But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him (Romans 5:8 - 9).
These verses, like many others, tell us in very simple terms that we can be saved from the wrath of God (which is directed against our sin because God is holy) and live in heaven with Him forever, through Jesus and His blood that He shed on the cross. How can we escape all penalties for all our sins? Isn't there a price that must be paid for our sins? We have difficulty believing that someone else, Jesus, would pay the penalty for all our sins, even though the Bible tells us so. The human way of thinking, which is the wrong way of thinking (Proverbs 14:12), causes us to think that we must work or pay some price for our salvation.
Perhaps we don't understand how serious sin is. It is good to read the whole Bible to understand that even seemingly little sin is terribly offensive to a holy God. When we realize this, we can see that none of our good works or any other efforts could possibly pay the price for our sins. But the price was paid. The blood of God Himself, our Savior Jesus Christ, was that price, and it was paid when it was shed at Calvary. What we need to do, as the Bible says, is trust in that sacrifice and our Savior, nothing more and nothing less!
Let's say you needed 10 million dollars for an operation to save your life. You don't have anywhere near that much money. Yet a person who loves you gives you the money and it saves your life. Would you then go around pretending that a few good works on your behalf toward him would pay him back for that great gift? No, you would do good things for that person out of gratitude for what he did for you, but you wouldn't pretend that you had in any way earned his great gift. Let us accept God's great gift of eternal life as a gift and then, out of gratitude, do what we can to obey and please Him!