Mark Dever, from It Is Well: Expositions on Substitutionary Atonement:
Christian brothers and sisters, do you climb up the church steps every Sunday burdened with guilt, as if there’s some way you need to perform on a Sunday morning in order for God to once again be sufficiently pleased with you to allow you to go on for another week? That’s not the gospel; that’s not the good news of Jesus Christ.
Do you feel that there is something you still need to do to gain God’s favor? There isn’t. There is nothing else you need to do in order to gain God’s favor. God has done that for you in Christ.
God has provided a substitute to bear His correct punishment of us for our sins, to bear His wrath for us, and because of that we are left in the incredible state of freedom and acceptance. Indeed, for us to think there is something else we need to do is to take away from the sufficiency of Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice.
Friends, we don’t gather on Sunday mornings in order to gain God’s favor. We do so because Christ has saved us.
(HT: Trevin Wax)