(The following comes from Milton Vincent’s wonderful book A Gospel Primer for Christians; Focus Publishing, copyright 2008. Used by permission.
All hyperlinks below lead to Scriptural support for the statements made.)
The Glory of God
My God is immense beyond imagination. He measured the entire universe with merely the span of His hand. He is unimaginably awesome in all of His perfections, absolutely righteous, holy, and just in all of His ways.
He has also been unbelievably good and merciful to me as the Creator and Sustainer of my life. Every breath, every heartbeat, every function of every organ in my body is a gift from Him. Every legitimate pleasure I experience is a gift from His loving hand to me. All that I am and all that I have I owe to Him and to His goodness. My life in every way is, and will continue to be, utterly dependent upon Him in whom I live and move and have my being.
This wonderful God is the most supremely worthy Object of admiration, honor, and delight in all of the universe; and He has created me with the intention that I might glorify Him by finding my soul’s delight in Him and by living in joyful obedience to Him in all of my ways.
My Sin Against God
Yet I could not have failed this great God more miserably than I have.
Instead of giving thanks to Him and humbly submitting to His rule over my life, I have rebelled against Him and have actually sought to exalt myself above Him. Going my own way and living according to my own wisdom, I have broken countless times either the letter or the spirit of every one of God’s Ten Commandments. Thinking myself to be wise, I have shown myself to be a fool; and because of my arrogance, God has every right to damn me to the everlasting experience of His terrifying wrath in the Lake of Fire.
Apart from Christ, I am also utterly deserving of and destined for eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire, completely unable to save myself or even to make one iota of a contribution to my own salvation.
God’s Work on My Behalf
However, what I could not do, God did– and in doing it, He did it all, sending His own Son into the world to die on the cross for my sins, thereby showing me unfathomable love. God loved me so much that He was willing to suffer the loss of His Son, and even more amazingly, He was willing to allow His Son to suffer the loss of Him at the cross. Jesus loved me so much that He was willing to lay down His life for me. No one could ever love me more or better than Jesus.
On the third day after Jesus’ death, God raised Him from the dead, thereby announcing that His death was completely sufficient to atone for every sin that I have or will commit through my lifetime. God then exalted Christ to His own right hand, where Christ now reigns from on high, granting salvation and forgiveness to all who call on Him by faith.
Now when my time came and I placed my faith in Jesus, God instantly granted me a great salvation.
He forgave me of all of my sins, past, present, and future. He made me his child, adopting me into His family. He gave me the gift of the Holy Spirit, who gives me God’s power, who pours out God’s love within my heart, and who tenderly communicates to my spirit that I am a child of God and an heir of eternal glory in heaven.
In saving me, God also freed me from slavery to any and all sins. I no longer have to sin again, for sin’s mastery over me has been broken!
In saving me, God also justified me, and being justified through Christ, I have a peace with God that will endure forever. In justifying me, God declared me innocent of my sins and pronounced me righteous with the very righteousness of Jesus. God also allowed His future and present wrath against me to be completely propitiated by Jesus, who bore it upon Himself while on the cross.
Consequently, God now has only love, compassion, and deepest affection for me, and this love is without any admixture of wrath whatsoever. God always looks upon me and treats me with gracious favor, always working all things together for my ultimate and eternal good. God’s grace abounds to me even through trials. Because I am a justified one, He subjugates every trial and forces it to do good unto me.
When I sin, God’s grace abounds to me all the more as He graciously maintains my justified status as described above. When I sin, God feels no wrath in His heart against me. His heart is filled with nothing but love for me, and He longs for me to repent and confess my sins to Him, so that He might show me the gracious and forgiving love that has been in His heart all along. God does not require my confession before He desires to forgive me. In His heart He has already forgiven me; and when I come to Him to confess my sins to Him, He runs to me (as it were) and is repeatedly embracing and kissing me even before I get the words of confession out of my mouth!
God sees my sins, and He is grieved by my sins. His grief comes partly from the fact that in my moment of sin, I am not receiving the fullness of His love for me. He even sends chastisement into my life; but He does so because He is for me, and He loves me; and He disciplines me for my ultimate good.
I don’t deserve any of this, even on my best day; but this is my salvation, and herein I stand,
Thank you, Jesus.