I used to think that a change in my behavior was the right kind of response to the gospel. For me, this reduced Christianity to a set of rules and morals. It was all about not doing x, and making sure I did y. But recently I have been convinced that a genuine, heart felt acceptance of the gospel will lead to a much deeper change then that of just my behavior. It will lead to a change of my very character. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." And Galatians 2:20 says, "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
When I thought behavior change was enough, I was really taking my salvation into my own hands. I was believing that if I lived right, I would be saved. And yet the scriptures clearly tell us that we can't accomplish this on our own. No matter how many bad behaviors I manage to curb, I'll never be able to accomplish making myself new. No matter how much of myself I "put to death," I could never really give myself new life. The scripture is equally clear that how we choose to live does matter. We must choose to "live by faith." But moving beyond changing my behavior or morals and allowing Christ to make me new is where salvation is found.
So its about a character change, not just a behavior change. And its not something I can do to or for myself but It is something that the Lord does in me. I am starting to see how the gospel is less and less about me and what I do, and that it is more and more about Him and what He has done or promised to do! I rejoice that He has made this promise in His word: "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."