The Good News
"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23
The good news is a declaration of what God has accomplished for us. God’s gospel is not a religious code of ethics that we must keep to earn our salvation. That’s impossible - “By grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” Ephesians 2:8-9. While we cannot work to earn our acceptance with God, we do have a responsibility to respond to God’s message. We personally receive the gift of salvation through “repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” Acts 20:21.
To repent is to change our thinking. Instead of thinking we are fine the way we are or that we can save ourselves, we admit we are sinners - guilty and helpless before God. Faith is believing God’s report concerning His Son and putting our trust in Him - instead of trusting in ourselves. We cannot save ourselves (Titus 3:4-5). But God is ready and able to save us the moment we turn to Christ by faith. We find acceptance with God through Christ and His work for us on the cross - “The blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” 1 John 1:7. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” Romans 5:1.