Someone once told me (he later changed his mind) that although Christians have a legal or judicial (“imputed”) righteousness through the work of Christ, it is false that Christ gives believers any practical, actual, ontological righteousness until we have our new bodies.
Logically, these two concepts need not be mutually exclusive. But let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that my friend was right and that there is no practical, actual and ontological righteousness that we receive from Christ until we have our new bodies.
Notice what immediately follows. If 100% of our righteousness is a judicial transfer to our account from the righteousness of Christ, then logically how can that righteousness grow over time through sanctification? That answer is that it can’t since a righteousness that is purely judicial is already a fixed amount credited to our account. Yet the Bible does seem to talk about righteousness as something we can grow in.