Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. (Romans 5:9)
God did that! No man can truthfully lay claim to any part of his own justification. It is wholly a work of God accomplished by the sinless life, sacrificial death, and victorious resurrection of Jesus.
18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)
“ALL this is from God”! “God through Christ reconciled us to himself.”, God “gave us the ministry of reconciliation”. It is God who is “not counting their trespasses against them”.
Remember the story of the tax collector and Jesus? Jesus invited himself to dine with this little man, Zacchaeus, and was roundly condemned for eating with sinners. Jesus announced to those who were present “Today salvation has come to this house”. (Luke 19:9). When Jesus showed up salvation showed up! Then Jesus defined his mission in no uncertain terms.
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. (Luke 19:10)
Jesus does both the “seeking” and the “saving”. Ungodly men and women are not looking for Him, He is looking for them. People do not save themselves, Christ saves them.
A man centered gospel is no gospel at all. A gospel that is accomplished through rites and rituals is no gospel at all. A gospel of do’s and don’t’s is no gospel at all. A gospel that is accomplished by the goodness of man is no gospel at all.
The Bible pictures those who are not Christians as being spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and the cure is that God makes sinners live! (Ephesians 2:5-6). Christians are said to have been adopted (Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:5, Ephesians 1:5) into the family of the faithful. Is anyone so naive as to think someone who is dead can give himself life? Can an orphan baby cause his own adoption? Of course not!
The reason the story of the worth and work of Jesus for sinners is “gospel”, or “good news” is that sinful men and women are helpless to fix themselves, but God has made reconciliation by the blood of Jesus! The offering of Jesus’ perfect life satisfied God’s demand that you and I be perfectly righteous. And in His sacrificial death by crucifixion God’s holy wrath against your sins and mine was absorbed fully in that horrific punishment of rejection and death.
Not only did Jesus live for us the life we couldn’t live, and die the death we should have died, He was raised out of death to die no more so that we too can live forever!
None of this, no tiny part of this is our own doing. the old song says, “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe”. If Jesus did all that needs to be done for God to justify sinners like me and you we can boldly reject every voice that claims something different and declare the good news that Jesus saves!