There is much wisdom from Jerry (Bridges, that is, not Springer). I read this recently as I was preparing for a sermon on “How Can a Loving God send people to Hell?”
“What are we to expect when we stand before God’s bar of judgment? Most people think God will somehow relax His inflexible justice and pardon all of us by mere sovereign prerogative. But God, by the perfection of his nature, cannot do that. He cannot exalt one of his glorious attributes (such as mercy) at the expense of another. Justice must be satisfied.
Through his death on the cross Jesus fully satisfied the justice of God on our behalf. Therefore everyone who has trusted in Christ as Savior can say “God’s justice toward me is satisfied”. As believers we must steadily keep this in mind. Never again should we fear the retributive justice of God.”
(From The Gospel for Real Life)
It seems to me that can so easily slip into a performance-based mentality with regard to our relationship with God and forget that we are “in Christ”. Some days we can feel good about ourselves because we have performed well. We have read our Bibles and spent time in prayer and helped our neighbour. Other days when we don’t perform so well we can feel not so good. The truth is that our relationship with God does not vary and fluctuate like that. He loves us in Christ in spite of our performance, and that ultimately our hope of acceptance before God is entirely based on what Jesus has done.