Jim sent me the following link to an online work on Justification by A. W. Pink. As I read through it I saw many quotable quotes - so many in fact I couldn't choose which I would post here. Since it seems most difficult in understanding how justification speaks to something CREDITED to us as opposed to Something done IN US. I am sharing this one.
see the whole book - here:
Between Protestants and Romanists there is a wide difference of opinion as to the meaning of the term “justify”: they affirming that to justify is to make inherently righteous and holy; we insisting that to justify signifies only to formally pronounce just or legally declare righteous. Popery includes under justification the renovation of man’s moral nature or deliverance from depravity, thereby confounding justification with regeneration and sanctification. On the other hand, all representative Protestants have shown that justification refers not to a change of moral character, but to a change of legal status; though allowing, yea, insisting, that a radical change of character invariably accompanies it. It is a legal change from a state of guilt and condemnation to a state of forgiveness and acceptance; and this change is owing solely to a gratuitous act of God, founded upon the righteousness of Christ (they having none of their own) being imputed to His people.