But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved (Eph 2:4-5).
“The Majesty of God’s Forgiveness”
The majesty of God’s forgiveness is lost entirely when we lose what has to be forgiven. What has to be forgiven is not just what we do but who we are, not just our sinning but our sinfulness, not just our choices but what we have chosen in place of God. . . . When we miss the biblical teaching, we also miss the nature of God’s grace in all its height and depth. In biblical faith it is God’s grace through Christ that does for us what we cannot do for ourselves.
David F. Wells, The Courage to Be Protestant (Grand Rapids, Mi.: Eerdmans, 2008), 167.