You Are Already Forgiven
(Hover over the Bible verses with your mouse, or touch lightly on mobile devices.)
 Forgiven: Your sins are already forgiven (2 Corinthians 5:19a). If you agonize over your sins, you can stop. Forgiveness is a past issue; it was forever completed on the Cross of Jesus Christ. This is because forgiveness was based on Christ's sacrifice, not your response to it. Jesus put away sin (Hebrews 9:26b) once for all time (Hebrews 7:27b) and for all people (Colossians 1:20; John 1:29; 1 John 2:2).
Human religion, burdened with centuries of tradition, mixed the fulfilled and discontinued Old Covenant Law with New Covenant grace. This is what keeps people focused on sin and forgiveness. As a consequence, most people seek forgiveness in order to be saved; this is not how you are saved. "Salvation" is receiving a new heart filled with God's eternal life.
Saved by Trusting Jesus Christ as Son of God and Savior
 Receiving a New Heart through Faith: All are forgiven but not all are saved. Only when your unbelief is turned to faith in Jesus Christ does God remove your old sinful inner nature and replace it with a brand new, clean heart (Ezekiel 36:26; Romans 6:6). This is one of the great promises of the New Covenant (Ezekiel 11:19).
If the paragraph above does not make a lot of sense to you, you might need to change how you see yourself. You are made up of two parts: an inner spirit (aka "heart") and an outer mortal body/human mind. Your born again spirit is the real you; your mortal body is your temporary "house" (2 Corinthians 4:7, 5:2). Popular notions about body, soul and spirit have not helped people understand their inner and outer persons.
The Gospel speaks primarily of the complete change that takes place in your inner spirit. Godly changes in your outer mortal self happen when you walk in faith. This is explained below.
Note: in the next sections, "the Holy Spirit living in you" and "Jesus Christ living in you" both mean exactly the same thing (see Romans 8:9, 10a).
 Born from Above: With a new heart you become, for the first time, a "clean vessel." You are a brand new person on the inside (2 Corinthians 5:17). God, in all His holiness, now has a place within you where He can live (1 Corinthians 3:16; 2 Timothy 1:14). God's Spirit comes to live in your "born again" heart.
Having God's life dwelling in you is what it means to be "saved"; this is the new life (1 John 5:12; 2 Peter 1:4) that comes only through faith in Jesus Christ. You possess eternal life because Jesus, Himself, is Eternal Life (1 John 1:2; 1 John 5:11), and He now lives in you (Colossians 1:27; 2 Corinthians 13:5).
Your Life with Christ
 Union with Christ: With Jesus Christ living in you, His presence makes you literally righteous in your born again heart (Ephesians 4:24); this is because the Righteous One is joined to you in your new spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17). Righteousness has not merely been credited or imputed to you, it has been given to you as a gift (Romans 5:17) and the gift is the person of Jesus Christ living in you.
This is important to understand: you can never, ever sin in your born again heart because Jesus in you can never sin (1 John 3:9). This is why you are secure forever in God's family (Colossians 1:13; 1 Peter 1:23).
[5a] The Reason for Living by Faith: Your redeemed inner spirit still "lives" inside the same mortal "house" that you had before you were saved. Your physical body and mortal mind were not changed; your outer person awaits a future redemption (Romans 8:23b). Unlike your new and perfectly righteous born again heart, your outer mortal body is still dead because of sin (Romans 8:10). You are spiritual perfection living inside mortal imperfection (2 Corinthians 4:16, 5:4). This is why you can still sin in your mortal flesh.
The state of your mortal flesh is the precise reason why God wants you to live by faith. You can never make your mortal flesh righteous because it does not have the capacity to be righteous. But, as the Holy Spirit teaches you in your born again heart (Ephesians 1:17,18; Colossians 1:9; 1 Corinthians 2:10,13), you are being transformed by the renewing of your mortal mind (Romans 12:2). You become more righteousness conscious and less oriented toward your former life as an unbeliever.
(If you are still having trouble grasping the inner spirit, outer mortal body concept, this might help: when you die, your body goes to the grave because it has not yet been redeemed and made righteous; but, your spirit remains with the Lord because it already has been redeemed and made righteous.)
[5b] How to Live by Faith: When Jesus was baptized at the beginning of His earthly ministry, the Holy Spirit came down to dwell in Him. In this way, the Father did His works and miracles through Jesus, as Jesus followed His Father in faith (John 14:10). Jesus did not do these works by His own human strength even though He was sinless (John 5:30; 5:19; 8:28). This same Holy Spirit that lived in and empowered Jesus now lives in you!
Therefore, the only way you can live a life pleasing to God is to live by the power of Jesus Christ within you - this is the life of faith. Jesus lives in your born again heart, joined to you. As you follow Christ in faith with your physical body and mortal mind, you will experience His righteous life being lived out in you and you will see Him doing His good works through you (Galatians 2:20). You become the hands, feet and voice of Christ in the world today.
(At the times you do stumble - and you will - simply turn back to Christ in faith. Dwelling on sins or confessing them is doubting the forever forgiveness that Christ secured on the Cross. God wants you to focus on the resurrection because that is the source of your new life in Christ.)
Read the Bible Verses that Explain the Gospel of Jesus Christ