Charles Spurgeon wrote in All of Grace, "Justification without sanctification would be no salvation at all. It would call the leper clean and leave him to die of his disease; it would forgive the rebellion and allow the rebel to remain an enemy to his king ... " Wow! Talk about counter-cultural!
According to the Westminster standards, "justification" is "act of God's free grace, wherein He pardoneth all our sins, and accepteth us as righteous in His sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone." (Shorter Catechism, Q. 33)
"Sanctification" is that process or "work of God's free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness." (Shorter Catechism, Q. 35)
Spurgeon got it right: the act without the process does leave the leper to die of his disease or the treasonous rebel to remain an enemy of his King! But what an opportunity to be counterpoint, to be salt and light in our world! It is the heart of the Gospel that God doesn't just pronounce us "just" but that He also commits to the process of making us "just" to the bone, deeply into the warp and woof of our life to our very heart!
In a world of fast food and quick fixes, the Gospel speaks loud and clear that make-overs and cosmetics, even botox and liposuction don't fix the problem. Only God's work of restoration (which is a process, actually THE process of sanctification) brings God's restoring love and grace to all the brokenness of life!
I'm signing on for the process of restoration and committed to being the heart and hands of that process in my sphere of influence. I can't fix the brokenness in my own heart nor can I fix the brokenness others experience. Only God can!
It's like the little song children used to sing in Sunday School, "O, who can make a snowflake? I'm sure I can't. Can you? O, who can make a snowflake? No one, but God! It's true!" Who can fix my brokenness? I'm sure I can't; can you? Who can fix your brokenness? No one, but God! And it's true!