Recently I began reading the latest book by Pastor J. D. Greear (lead pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC). Having read some of his previous books and listened to some of his teachings on audio, I have high expectations for this book.
The title of the book initially drew my attention … Jesus, Continued. But what really drew me in was the subtitle … Why the Spirit Inside You is Better Than Jesus Beside You . If you question the validity of such a subtitle, you need look no farther in Scripture than the words of Jesus found in John 16:7 …
“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.”
Just wanted to share a brief excerpt from the first chapter of his book for your perusal …
The Spirit takes God’s timeless truths and makes them come alive in us. He helps us understand them, shows us how to implement them, and empowers us to accomplish them. He transforms tasks list into relationship.
The Word is eternal and unchanging.
The Spirit’s direction is temporary and varied.
The Word gives us promises.
The Spirit compels us to risk in certain situations.
The Word outlines a mission.
The Spirit inspires a vision.
The Word sets the standard.
The Spirit guides the operation.
The Word shows the end game.
The Spirit points to a starting place.
The Word sets our expectations.
The Spirit inspires our dreams.
The Word describes the character of God.
The Spirit pulls us into His emotions.
The Word recounts God’s acts of salvation.
The Spirit sheds abroad his love in our hearts.
The Word gives us the revelation.
The Spirit illumines the explanation.
The Word provides the content.
The Spirit brings the conviction.
The Word helps us to know.
The Spirit enables us to learn.
The Word commands us to hear.
The Spirit empowers us to listen.
The Word commands us to obey.
The Spirit beckons us to follow.
The Spirit makes God’s Word personal to us.
IMHO … the following two passages support the dynamic union Pastor Greear is describing above.
… and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17 (NASB)
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 (NASB)
A quote and a thought shared in the book reveal the challenge facing every Christian and the church as a whole today …
- Religion is what happens when the Spirit has left the building. – Bono
- The vibrant Christian life is a union of clarity in the Word and openness to the Spirit.
For too long, I walked the path of religion … now I long for the vibrant Christian life!
How about you?