If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Corinthians 5:17.
I have frequently said that one must with diligence distinguish between a pious person and a Christian. We do of course also laud a person for being pious, and there is nothing praise worthy on earth that is not also a gift of God, just as are the sun and moon, corn and wine and all creatures, however so that one does not mix and brew them together, but instead leaves the praise of a pious person up to the world and says: A pious person indeed is an excellent person on earth, yet he still is not a Christian; for he could also be a Turk or a heathen (like those in previous times have been), as it can be no other way that among so many evil ones there must be found a pious person. However, be he as pious as he may be, with such piety he still is and remains a child of Adam, i.e., an earthly man under sin and death.
After untangling a translation like this one, I’d normally be sweating – but in anticipation of the cold front that may bring me some snow, there’s not a drop of sweat on my brow. There however is gratitude in my heart for God’s gift in my Baptism of faith in Christ Jesus, “whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but has eternal life.”
By God’s grace a new creation in Christ via God’s Word and Sacraments,