The chief article and foundation of the gospel is that before you take Christ as an example, you accept and recognize him as a gift, as a present that God has given you and that is your own. This means that when you see or hear of Christ doing or suffering something, you do not doubt that Christ himself, with his deeds and suffering, belongs to you.
The gospel of Jesus the Messiah is what he has done for humanity. The gospel is not what we should try to do or what we ought to do. That, my dear reader, is simply not Christianity. It might be good morals and good law and good government, but it is not the good news of God.
As Luther would say, “at its briefest, the gospel is a discourse about Christ, that he is the Son of God and became man for us, that he died and was raised, that he has been established as a Lord over all things.”
I get asked sometimes about why I’m Reformed, and often it is a correction of the false narrative around it. In short, the heart of the Reformed understanding of Scripture is this: We are more sinful than we could ever imagine, and at the same time we are more loved than we could ever hope for (h/t Tim Keller). We are simultaneously justified in Jesus and a sinner. We are flawed, yet redeemed.
You are saved in Jesus, not in your works. So stop doing and trying, and receive Jesus as a gift.