“We do not have to make ourselves suffer in order to merit forgiveness. We simply receive the forgiveness earned by Christ. 1 John 1:8 says that God forgives us because He is ‘just.’ That is a remarkable statement. It would be unjust of God to ever deny us forgiveness, because Jesus earned our acceptance! In religion we earn our forgiveness with our repentance, but in the gospel we just receive it.”
- Timothy Keller
Religion is based on "If I act right, then God will respond." In religion the imitative and control is with us. Christian spirituality is based on the Gospel - "God has acted, therefore I respond." All Gospel spirituality is response to God's gracious initiative. The initiative is always with Him.