Jesus commenced his ministry after returning from the wilderness where he was tempted by the devil. He commenced his work with these critical words, repent and believe in the gospel, which is the good news. Jesus brought the good news to mankind that there was coming a way for man to come into the kingdom of God and that way was through him.
All three of the major ministries of that time were based on this same message. John the Baptist, Jesus and then the apostles commenced their works saying repent and believe. The minor differences were that Jesus told the people to believe in the good news of the gospel of salvation, whereas John said to believe in the one who was to follow him and the apostles taught their followers to believe in Jesus. Despite these small difference the message was the same for in all cases the good news of the gospel came through faith in Jesus Christ.
Prior to Jesus ministry access to the kingdom of God was not open to all mankind. There was no way to come into the presence of God because sin stood in the way. But in the gospel of Jesus Christ we received grace and the release from the bondage of sin and the law, which enabled man to come into the presence of God through Jesus Christ. This is attainable only through faith in Jesus Christ. It is by baptism into the death and resurrection of Christ and believing that we have been set free from sin and the law through his death and reborn as new creations in his resurrection that we shall be saved.
Through Jesus Christ man can be released from all of the problems that keep him bound. Sin presses heavily on man and causes guilt, but in Christ Jesus our sin is taken away and with it our guilt. When we are freed from these things we can stand before God with a clear conscience. But initially these things are achieved by faith alone.
The good news does not end with faith alone though. It is through faith that we receive these promises and by faith we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit whose job it is to work the transformation of our spirit so that we learn to walk in harmony with Christ. And by faith we enter the kingdom of God now so that we will be able to stand in his presence when he returns in glory and majesty to rule.
The key to these things is first repentance and faith, that is, to believe in Jesus Christ and the power of his death and resurrection. As we progress in Christ we go through a cycle. First we are converts, then when we receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit we become Christians, then as we learn and grow we become disciples and finally when we reach maturity we are followers of Christ who walk as he walked. This progression does not happen overnight but occurs as the Spirit works in our lives to teach, strengthen and change us from our fleshly natures into the image of Christ.
In Jesus God is preparing a people to live with him. Through the gospel of Christ we are learning how to live in a relationship with God and each other so that we can go into eternity with him. Let us then allow the good news of the gospel through the faith we have in Jesus have a full effect upon our lives.