Man can ruin himself, but he cannot save himself. If I go to hell, it will be by my own will, because of my own sin. If, on the other hand, I possess a righteousness that God Himself accepts, if I obtain eternal life, it will be entirely by God's will, by Christ’s work, and will be given to me by the almighty life-giving work of the Spirit of God!
Romans 1:18-3:20 brings every man to just condemnation and utter helplessness before God. Then, to man in that condition, God reveals the Gospel of His grace with full and perfect atonement accomplished, redemption obtained, everlasting righteousness established, acceptance and justification before the all-seeing eye of God, untainted holiness and perfection in Christ (Rom. 3:21-ff)! Oh, glorious Gospel of Christ!
When faced with the impossible prospect of undoing your sin and guilt, of making God favorable towards you, of removing His wrath, of keeping His commandments, of glorifying Him, of standing before Him in judgment, when facing these essential yet ominous things, never for a moment think that you will cooperate or contribute or influence or do or be or experience anything, now or eventually, that comes from you that God will accept! But rather, abandon all that may be called yours just as you would run from the most feared enemy, or the most deadly disease, or the greatest deception, the most feared destruction, and the most loathsome filth and greatest sorrow! Abandon all that you can do, and look only and always, with satisfaction and trust and delight, to the Lord Jesus Christ and what He did!! “It is Christ that died” (Rom. 8:34)!! “He is able to save to the uttermost them that come to God by Him” (Heb. 7:25)!! “By Himself He purged our sins” (Heb. 1:3)! He alone is all my righteousness!! (Isa. 45:24; Jer. 23:6; 1 Cor 1:30). Let this truth be the balm that heals every wound, the comfort that brightens every sorrow and lifts up every downcast look! “IT IS CHRIST THAT DIED!”