The process of salvation involves a change in us that we call “conversion”.  Conversion is a turning around, leaving one orientation for another.  It may be sudden and dramatic, or gradual and cumulative.  But in any case it’s a new beginning.  Following Jesus’ words to Nicodemus, “You must be born anew” (John 3:7 RSV), we speak of this conversion as rebirth, new life in Christ, or regeneration. 
Following Paul and Luther, John Wesley called this process “justification”.  Justification is what happens when Christians abandon all those vain attempts to justify themselves before God, to be seen as “just” in God’s eyes through religious and moral practices.  It’s a time when God’s “justifying grace” is experienced and accepted, a time of pardon and forgiveness, of peace and joy and love.  Indeed, we’re justified by God’s grace through faith. 
Justification is also a time of repentance– turning away from behaviors rooted in sin and toward actions that express God’s love.  In this conversion we can expect to receive assurance of our present salvation through the Holy Spirit “bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:16)