Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God's way of making us right with himself depends on faith. - Philippians 3:8–9
Imagine for a moment what it would be like to be debt for $10 million. Quite possibly because of the debt, you will go to prison. There is even an article in the paper about it, accompanied by your photo. Then, on the day of your sentencing, one of the richest people in the world shows up in court. He tells you, "I heard about your plight, and I've arranged a deal with the judge. I have paid all that you owe, plus interest." When you manage to overcome your emotions long enough to thank him, he adds, "By the way, check your balance at the bank." So on your way home, you stop by the ATM machine. You punch in your code and check your balance, which says that you have $20 million in your account.
That is an example of justification. When you put your faith in Jesus Christ, God removes all of your sin. He forgives it. And then He put the righteousness of Christ into your account for the future. A technical definition of the word "justified" is "to put to one's account." When God justifies a person, He does so by placing to his or her credit the righteousness of Jesus Christ. This balances the moral and spiritual budget for us.
As the apostle Paul wrote, "I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God's way of making us right with himself depends on faith" (Philippians 3:9). It is not a process that takes place over time-it is instantaneous.
This is part of justification that many believers may not be aware of. It is a wonderful, amazing thing that God does for those who put their faith in Christ.