“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come” (2 Cor. 5:17). New status, new life, new creation—we must not separate these blessings. They belong together, and are given to all who are in Christ.
A simple illustration may help. If a vagrant comes to us in dire need, down and out, in rags and tatters, and sick, even starving, it will be good to give him a bath and a change of clothing, but not enough. For he is ill and undernourished. So, in addition, he needs food and hospital treatment. Similarly, we come to Christ down and out, in the rags and tatters of our sin, spiritually sick and starving.
In Christ, we are at once made welcome and accepted, and given a bath and a change of clothes. God sees us as righteous in Christ. This is our new status. But it is only the beginning. The Good Physician knows we are sick. So he puts His Spirit within us to give us new life and health, and He feeds us with His Word until we grow strong and vigorous. There are no half-measures with Him.