holy Spirit delights to magnify Jesus in our lives as we confess our brokenness, weakness, and dependence on Him (c.f. 2 Cor. 4:7).

The key to a new movement of the Spirit of God is not found in a new technique, but in the “old” paths of gospel proclamation, earnest prayer, and yearning for the Spirit (p. 203).

Takeaway: This book was a great reminder of God’s loving kindness toward me through the gift of His Holy Spirit. As I read, I was convicted by the realization that I often neglect the work and power of the Spirit in my life and calling. Throughout the book I was encouraged to once again seek Him and His power in my life.