By taking away the guilt of sin, we are as persons innocent; but something more is required to make us to be considered as persons obedient. I know nothing to teach me that an innocent person shall go to heaven, be rewarded, if he be no more but so. Adam was innocent at his first creation, but he was to “do this,” to “keep the commandments,” before he entered into “life:” he had no title to life by innocency. This, then, moreover, is required, that the whole law be fulfilled, and all the obedience performed that God requires at our hands. This…finds a resolution only in the Lord Christ: “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life,” Rom. 5:10. His death reconciled us; then are we saved by his life. The actual obedience which he yielded to the whole law of God, is that righteousness whereby we are saved; if so be we are found in him, not having on our own righteousness which is of the law, but the righteousness which is of God by faith, Phil. 3:9.
– John Owen –