Fundamental to the gospel of salvation is the truth that the saving initiative from beginning to end belongs to God the Father. No formulation of the gospel is biblical which removes the initiative from God and attributes it either to us or even to Christ. It is certain that we did not take the initiative, for we were sinful, guilty and condemned, helpless and hopeless. Nor was the initiative taken by Jesus Christ in the sense that he did something which the Father was reluctant or unwilling to do. To be sure, Christ came voluntarily and gave himself freely. Yet he did it in submissive response to the Father’s initiative. ‘Here I am … I have come to do your will, O God’ (Hebrews 10:7). So the first move was GOd the Father’s, and our justification is freely by his grace, his absolutely free and utterly undeserved favour. Grace is God loving, God stooping, God coming to the rescue, God giving himself generously in and through Jesus Christ.
— John Stott, Romans, p. 112