God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are immutable persons. Scripture says: For I, the Lord, do not change (Mal 3:6). But the attribute of immutability does not mean God has a frozen, machine-like response to events. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are living persons with uncountable emotions that surface in response to the affairs of creation. The three persons who are one God do not change their character, person or plan, but a variety of emotions rise to the surface as events transpire before them.
However, one attribute of God permeates all others. It is never repressed or postponed. God’s ever-present, absolute holiness dominates all. It is, by definition, the absolute anthesis of evil. By His holiness, much of mankind is destined for Hell even though He has given each of us His infinite love and a unique, eternal soul.
Within this framework of holiness, salvation is achieved by yielding to Jesus Christ, not by choosing Jesus Christ.
“The phrase we hear so often -- Decide for Christ – is an emphasis on something our Lord never trusted. He never asks us to decide for Him, but to yield to Him – a very different thing.” (Chambers, August 21)
Salvation is not about inviting Jesus into your heart as you would invite a friend into your home. Salvation is about humbly approaching a Holy Jesus Christ with a sense of complete unworthiness and imploring Him to cleanse your heart, will and intellect of sin.
“Sin is a fundamental relationship; it is not wrong doing, it is wrong being, deliberate and emphatic independence of God. The Christian religion bases everything on the positive, radical nature of sin. Other religions deal with sins; the Bible alone deals with sin. The first thing Jesus Christ faced in men was the heredity of sin, and it is because we have ignored this in our presentation of the Gospel that the message of the Gospel has lost its sting and its blasting power.
The revelation of the Bible is not that Jesus Christ took upon Himself our fleshly sins, but that He took upon Himself the heredity of sin which no man can touch. God made His own Son to be sin that He might make the sinner a saint. All through the Bible it is revealed that Our Lord bore the sin of the world by identification, not by sympathy. He deliberately took upon His own shoulders, and bore in His own Person, the whole massed sin of the human race – ‘He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin,’ and by so doing He put the whole human race on the basis of Redemption. Jesus Christ rehabilitated the human race; He put it back to where God designed it to be, and anyone can enter into union with God on the ground of what Our Lord has done on the Cross.” (Chambers, October 7th)
Oswald Chambers had some particularly pointed thoughts about the idea that God’s love dominates all other attributes, and His love alone would motivate Him to save us all if we would only say, “Jesus, I choose you!”
“The great miracle of the grace of God is that He forgives sin, and it is the death of Jesus Christ alone that enables the Divine nature to forgive and to remain true to itself in doing so. It is shallow nonsense to say that God forgives us because He is love…The only ground on which God can forgive me is through the Cross of my Lord. There His conscience is satisfied.
Beware of the pleasant view of the Fatherhood of God – God is so kind and loving that of course He will forgive us. That sentiment has no place whatever in the New Testament. The only ground on which God can forgive us is the tremendous tragedy of the Cross of Christ; to put forgiveness on any other ground is unconscious blasphemy.
Forgiveness is the divine miracle of grace; it cost God the Cross of Jesus Christ before He could forgive sin and remain a holy God. Never accept a view of the Fatherhood of God if it blots out the Atonement. The revelation of God is that He cannot forgive; He would contradict His nature if He did. The only way we can be forgiven is by being brought back to God by the Atonement.” (Chambers, November 19th and 20th)
(See also Sections 2.9, 3.8, 4.5, 4.12, 8.14, 8.15 and 11.7 of Theology Corner)