Justified - "Just As If I'd Always Obeyed"
"For He has made Him who knew no sin to become sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Cor 5:21
Picture a moral ledger sheet with every word, thought, deed and motive of yours entered on that sheet. Most hope the good will outweigh the bad. The problem is that all of our deeds are stained, all are unclean and impure. There is no such thing as a positive ledger sheet - except in the case of Christ. His ledger sheet was perfect. So at the cross, our ledger sheet was charged to Christ, all our sin; and so His ledger sheet is credited to us.
"Justified" is not "Just as if I'd never sinned." That is a great truth. But it is actually better than that: "Just as if I'd always obeyed." God has credited the very righteousness of Jesus Christ to every believer. - Jerry Bridges (from a recent message at PCRT 2009 Sacramento)