God’s mercy and forgiveness is wholly wrapped up in the Lord Christ, and that out of him there is not the least conjecture to be made of it, nor the least morsel to be tasted. Had not God set forth the Lord Christ, all the angels in heaven and men on earth could not have apprehended that there had been any such thing in the nature of God as this grace of pardoning mercy. The apostle asserts the full manifestation as well as the exercise of this mercy to be in Christ only, Tit. 3:4, 5, “After that the kindness and love of God our Saviour towards man appeared,” namely, in the sending of Christ, and the declaration of him in the gospel. Then was this pardoning mercy and salvation not by works discovered.
His vindictive justice. God has, indeed, many ways manifested his indignation and anger against sin; so that men cannot but know that it is “the judgement of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death,” Rom. 1:32. He has in the law threatened to kindle a fire in his anger that shall burn to the very heart of hell. And even in many providential dispensations, “his wrath is revealed from heaven against all the ungodliness of men,” Rom. 1:18. So that men must say that he is a God of judgement. Consider:
- The angels for sin were cast from heaven, shut up under chains of everlasting darkness unto the judgement of the great day
- Sodom and Gomorrah were condemned with an overthrow, and burned into ashes, that they might be “examples unto those that should after live ungodly,” 2 Pet. 2: 6
- God’s wrath could not be diverted from sinners without the interposing of a propitiation. God would admit of no atonement but in his (Christ’s) blood.