Two images come to mind when I think about what it looks like when a person is first saved. The first is one of joy. The joy of being found and encountering and embracing the love of God. While everyone doesn’t express themselves the same way, I believe that joy is found when we realize our salvation. The Psalmist writes, “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5 NIV). I indeed rejoiced after the long night of being unsaved. 

I see the other image that comes to mind when I think of first being saved in Jeremiah 31.

‘After I strayed, I repented; after I came to understand, I beat my breast. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth’ (emphasis added).

Jeremiah 31:19 (NIV)

When we are saved, we repent for the things we have done. However, being saved is a process. Indeed, when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are, in fact, changed. As it is written.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

This change allows us to face our past and do something about it. When people see something in their lives they want to change, no matter how hard they work at it, they cannot do it on their own. If we see something about ourselves we don’t like, we really can’t make a permanent change on our own. In either circumstance, unsaved people can’t make the changes that need to be made. Sometimes, the things we might see in ourselves are so damaging that we cannot handle them anymore. I see something like that expressed in this verse.

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

2 Corinthians 7:10 (NIV)

Therefore, someone who is saved, when they understand the errors of their ways, may “beat [their] breast” in anguish about who they used to be. However, as 2 Corinthians 7:10 reminds us, this leads to salvation and leaves no regret. This is one of the “truths” I think God wants us to be aware of when we are saved. As it is written here.

[God] wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

1 Timothy 2:4 (NIV)

Knowledge of this truth leads to freedom, as our Lord says in John.

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:32 (NIV)

The truth is that anyone who sins is a slave to sin. 

As I’ve said, salvation is a process. We see evidence of this in these two verses.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:18 (NIV)

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.

Philippians 2:12 (NIV)

Since salvation is a process, we all go through this process differently. However, I do believe that we all must go through it. While the process of repenting is continual, the joy of the Lord is also constant. I also think that the process of beating our breasts at what we have done is somewhat renewed each time the Lord reveals a new sin in our lives. Since no one is without sin, this is inevitable until we leave this place. 

None of this means that you aren’t saved if you give your life to Christ and are hit and killed by a bus the next day. Salvation occurs when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.