But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior

Titus 3: 4-6

Nothing that we can do will change anything. Nothing that we have done will be counted to our favor. Nothing that we are doing now is of any eternal value. For nothing that we will ever do will result in one fraction of an inch of movement of our souls from the dead and ever more dying state of eternal lostness that we were born into. There is no good deed or thought; nor does the aggregated mass of our very best selves accomplish this end.

Instead, we need to do something that is among the very hardest things for us humans to even consider; for, we need to yield, surrender, let go of our control, and fall to our knees before God. For it is only after the yielding, after we let Christ in, that our actions and thoughts can be righteous; then, the only source of righteousness in the universe, God, Himself, is in us, and this makes all of the difference.

Then, after we have come to know God, He asks us to do something that is just as challenging for us as was giving up our self-willed efforts to find salvation had been. The Lord asks us to continue to yield to Him. God, through our relationship with Jesus and by the actions of the Holy Spirit will continue to grow and to change us, day by day and hour by hour. As we allow Him into our hearts, as we seek Christ’s will, and as we do what He says regardless of what that seems to require of us, we will be further changed and transformed into people who look, act, and sound ever more like Jesus. This is a process that continues throughout our Christian lives. It is God’s primary action in us. Transformation and restoration to the righteous state that God intended in Creation are the gifts that He gives to each of us in response to our giving our lives to Him. It is a delight beyond understanding to go through life while continually unwrapping this Father’s gift.