For in it (the gospel) the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith. Romans 1:16a
Tim Keller has something wonderful written about this:
“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 receive a new “wiped clean” slate. It would be up to us to add credit or merit to our account. But here Paul tells us that we have been given righteousness, rather than merely declared 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 received and welcomed as heroes, as if we had accomplished extraordinary deeds.”
Excerpt From: Timothy Keller. “Romans 1-7 For You.” iBooks. https://itun.es/us/rkjwW.l