The moment we are saved God changes us. To know God better we must know who God has made us. If we have the wrong perspective of ourselves we will have difficulty knowing God better.
Eternal Life is a Gift from God
First we must realize that we did not earn the eternal life God has given us.
Ephesians 2:4-5, 8-9 says, "God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even though we were dead in sins, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you are saved through trust, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so that no one can boast."
We are saved, from sin and death, because God is rich in mercy. Mercy is when we don't get something we do deserve. We do not have to get the punishment we deserve for the sins we have committed because Jesus mercifully forgave sins on the cross.
We are saved by grace. Grace is unearned favor, it is getting something good that you do not deserve. It is given to us because God is gracious, He gives, He loves, and He loves to give. We are saved by grace through trust, through faith. We possess and utilize the trust to be saved but we are not the originators of the trust. Hebrews 12:2 says, Jesus is the author, the originator of our trust in Him. This is because God showed us His love and trustworthiness. Both the grace and the trust are gifts from God. We did not earn them, we did no single or multitude of good works to receive them.
Forgiven and Righteous
When we trust Jesus we receive the forgiveness for our sins that He bought at the cross. Accepting His payment removes our punishment. God says in Isaiah 43:25, "I will not remember your sins." Romans 8:1 says, "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 5:9 says, "Since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s judgment."
When we trust Jesus we are made right with God, which is also referred to as being declared righteous or being justified. Romans 4:25-5:1 says, "Jesus was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised from the dead to make us right with God. Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by trust, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us." Philippians 3:9 says that, "God’s way of making us right with himself depends on trust." Galatians 2:16 says, "We become right with God, not by doing what the law commands, but by trust in Jesus Christ, because by observing the law no-one will be made right with God."