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"If we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."-Galatians 5:25The Holy Spirit empowers us, guides us, and enables us to grow and endure in our relationship with the Father through Jesus Christ. Often the most misunderstood member of the Trinity, the Spirit is someone of great focus and attention today amid church revivals and renewals.In this new edition o"If we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."-Galatians 5:25The Holy Spirit empowers us, guides us, and enables us to grow and endure in our relationship with the Father through Jesus Christ. Often the most misunderstood member of the Trinity, the Spirit is someone of great focus and attention today amid church revivals and renewals.In this new edition of his classic Keep in Step with the Spirit, J. I. Packer seeks to help Christians reaffirm the biblical call to holiness and the Spirit's role in keeping our covenant with God. Packer discusses both the merits and shortcomings of the current charismatic movement and how Christ must always be at the center of true Spirit-led ministry.Packer encourages believers to implement the Spirit's directives and discusses how to map the Spirit's path in your life. If you want to understand and experience more of life in the Spirit, you will cherish this latest offering from one of Christianity's most respected scholars. J. I. Packer is recognized as one of today's leading evangelical theologians. He is Board of Governors' Professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, and the best-selling author of Knowing God....

Title : Keep in Step with the Spirit: Finding Fullness in Our Walk with God
Author :
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ISBN : 9780801065583
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 248 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Keep in Step with the Spirit: Finding Fullness in Our Walk with God Reviews

  • Catie
    2019-05-17 18:10

    I would give it 6 stars if I could. "Keep in Step with the Spirit" is a very challenging read that is an unflinching stream of thoroughly developed and well-articulated points on the Holy Spirit, a topic that is due more attention that it has received, both in my life and in the church as a whole. The book frustrated and deepened the way I view the Spirit and his role in the Trinity. I WILL reread it one day.

  • Andrew Strenn
    2019-05-03 19:07

    I found this to be a very helpful book. I read this book for the purpose of learning more about the nature of sanctification, and in this area Packer provided some excellent insights.He also gave me some food for thought on the whole charismatic movement stuff. I don't agree with all he had to say, but it was a good counter balance to my assumptions about the "baptism in the Holy Spirit" and the sign gifts.Here is some of the stuff I found helpful:Certainly God sometimes works wonders of sudden deliverance from this or that weakness at conversion, just as he sometimes does at other times; but every Christian's life is a constant fight against the pressures and pulls of the world, the flesh, and the devil; and his battle for christlikeness (that is , habits of wisdom, devotion, love, and righteousness) is as grueling as it is unending.Sin, which is in essence an irrational energy of rebellion against God - a lawless habit of self-willed arrogance, moral and spiritual, expressing itself in egoism of all sorts - is something that God hates in all its forms.That is in fact the fittest language for the purpose, since the love of man and woman really is the closest analogy in creation to the relationship with himself that the heavenly Lover intended for us. Human love was, indeed, always meant to help lovers on into just that. In love experiences, both human and divine, one is intensely self-aware.Holiness is consecrated closeness to God. Holiness is in essence obeying God, living to God and for God, imitating God, keeping his law, taking his side against sin, doing righteousness, performing good works, following Christ's teaching and example, worshiping God in the Spirit, loving and serving God and men out of reverence for Christ. In relation to God, holiness takes the form of a single-minded passion to please by love and loyalty, devotion and praise. In relation to sin, it takes the form of a resistance movement, a discipline of not gratifying the desires of the flesh, but of putting to death the deeds of the body.Repentance means turning from as much as you know of your sin to give as much as you know of yourself to as much as you know of your God, and as our knowledge grows at these three points so our practice of repentance has to be enlarged.The first is that the Spirit works through means - through the objective means of grace, namely, biblical truth, prayer, fellowship, worship, and the Lord's Supper, and with them through the subjective means of grace whereby we open ourselves to change, namely thinking, listening, questioning oneself, examining oneself, admonishing oneself, sharing what is in one's heart with others, an weighing any response they make. The Spirit shows his power in us, not by constantly interrupting our use of these means with visions, impressions, or prophecies, which serve up tous ready-made insights on a plate, so to speak (such communications come only rarely, and to some believers not at all), but rather by making these regular means effective to change us fro the betrter and for the wiser as we go along. Holiness teaching tha skips over disciplined persistence in the well-doing that forms holy habits is thus weak; habit forming is the Spirit's ordinary way of leading us on in holiness. The fruit of the Spirt itself is, from one standpoint, a series of habits of action and reaction: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control are all of them habitual dispositions, that is, accustomed ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving. Habits are all-important in holy life, particularly those biblically prescribed habits that we find it difficult and even painful to form.Holiness by habit forming is not self-sanctification by self-effort, but is simply a matter of understanding the Spirit's method and then keeping in step with him.Legalism means two things: first, supposing that all the law's requirements can be spelled out in a code of standard practice for all situations, a code which says nothing about the motives, purpose, and spirit of the person acting; second, supposing that formal observance of the code operates in some way as a system of salvation by which we earn our passage to glory or at least gain a degree of divine favor that we would not otherwise enjoy.Twice Paul speaks of being "led" by the Spirit (Rom. 8:14; Gal. 5:18). Both times the reference is to resisting one's own sinful impulses as the flip side of one's practice of righteousness (see the contexts, Rom. 8:12-14 and Gal. 5:16-18). Leads is rightly taken to mean "guides", but the guidance in view here is not a revealing to mind of divine direction hitherto unknown; it is, rather, an impelling of our wills to pursue and practice and hold fast that sanctity whose terms we know already.The activity Augustinian holiness teaching encourages is intense, as the careers of such prodigiously busy holy men as Augustine himself, Calvin, Whitefield, Spurgeon, and Kuyper show, but it is not in the least self-reliant in spirit. Instead, it follows this four-stage sequence. First, as one who wants to do all the good you can, you observe what tasks, opportunities, and responsibilities face you. Second, you pray for help in these, acknowledging that without Christ you can do nothing - nothing fruitful, that is (John 15:5). Third, you go to work with a good will and a high heart, expecting to be helped as you asked to be. Fourth, you thank God for help given, ask pardon for your own failures en route, and request more help for the next task. Augustinian holiness is hardworking holiness, based on endless repetitions of this sequence.

