“It is important to realize how much more is promised here than mere forgiveness. Many people think Jesus died merely to forgive us. Our sins were laid on him, and we are pardoned when we believe in him. That is true, but that is only half of Christian salvation. If that were all Jesus did, we would then only recieve a new “wiped clean” slate. It would be up to us to add credit or merit to our account. But here Paul tell us that we have been give righteousness, rather than merely delcared not guilty.
Jesus’ salvation is not only like receiving a pardon and release from death row and prison. Then we’d be free, but on our own, left to make our own way in the world, thrown back on our own efforts if we’re to make anything of ourselves. But in the gospel, we discover that Jesus has taken us off death row and then has hung around our neck the Congressional Medal of Honor. We are recieved and welcomed as heroes, as if we had accomplished extraoridinary deeds.” (Romans 1-7 For You by Timothy Keller, pages 21 & 22)