Reviewed by Pastor Scott Heine • “Do I have life ‘more abundant?'” That’s a question millions of Christians have asked down through the ages. Dan Stone asked that question during a time of spiritual frustration in his own life and God answered by showing Dan he had been living only a part of the gospel message. Dan’s search led him to discover the truth of “Christ in you” as “the rest of the gospel” that most Christians overlook. Readers who are hungry for a deeper experience with God will resonate with Dan’s discovery of “the rest of the gospel,” which is indeed rest for everyone who is willing to finally let go and let God.
I first read The Rest of the Gospel while enjoying the True Life Institute with our partners at Grace Ministries, and since then I’ve had the privilege of leading a couple of Growth Groups through this material. Each time I’ve been delighted to see people experience that wondrous “aha!” moment — a sudden understanding of why so many Christians find their spiritual journey so frustrating and unfulfilling. For some reason, people think that beginning a relationship with Jesus is all about trusting what God has done on our behalf, but continuing in that relationship becomes all about what we have to do in response. We couldn’t rely upon ourselves for salvation, so it doesn’t make sense that we would rely upon ourselves for perseverance. Instead, God offers us what Paul once described as the great “mystery” — Christ in us. As Paul wrote to the Galatians, “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.” We literally begin experiencing his life, his presence, his power, his leading. And instead of focusing on our own efforts (and walking away with a sense of disappointment and shame), we focus on Christ. We live out the freedom he has accomplished for us. We experience his righteousness manifested in our day-to-day choices. And the result is transformational!
I can’t recommend this book highly enough, especially for those who feel “stuck” in their journey of faith or those who struggle with that nagging feeling that there must be more to Christianity than striving to adhere to some religious expectation. “When the partial gospel has worn you out,” as the book says, it’s time to celebrate the rest of the good news: Christ in us, the hope of glory.