  • Audrey
    2019-04-29 21:06

    This book was somewhat different from what I had expected, but I found as I moved through it that I really liked it. Packer believes of greatest importance is that Christians be committed to holiness as their goal in life, and of second importance to understand how to achieve holiness in their daily lives. He discusses three views or approaches to holiness as ascribed to throughout history: Augustinian Holiness, Wesleyan Perfectionism, and Keswick Teaching–a Halfway House. Packer then goes on to describe at some length a new spiritual force, the Charismatic life and its movement in modern Christian experience. Packer urges us to go beyond the Charismatic renewal force and accept and understand holiness in terms of the New Testament call to Christ-Centeredness. Packer calls believers to a personal radicalism as well as a corporate radicalism where we understand that the Holy Spirit "is not a sentimentalist as too many of us are; he is a change agent, and he comes to change human structures as well as human hearts. Change for its own sake is mere fidgeting, but change that gets rid of obstacles to God’s fullest blessing is both a necessity and a mercy." Packer calls believers to a Spiritual reality and realism. “The question of reality has to do with the goals we set in church and personal life, and the issue there is how much or how little of the life of God we are prepared to settle for. The question of realism has to do with our willingness or lack of willingness to face unpalatable truths about ourselves to start making necessary changes. Packer says "Jesus extols realism by showing us the supreme benefit to which it leads [where by with] realistic admission of need we approach Jesus and “buy” what he offers (Rev. 3:20). When we approach Jesus thus realistically, knowing our need to change and seeking grace to do it, honestly recognizing what has offended him in our lives and asking for power to turn from it, we shall find him.”I am here reminded of the concept of laceration and can’t help but consider what a difference we can experience in our lives as we allow the Holy Spirit to help us move away from our narcissism and self-denial, from the effects of “laceration” in our lives which tears us apart both within ourselves and in our relations to others. “Laceration originates in a basically noble impulse: horror in the face of the human capacity for evil. Recoiling in disgust from the primal evil in oneself, one tries to rise above such debasing and undignified tendencies by affirming oneself as a transcendent, more spiritual or noble sort of being. But this attempt to achieve a superior position through one’s own will power – to rise above the herd – is quite obviously a product of pride. Trying to make oneself look good by making others look bad, laceration leads to subtly manipulative human relations: others are encountered as tools to be used in achieving one’s own self-enhancement. What results from laceration, then, is not angelic behaviour, but manipulative power plays and airs of superiority that tear us away from others and ultimately tear us apart within our own selves (ref. pg. xxii, Introduction by Charles B. Guignon in the book, “The Grand Inquisitor with related chapters from The Brothers Karamazov” by Fyodor Dostoevsky).Back to “Keep in Step With the Spirit,” Packer says that “knowing the Holy Spirit means precisely knowing Christ, so honouring the Holy Spirit means precisely honouring Christ – honouring him by realism in facing spiritual issues, in willingness to have Christ expose to oneself one’s faults and in readiness to change one’s ways according to his word.” Packer concludes his discussion on realism with these words: “As we have seen throughout our argument, the essence of life in the Spirit is acknowledgement of Jesus and fellowship with Jesus, whom the Father has given us to save us from the folly, guilt, and power of sin. The evidence that shows us to be honouring the Spirit is that we are endeavouring each day to live this life, to which Revelation 3:20 invites us. This is what counts, and nothing counts apart from it.” In his concluding chapter, Packer notes Paul the Apostle’s words, “Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” and extends to us an invitation to experience ‘heaven on earth.’ “Well may we rejoice in God, then, well may we experience (as surely we shall experience, if we think about these things) the certainty of the reality of the love of God poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Well may we walk tall in our joyful certainty that we are loved by our heavenly Father, and by our glorious Savior, and by the Holy Spirit who labours to bring this assurance home to our hearts so that we constantly say within ourselves (and sometimes out loud as well), Hallelujah! – I am a child of God, I am safe for ever; God loves me.” Packer says heaven can be in us and we can be in heaven “if we learn this lesson of daily thinking about what we already know of the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord, and thus opening our hearts for the Spirit to pour in more. May this ongoing process be mine and may it be yours in all its fullness as long as we are in the world.”What a refreshing view of life in the Spirit .. oh that we would have been given this understanding back in Bible College days when the teaching of the spirit-filled life included a lot of theology that did not draw one's heart into the matter but left one confused and somewhat fearful of what was required of us. But what a glorious life it is when the power of the Holy Spirit is at work and enlightens our understanding and leads our minds and our hearts to experience him in a wonderfully fulfilling delight!

  • Philip Tadros
    2019-05-02 00:13

    Unparalleled depth. Only read the first 3 chapters which deal grapple with life in step with the Holy Spirit. Didn't venture into the following chapters because they deal with the charismatic debate and that is not why I ventured into this book. Packer's emphasis on holiness in the Christian life is a welcome reminder. His basic summary of New Testament teaching on the Trinity is breathtaking and challenging.

  • Scott Hubbard
    2019-05-14 18:16

    As Packer's work always proves to be, Keep in Step With the Spirit is an adeptly evaluated, warmly argued, and incredibly helpful book. Packer's insistence on centering all thoughts concerning the Spirit around the essence of His ministry (as displayed especially in chapters 14-16 of John's gospel) proved remarkably enlightening and served to tie together the various mental threads I had concerning the role of this third Person of the trinity in the New Testament era. Again and again, Packer brings the point home that "the essence of the Holy Spirit's ministry, at this or any time in the Christian era, is to mediate the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ" (49). This truth (summarized by Jesus in the phrase, "He will glorify Me" [Jn. 16:14]) becomes the touchstone for all of Packer's subsequent discussion surrounding the Spirit's path.Along with bundles of carefully considered and crafted theology (with no lack of challenging and gospel-centered pastoral application), I learned much from simply observing how this godly thinker interacted with viewpoints at variance with his own. Early on, Packer acknowledges the reality that "because God is gracious, He...may deepen our life in the Spirit even when our ideas about this life are nonexistent or quite wrong, provided only that we are truly and wholeheartedly seeking His face and wanting to come closer to Him" (21). The way he sets about arguing his points throughout reflects his commitment to this reality, and his discussions of movements and groups that he clearly thinks are "quite wrong" are nevertheless recognized to contain much good and are dealt with graciously through and through. This is what "speaking the truth in love" looks like, it would seem to me.This is all to say that I was much blessed by reading this book and would heartily recommend it to anyone who wants to experience more of the Holy Spirit's ministry.

