Believers have received the gift of righteousness and salvation from God. Just like any gift, we did not earn this; it was given to us when we believed in Jesus Christ. We were instantly saved and made righteous when we believed; this is our standing in Christ. However, our earthly lives have some catching up to do when compared to our stance; this ongoing process of letting God bring our imperfect earthly walk up to match our perfect standing is our state. Understanding this delivers us from trying to accomplish what has already been accomplished.