One of the books I read on my retreat was "Velvet Elvis" by Rob Bell. This is a great book. I challenge you to read it. It will make you think about your faith. Here is an excerpt that moved me.
When we understand salvation from a legal-transaction perspective, then the point of the cross becomes what it has done for us. There is the once-and-for-all work of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins and saying, "lt is finished." Nothing more to be offered and nothing more to be sacrificed. Jesus' death perfectly satisfies God. We claim this truth as Christians. AIl has been forgiven. But let's also use a slightly different phrase: the work of the cross in us. There is Jesus' death on our behalf once and for all, but there is the ongoing work of the cross in our hearts and minds and souls and lives. There is the ongoing need to return to the cross to be reminded of our brokenness and dependence on God. There is the healing we need from the cross every single day.
Which leads to forgiveness. The point of the cross isn't forgiveness. Forgiveness leads to something much bigger: restoration. God isn't just interested in the covering over of our sins; God wants to make us into the people we were originally created to be. It is not just the removal of what's being held against us; it is God pulling us into the people He originally had in mind when He made us. This restoration is why Jesus always orients His message around becoming the kind of people who are generous and loving and compassionate. The goal here isn't simply to not sin. Our purpose is to increase the shalom (peace) in this world, which is why approaches to the Christian faith that deal solely with not sinning always fail. They aim at the wrong thing. It is not about what you don't do. The point is becoming more and more the kind of people God had in mind when we were first created.
It is one thing to be forgiven; it is another thing to become more and more and more and more the person God made you to be.
Velvet Elvis, Copyright 2005 by Rob Bell (pg 108)