“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Mt 22:36-40
And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. Ro 8:30
As Christians, not only are we adopted into the family of God, chosen before the foundation of the universe, and called to serve him by the power of the Spirit working in us, but we are also justified.
For before God, if our sins are not dealt with, his holy anger would burn against us. Only once our sins are dealt with can we approach God. Only once our sins are dealt with can we truly know God. Only once our sins are dealt with can we serve God as we should. For hell is partly where God says not my will be done, but your will be done. With a sinful heart, our will is to be apart from God, which includes his common grace and love. No longer will God protect us and keep us. Worse than that, his wrath burns against us for ever.
A holy God could have just forgiven us our sin through the sacrifice of his Son, that we might have atonement. Not only is our sin dealt with, but the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us, that we might have righteousness lavished upon us. Just as the prodigal son returned to his father, not to return as a servant, but fully accepted as a son, with a great garment covering his rags and the fattened calf slaughtered for celebration, so is our treatment when we are made right with God, for we are made fit for heaven and a life in all its fulness is opened to us.