Jesus did not come to make bad people good. He came to make dead people alive. I can’t remember which pastor said this, but it has a catchy ring about it that’s easy to remember. We are not just bad people…we are dead in our sins.
There is a common teaching in Sunday schools and churches that instead of teaching people how to know the Giver of life better, they try to teach people how to be good. It’s not necessarily a bad idea to share God’s expectations for righteousness, but we can never get to know God by being good enough. But by knowing Almighty God, we will be compelled to righteousness.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins in which you used to live when you followed the way of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.