Q. How are you righteous before God?
A. Only by true faith in Jesus Christ.
Even though my conscience accuses me of having grievously sinned against all God's commandments, of never having kept any of them, and of still being inclined toward all evil, nevertheless, without any merit of my own, out of sheer grace, God grants and credits to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ, as if I had never sinned nor been a sinner, and as if I had been as perfectly obedient as Christ was obedient for me.
All I need to do is accept this gift with a believing heart.
(Heidelberg Catechism #60)