  • Graham Heslop
    2019-04-24 22:23

    It's hard to rate this because, in my opinion, despite being exceptional in content it is far from Packer's best in terms of form. Added to that, parts of the book are (obviously) a little dated. Let me draw up a list of positives and another of negatives in reviewing this book.Positively:- unapologetically biblical, and therefore not only a vital corrective for the common misunderstandings and gross misrepresentations of the Spirit's work in the church, but also gracious in rebuke and generous towards theological opponents- clearly structured and therefore most useful as a resource on the numerous areas dealt with- Packer undoubtedly possesses an earnest desire to see renewal in the church, by the work of the Spirit, but partners that passion with a reasoned approach, submissive to how God has said he will bring that about in his Word- Packer is also unafraid to challenge unbiblical, vague and ultimately unhelpful views prevalent in many churches today regarding the Holy Spirit, his work and our own holinessNegatively:- as I said above, the book is too dense and almost unreadable for someone without theological training of some kind. This is a great pity because there is an abundance of practical points to take away in the way of Christian living and godly expectations regarding God's work today- though the content is near flawless and well rounded I do feel that Packer could've spent more space unpacking the meaning for every day living, immediate application

  • Don Bryant
    2019-04-28 22:05

    This is one of Packer's best books but also one of his most overlooked. Here he has a sane, thoroughly biblical, and charitable evaluation of the Pentecostal/charismatic (PCs) movement. While he doesn't buy into the baptism of the Holy Spirit as a second work of grace evidenced by speaking in tongues, he does find a way to include PCs within the Evangelical family and fellow laborers in the vineyard. Packer would be totally distanced from MacArthur's Strange Fire conference and his constant disparaging of PCs. Packer simply asserts that the PCs' experience and their explanation of their experience are two different things, and that others can validate their ecstatic worship without accepting the PC theology. I think this is level-headed. Packer has a history of inclusiveness within the Evangelical church family and does his best to give a "best interpretation" of others. Note Packer's efforts in the Evangelicals Catholics Together movement. It has cost him dearly with some of the NeoPuritans, such as RC Sproul. I support Packer in both attempts to keep the Evangelical circle as large as is possible within orthodox boundaries.For those who seek a thoroughly biblical, practically sensible and generously orthodox handling of the person and work of the Holy Spirit, this is a must read book. I have constantly consulted it and on several occasions read it through to renew my grasp of its basic outlines.

  • Chris Maguire
    2019-05-15 20:21

    Clear, well-written, precise, honest, bold and even humorous in places. Packer is a tremendous writer, well organized and thought-provoking. The author pulls in scripture after scripture to illuminate not his own points, but rather the doctrines of scripture. I never get the sense that Packer is trying to bolster his own theory or doctrine, but rather that he is genuinely seeking to mine the doctrine directly from the scripture itself.Packer describes John Wesley as "eclectic to his fingertips" and it seems to me that Packer is in one way the exact opposite and another the same: Packer draws on a staggering amount of material from other authors, but judges everything against what the scripture reveals.Packer's honesty about his understanding of the scripture is refreshing; he questions what different scriptures might mean and whether people have interpreted them correctly. Where Packer makes an assertion he backs it up with clean scriptural evidence.

  • Laurent Dv
    2019-05-05 02:32

    Good overview of the charismatic movement from a balanced author who don't take position on many issues at the cessationism, tongues .... But anyway he gives clues to answer the baptism of the Spirit understanding of charismatics. More than just speaking about the charisma debate, he shows us that the main new covenant ministry of the Spirit has to deal with Christ, christcenteredness is the clue ! He succeeds to gives both the strenghts and the weak points of Pentecotalism. Besides, he has a lot of insights on sanctification including biblical principles about it, the different versions of it (the augustinian, the wesleyan and Keswick one). He encourages us to live a pious life to the glory of God.

  • Michael Vincent
    2019-04-26 22:28

    This was a good follow up to my reading of D.A. Carson's, Showing the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12-14). Packer is not quite as deep as Carson, but there is plenty of meat to chew on. His main theme is that the Spirit came to glorify Christ, but I'm not sure he sticks to this throughout. His discussion of sanctification seemed especially helpful. He spends much time on the charismatic movement, and seems more skeptical than Carson. He represents a variety of views in his writing and discusses history, strengths and weaknesses. A good supplement when studying the work of the Spirit in the life of the Christian and in His Church.

