Don’t I need
to get right
with God first?
Romans 5:8 “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.
Some will feel drawn to accept Christ, but they feel that they need to clean up their act first. An effective analogy I've heard is the question,
"Do you have to get clean before you take a shower?".
Since the work of Salvation is fully the work of Christ, there is absolutely nothing that we can add, before or after, to the work He does in our lives.
In Romans 5:8 above: God “shows his love for us”. He didn’t just tell us, He proved it by dying on the cross. And he did this before we could do anything for him. “while we were still sinners” this part of the verse shows that God didn’t wait for us to get our lives on track first. He died for us while we were still sinners. And He did this knowing that even though his sacrifice is sufficient for every sin of every person that ever lives on this planet, many will choose not to accept Him, and never receive His gift.
When we truly accept Christ, there is an immediate change. There is a change in our motivations and desires, and a change in the peace and confidence we feel.
2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."
Romans 5:1 "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ"
The following two studies on Salvation are from the same site. The first link is to a simple version of the expanded version at the second link.
Salvation and the Work of Christ – An in-depth study