" ... The whole essence of this matter of justification by faith only. It puts that to our account. When we have nothing at all; God puts in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. He imputes it to us; He reckons it to us. He just takes it and puts it there as if it were in our account, and thereby clears our guilt and debt. He does not make us righteous in doing so ... we are left, in this matter of justification, exactly where we were; but God puts this to our account and thereby clears our debt. He pronounces that all His claims against us are satisfied. Let us never forget that justification is forensic, is legal. It does not make us righteous; it declares us to be righteous. And we are declared righteous because the righteousness of God is put to our account".
Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones - "Romans 3:20-4:25: Atonement and Justification" - Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh (1971) - (p167).