The New Testament gospel openings call us to repent and believe in Jesus the good news. When I first believed, I thought that the repent part mean to stop sinning from the get-go... like a lot of people I tied instantaneous change of behaviors to faith as the conditions for Salvation. But now I see it differently (and yes I still see healthy behavior as very important).
If I were to put the gospels into my own language, I'd say the gospels call us to, "have a change of mind and to believe in Jesus" and that our healthy behaviors result from this commitment of trust in Jesus. Our relationship with Him is where invitations to transformations result.
My point is that a changed life is the result of faith in Jesus. We don't self-righteously change our behaviors to somehow become acceptable to Jesus or God. Jesus is the author of our Salvation, not us, but we do cooperate with Him to make it happen. Salvation does not happen in our own strength, but through God's grace found through faith in Jesus.
By salvation I mean: enjoying communion with the living through transformation that brings spiritual health that does away with separation from God.
Jesus is God's ultimate gift to all of us. God wishes us companionship, peace, wisdom, humility, health, goodness, hope, joy, love, courage, meaning, purpose, and life to the full. Jesus has all these treasures within Him that we with faith can receive, grow in, and persevere in through relationship and commitment.
Jesus showed us what is most important and we killed Him for it. In so doing, Jesus died so our sins could be forgiven. It is through the forgiveness of our sins that we receive God's Salvation. God's Salvation can't be earned, it is a free gift, it comes from grace: God's unconditional love. This means that whether or not we do good, do bad, or are apathetic God still loves us. We can't earn His love by doing good. He doesn't stop loving us when we do bad. But if we cut ourselves off from God, God's love can't get through to us. We cut ourselves off through unbelief, pride, rebellion, mercilessness, and believing lies we ought not.
For those who knowingly reject what Jesus offers through the cross through faith in Him things don't look good. To those who accept His invitation He grants them a share in His Spirit that starts a new journey, new life, new hope for the future, and introduces them to a new purpose, a new meaning, and an appreciation of beauty and love here on earth that is a foretaste of Heaven above.
I invite all people to examine: God's promises found in His Scriptures, and the life of Jesus portrayed in the New Testament and to decide for themselves whether or not to embrace Him and His message of grace and love.
This Website tells about my messy story of how Jesus never gave up on me, and He promises to not give up on you either. I had many questions for God, and I believe He has answered many of them. The Essays found in the Insights page from this Website outline some of these thoughts.