It was God the Father who purposed to make reconciliation with sinners who made themselves His enemies (2 Cor. 5:18-21). It was His eternal purpose and will, a will established before time, and which He brought to pass unimpeded by all the opposition of hell and men (Eph. 3:11; Heb. 10:1-18; Acts 2:23; 4:28). It was the Father who offered His Son (Gen. 22:2-8; John 3:16; Rom. 5:9-10; 8:32; Heb. 2:10; 1 John 4:9-10). It was God the Son who offered Himself (Col. 1:20-22; Heb. 7:27; 9:14, 25-26, 28; John 10:11, 15, 17). It was the Father who assessed Christ’s offering and said it was very good (Isa. 52:7; Eph. 5:2): Christ’s offering of Himself was to God a sweetsmelling savor; He satisfied the Father’s justice; He was the propitiatory sacrifice (Lev. 1:9; Eph. 5:2; Lev. 16:30; Isa. 53:11; Rom. 3:24-25; Heb. 1:3; 2:17; 8:1; 10:12; 1 John 2:1). It was God who was appeased (Psa. 85:10; Isa. 12:1-3; 54:8; Rom. 5:9-10). It was God who forgave all the sins of all His people by the once-for-all offering of Christ who obtained full remission of our sins from God, so that God will not remember our sins any more (Heb. 10:14-18). It was God who reconciled offending sinners to Himself by the death of His Son (Rom. 5:10; Col. 1:20-22). It was God who justified His elect (Rom. 4:25; 8:33). It was God who, by eternal election and the blood of Christ forever sanctified His people (Jude 1:1; Heb. 10:10; 13:12; 1 Cor. 1:30). It was God who because of Christ’s answer to His holy law subdued all enemies under His feet and ours (Gen. 3:15; Luke 10:18; Col. 2:14-15; Heb. 2:14; 1 John 3:8; Rev. 12:1-11). It is God who has now sent His ambassadors to proclaim to sinners the glad tidings of reconciliation by the blood and righteousness of Christ (2 Cor. 5:18-21). And it is God who sends His Spirit in power to make dead sinners alive in the preaching of this good news, the Gospel of Christ (John 6:63; Eph. 2:1-10; Titus 3:3-7; Rom. 6:17)!
Now, consider in all of this: what part did you or I play? Our only part was our sin against God. We offended the Lord of heaven and earth by all the thoughts of our evil hearts, by all the words of our mouth and by all of the works done in our bodies! Our only part in the history of our redemption is our sin. It was God who saw His offended justice, our self-destruction and woe (Gen. 22:8). It was God who purposed (Eph. 3:11), God who provided, God who delivered up His Son and Christ who offered up Himself, God who assessed His offering, God who accepted His sacrifice (Ex. 12:13; Isa. 53:11; Eph. 1:19-20), and God who accepted all for whom Christ offered Himself (Heb. 1:3; 9:12; Rom. 4:25). And it is God who is known and seen in Christ crucified. It is God who has blessed all those for whom Christ offered Himself (Rom. 8:32; Acts 2:39; 3:26; 5:31; 13:48).
Christ came into the world to reveal His Father by His successful, sin-atoning death over death and the kingdom of satan. The Spirit of God was sent to reveal Christ and His triumphs to His elect. Can you see that the good news of the Gospel depends only on God in Christ? Can you see that it contains no part of what you or I are, or what you or I have done or shall yet do? Can you see that it is entirely outside of your own personal history and experience and all of your contributions? Can you see that what you contributed to the good news of the Gospel is only the bad part? Can you see that if you do anything but look upon Christ with God-given eyes to behold the Lamb of God, that you make the Gospel bad news, because anything that depends in any way on me or you can only be bad news (Gen. 6:5; Isa. 64:6; Jer. 17:9-10; Mark 7:21-23; Matt. 19:17)?
The Gospel is declared by heaven-sent messengers enabled by the Spirit of God to tell the message of who Jesus is, what He has done and how what He did achieved eternal salvation by God’s eternal will for God’s elect according to scripture. Therefore, if the messenger who speaks to you is sent of God, he will tell you only the Gospel that God has testified of His Son (Matt. 1:21, 23, 68-75; Luke 2:11, 30; Acts 5:42; 1 Cor. 1:17-2:2; Heb. 1:1-3; Gal. 1:8-9; 1 John 5:9-13; Acts 20:27-28). The message of the Gospel contains no part of our experience, no part of our will, no part of our works, no part of our knowledge, no part of our strength. It is good news in the face and in spite of all that you and I are as a ruined, helpless sinners. In fact, it contains no part of our own personal history. The Gospel was designed before time, fulfilled before our birth and is declared in power by the Spirit of God to operate on dead men (Rev. 14:6; John 17:4; Heb. 1:3; 8:1; 10:12; Eph. 2:1-10)!
The One, who as our Surety before the world began, pledged Himself in the full intelligence of what we were, to answer all charges with Himself for that He knew we would do against God by our transgression (Gen. 43:8-9; Heb. 7:22); the One in whose heart the will of God burned from all eternity (Psa. 40:6-8; Heb. 10:5-18), who did that will and finished that work (Ex. 21:2-6; Isa. 53; Luke 2:49; John 4:34; 5:36; 6:38; 8:37; 17:4; Php. 2:8; Heb. 1:3; 8:1; 10:12); that One has spoken from heaven in command to sinners everywhere, “Look unto Me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else” (Ex. 14:13; 2 Chr. 20:12, 17; Isa. 45:22; John 1:29; 3:14-15; Heb. 12:2). His Gospel is the rod of His strength (Psa. 110:2). It is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16-17). It is the everlasting, unalterable, perfectly completed Gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (Rev. 14:6)!
O, sinner, look away from all you are not, and abandon all that you think you are, to find your all before God in Christ alone, whose accomplishments on the cross by His death, burial and resurrection, and by His ascension and exaltation to the throne of His Father’s right hand, is either all of our salvation, or we cannot be saved (Acts 4:12; 1 Tim. 1:1; 2 Sam. 23:5)!