Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.... You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Luther on justification
Martin Luther offers us a commentary on how wondrous a gift we have received through God's pronouncing us not guilty when he writes:
I do not come
because my soul is free from sin and pure
and whole and worthy of your grace;
I do not speak to you
because I've ever justly kept your laws
and dare to meet your face.
I know that sin and guilt combine
to reign o'er every thought of mine
and turn from good to ill;
I know that when I try to be upright and just and true to you,
I am a sinner still.
I know that often when I strive
to keep a spark of love alive for you,
the powers within
leap up in unsubmissive might
and oft benumb my sense of right
and pull me back to sin.
I know that
though in doing good I spend my life,
I never could atone for all I've done;
But though my sins are black as night,
I dare to come before your sight
because I trust your Son.
In him alone my trust I place,
come boldly to your throne of grace,
and there commune with you.
Salvation sure, O Lord, is mine,
and, all unworthy, I am yours,
for Jesus died for me.