Contrary to our distorted intuitions, the gospel does not encourage our conquest of heaven through intellectual, mystical and moral striving. It announces that even while we were enemies, God reconciled us. While we were dead in sins, he made us alive in Christ. We are saved by God’s good works, not our own. Because we are sinners, God’s speech is disruptive and disorienting. It is not we who overcome estrangement, but God who heals the breach by communicating the gospel of his Son… While a theology of glory presumes to scale the walls of God’s heavenly chamber, a theology of the Cross will always recognize that although we cannot reach God, he can reach us and has done so.
--Michael Horton, The Christian Life, page 51, 53.