I see that many of us look at salvation from the point of view of ‘God forgave the sins I committed’. You didn’t realize that you have been declared a sinner before you were born. You have been judged and condemn to hell while you were still in the womb just because you are a human being. You didn’t have the right to call God your Father or pray to Him. Before Jesus came, God gave the Jews the privilege to call upon Him provided they fulfill certain conditions (the circumcision first and other laws). These conditions were not extended to non-Jews who (gentiles) and that includes you and I.
That privilege is what grace and faith in the death of Jesus gave to us. That privilege made us righteous because no one can stand before God without being righteous. It gave us a right standing before God. That privilege made you a child of God and granted you an admission into the University of Heaven.
Let me illustrate it this way, everyone who seeks to gain admission to a university in Nigeria will be required to pass WAEC and JAMB exams (the laws). But if there is someone who is given admission without writing those exams, it is because of certain privileges (grace). However, after being granted that admission, he will be required to write semester exams (holy living) so that He can graduate (be raptured, become immortal, and eternally saved).
His semester exams (holy living) will not be waived. But he will be helped all the way unlike his counterparts (those who lived by the law), who usually fail the semester exams, no matter how they try.
“So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.” (Romans 3:28 NLT)