This is part of a comment I posted on a friend’s blog.
The good news about Jesus’ work for the ungodly is not about our “doing” but His “done”. God was in Christ reconciling the cosmos to himself. We have been (past tense) reconciled to God by the death of His son. In Adam the law of sin and death reigns. Even those who had no law sinned and died. Just as Adam represented us in sin and death, the second Adam (Jesus) represented us in defeating death, hell, and the grave. When he died we died with him and just as a widow is freed from her marriage by death, so we are freed from the penalty of the law by the representative death of Jesus for us. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might be made righteous.
The gracious offer of the gospel is the free gift of being set free from the penalty of sin, the power of sin, and finally the very presence of sin. Sinners hear the good news, they repent of their unbelief, and beginning with confession and baptism, try the best they can to live a life pleasing to the Lord. Jesus said he came to seek and to save (only he saves…) that which was lost. He also said he did not come to condemn, and he didn’t appoint anyone else to condemn either.