The Bible says, that we have the gift of righteousness, given to us by God, because of what Jesus Christ has done for us. It is called the gift of righteousness, and not the wage of righteousness.
Let me ask you a question. In your life, how many times, you have paid for the gifts your friends, family or other people have given you? Non! Well, the gifts they gave you, were given to you, not because you worked for them, or did something to deserve those gifts, but because those people, appreciated you and your friendship or relationship with them, and they valued you as a person. They gave you those gifts, because they cared for you.
In contrast, the wages you have received from the places you have worked before in your life, were given to you, by the aide of your boss or supervisor, and were given to you, not because your boss liked you very much, but because you worked for him. You did something to earn and deserve those wages.
The gifts we receive from friends, are given because of their care, love and appreciation of us, as friends and as a person. They were not given to you, because you earned or deserved those gifts. Your boss on the other hand, gave you your wages, because you deserved them, and you earned them, and it is not because your boss appreciated your personality or your friendship.
The Bible says in Romans 5:17, that we have got the gift of righteousness from God. That is a gift of righteousness, and not a wage of righteousness. Do you see that? God gave us the free gift or righteousness, because of his care, and relationship to us, as a heavenly Father, because of his grace, and because he wants to takes to be with him, for eternity. And he did it, because of what Jesus has done for us, by his death and resurrection. God did not give us a wage of righteousness. He did not give us his righteousness, because of what we have done, or because of how holy life we live before him, or because of the good works we have done. No. The gift of righteousness from God for us, is nothing to do with us, and everything to do with God, and his grace, care and mercy for us. That is it. That is why why it is called a gift, and not a wage.