Now that we have seen who Yeshua is and what he has done for us, how can we know God personally and experience the forgiveness of our sins and the fullness of life (which the Bible calls “salvation”) that God offers? The answer is by simply placing our trust in Yeshua as our sin-bearer, turning from our sin and to Yeshua.
When we place our faith in Jesus as our sin-bearer, we are at the same time turning away from our sins. Another way to say this is that when we trust in Jesus, we are simultaneously repenting of our sins. Repentance (teshuvah in Hebrew) simply means turning around from going in our own direction and turning instead to God. When we place our trust in Yeshua, we are simultaneously confessing our sins to God, which in the Bible simply means to agree with God that what we’ve done is wrong. We are turning away from our own broken, evil nature, and turning to God for help and healing. As we do so, He creates in us a new nature and a new faith-filled heart. The Hebrew Bible describes what God does when this happens:
“The time is coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Jeremiah 31:31–34, NIV)
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:25–26, NIV)
King David was someone who experienced this spiritual cleansing as he confessed his sins, which included adultery and murder-by-proxy. Psalm 51 depicts the king as turning to God and away from his sins. It is worth reading the first part of the poem:
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are proved right when you speak
and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Surely you desire truth in the inner parts;
you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will turn back to you.
(Psalm 51:1–13, NIV)