Despite what some may teach, the Gospel is a proclamation not a list of requirements to be met. Perhaps the most powerful example of this fact is the account in Luke Chapter 2 of the angels announcing “good tidings of great joy” at the birth of Jesus and proclaiming blessings on all people. This was unconditionally good news; God is faithful to His promise.
Over the years the church has managed to morph the “gospel” into a list of requirements to be met by each individual. Instead of a proclamation of God’s faithfulness to His promises, the message has become a call to personal obedience and faithfulness to the doctrines and practices of the institutional church. The emphasis has been cynically re-focused from God’s faithfulness to man to man’s faithfulness to the church. Instead of proclaiming easily recognizable Good News, the church has managed to sell horrendously bad news by constantly recycling the tenets of the Old Testament and extracting “instruction” for today. Ignored in all of this is the fact that the Old was never permanent and never given to the world at large.
It should be clear from what Paul said that if meeting requirements could bring about righteousness, then salvation should have come under the Old Law. Galatians 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works lest any man should boast. Those who think they are saved by meeting requirements (i.e. works) have something to boast about; and, Boy, do they ever.