If you’ve ever read any of Jim Cymbala’s books, you know they are passionate and full of powerful stories of God’s work in the lives of people he knows personally, especially folks at Brooklyn Tabernacle, the church he’s pastored for thirty years. His books are easy to read and hard to put down.
This one, written in the same vein, will remind you of who the Holy Spirit is and why His work is vital in the life of individual believers, as well as in the life of the church as a whole. I think my greatest reaction to reading the book was PRAISE – praise to our mighty God who “can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”
To give you a flavor of the book, I really should reproduce a couple of Cymbala’s marvelous stories, but instead I’ll give you a quote:
“The body of Christ is often divided into two sides. One side stresses the Word of God, separating itself from what it views as the emotional fanaticism often linked to those emphasizing the work of the Holy Spirit. The other side is sometimes drifting into unbiblical manifestations and unorthodox teaching while attributing it all to the Spirit of God.
“Seeing the abuse and bad teaching, many on the first side will say, ‘I’m not interested in experiences and manifestations of the Holy Spirit, I just want to study the Word.’ But it was the Holy Spirit who inspired the Bible, and there are lots of promises concerning his person and work. How can anyone treasure God’s Word without giving the Holy Spirit rightful place?
“To those who move in circles strongly emphasizing the Holy Spirit, they must be reminded that everything must be tested by Scripture. The Spirit never contradicts the Word he gave us. He also never puts the focus on the preacher, because the Holy Spirit was sent to glorify Christ alone (John 16:14).
“Somewhere in the middle is the kind of Christianity we see in Scripture where the Word of God is honored along with a childlike dependence on the Holy Spirit.
“Only the Holy Spirit can make the things of Christ real and alive to people. Christianity does not stop at the cross where Jesus died and paid the price for our sins. After Good Friday was Resurrection Sunday where the Spirit raised Christ. Yet too many of us live with faint trickles and shallow pools of the Spirit, rather than the promised rivers of living water.”