To become a Christian, get saved, be redeemed, become a child of God, or a Believer, (which ever terminology you prefer to use) all one has to do is believe in Jesus Christ (John 3:16), confess to Him (Romans 10:9), and repent (Luke 13:3 and Acts 3:19) and the work is done. This is the human part in redemption. While this is going on in our mind and heart God is at work doing His part as well.
When we repent God forgives us our sins. This act triggers several things that happen instantaneous to us. We are regenerated. This means that God gives us new spiritual life (the same spiritual life that Adam had before he sinned and lost it by the punishment of death, both spiritual and natural). We are justified which means that the guilt of our sin is removed and God sees us just as if we had never sinned. This in turn brings about reconciliation which means that all enmity between us and God is removed making conditions of peace. We become friends again with God. But one other important component of the redemptive process takes place, without which, none of these other mentioned parts could become a reality. This is the propitiation element of our salvation.
Propitiation means substitute. The entire Christian faith is founded on this divine principle. God sent forth His own son to be the substitutional sacrifice for our sins. All the billions of souls on earth could not atone for our sins for the collective human race has blood contaminated with sin through our original father, Adam. Only a holy sacrifice could atone for the sins of humanity. Christ, God’s only Son is the perfect choice for the price of our sins. He died in our place that we may not have to suffer the punishment of sin. We could not save ourselves. Only God through Christ can offer forgiveness for sins. See Acts 4:12 “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
We do not have to concern ourselves with what God does when we call on Him in repentance. We just come to Him by faith and He does the work. We do not even have to understand. We simply need faith. We ask God to forgive us and He does. But thank God, he does much more. Perhaps many people have lived good Christian lives for many years without knowing all that God has done for us and in us. After a serious study of the Word (Bible) one may begin to understand these important biblical truths. How wonderful it is to see into the depth of the Word and understand these things. We can now rejoice even more fully in the love of God.
What God does here and now for us is certainly wonderful but just think of what it shall be like when we leave this earthly realm and set foot in Heaven. Then our eyes and minds will be made to see and understand things that are just too awesome for us to even think about while in our earthly body. Paul said in First Corinthians 2:9 “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
So, dear friend, it’s not so much what we don’t understand that matters as much as what we do about what we do understand. “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). When we fall in love with the Word and desire to know even more about it God will teach us more fully about His wonderful Word. “Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you” (Philippians 3:15).