Horatius Bonar asks the question, “How Shall I go to God?” He answers:
It is with our sins that we go to God, for we have nothing else to go with that we can call our own. This is one of the lessons that we are so slow to learn; yet without learning this we cannot take one right step in that which we call a religious life.
He then develops this concept over the remainder of the chapter.He works out the development in the form of a conversation, question-answer, explanation. Working through questions and objections he finally ends with this statement of the ultimate marrow of Christianity:
Yes; pardon, peace, life, are all of them gifts, Divine gifts, brought down from heaven by the Son of God, presented personally to each needy sinner by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. They are not to be bought, but received; as men receive the sunshine, complete and sure and free. They are not to be earned or deserved by exertions or sufferings, or prayers or tears; but accepted at once as the purchase of the labours and sufferings of the great Substitute. They are not to be waited for, but taken on the spot without hesitation or distrust, as men take the loving gift of a generous friend. They are not to be claimed on the ground of fitness or goodness, but of need and unworthiness, of poverty and emptiness
How Shall I Go to God? and other readings, by Horatius Bonar, D.D., The Religious Tract Society, 56 Paternoster Row, 1883.