  • Yoon-ho
    2019-04-28 20:29

    The best single treatise on the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Packer gives an impassioned analysis of the work of the Holy Spirit, evaluated against the Scripture, and without taking a side in the polemical debate between the charismatic vs. the uncharismatic, the power-driven vs. the purity-driven, etc. A memorable analogy was comparing the work of the Holy Spirit to the light that shines on a building at night. If done right, you don't actually see the sources of the light but only the shone building. The building is the Christ, the light is the work of the Spirit.

  • Aaron
    2019-05-02 19:15

    What a great book by Packer. It is considered a classic, however the 2nd edition makes it completely relevant to the church today. As I read this book, I realized I had based my view on the Holy Spirit mostly on experiences, not on biblical truth. Also, as he began to describe the different interpretations of the role of the Holy Spirit in a Christian, I found my understanding of the Holy Spirit beginning to solidify. Awesome read, very challenging, very honest and true to the Word of God.

  • Christopher Jamison
    2019-04-24 22:30

    This is a book I describe as being "dense". Certainly not a light read, I had to limit my reading to 3-4 pages at a time. There is a lot of material packed into the book. I found the style of writing to be erudite, but often it got in the way of a straightforward reading of the material. I got a lot of good information out of the few couple of chapters, but then the book takes a left turn into the world of Charismatic and Pentecostal worship. I'm not sure how exactly this relates to the first half of the book, and I didn't follow his tieback at the end of the book.

  • Todd
    2019-04-23 19:32

    Classic J.I. Packer: readable, devotional, doxological. Keep In Step With The Spirit is an outstanding study of the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit. Packer points to the Christ-centeredness of the Spirit's work and his ministry of sanctifying the people of God. There is also a helpful evaluation of the charismatic movement.

  • Sean
    2019-04-24 19:09

    At 270+ pages, this is a big beast. It is sometimes hard to manage. But as a big beast, it also provides plenty of good meat to chew on. It's probably one of the most balanced, and Scripturally faithful, treatments of the person and work of the Holy Spirit in print. (It's certainly the most that I've ever read). So it's definitely worth seeking out and digesting (albeit in small doses).

  • Matt Mason
    2019-05-01 02:12

    Spiritually refreshing and generous. Also an excellent, short treatment (appendix) of the identity of the man in Romans 7.

  • Matt Carpenter
    2019-05-22 22:17

    This book gives excellent balance to the various teachings on the Holy Spirit in the Church today. It is thoroughly biblical in approach.

  • Tim Rodgers
    2019-05-04 22:20

    It is an excellent book from a depth perspective. I must confess that I struggled with the language and readability.

  • Wassenario
    2019-05-18 00:26

    Very thorough examination of the Holy Spirit and its work. Excellent resource for understanding charismatics.

  • Nathan
    2019-05-09 01:11

    Very thought-provoking book. Excellent insights on person & work of Holy Spirit in life of contemporary church.

  • Babs
    2019-05-12 22:03

    life changing

  • Steve
    2019-04-28 22:23

    And edifying and comforting read. It helped heal some scars inflicted by the Keswick teaching from my youth.

  • Matt Chapman
    2019-04-24 19:29

    An outstanding book! I don't agree with every fine detail but 99% is pure gold. Probably the best book I've read on the Holy Spirit and his work.

  • Jay Risner
    2019-04-25 23:11

    Really great.

  • Carl Hesler
    2019-05-05 01:16

    Parts of this were amazing, but many other parts of it were too vague and possibly unhelpful.

  • Drew Bennett
    2019-05-16 23:27

    Somewhat technical as expected, but very helpful. Chapter 7 on revival is gold.

  • David
    2019-04-26 22:04

    Pretty good book but it had too much discussion about the charismatic/pentecostal movement.

  • Andrew
    2019-05-04 19:32

    Broke through decade-long spiritual darkness and theological confusion.

  • Angus Mcfarlane
    2019-05-08 18:21

    About the best book on the Spirit I've read.

  • Jane
    2019-05-20 19:05

    Good review of various historical understandings of the Holy Spirit an his work in and among us. I was moved by his conclusions.