justification - being made right before God, happens once, at the point of new-birth. when you are a born-again Christian, your standing with God is as if God views you with no sin. you have been saved. you are covered with the blood of Christ. you cannot do anything about this, you do not bring about your own justification.
sanctification - after being saved, each and every Christian slowly conforms to the image of Christ (until we're transformed perfectly to Christ's image when we're glorified). we rid ourselves of sin, deceit, malice, wickedness. we stop conforming to the patterns of the world and we conform to Christ's righteousness instead. all through the power of the Holy Spirit. without Him, sanctification is not possible.
so, as of late i've been mixing up the two. trying to work for my justification, and the assumption that i am already perfectly sanctified. wow ggitf. how wrong i am! trying to do things to "get saved" just doesn't fly with God. in ephesians, we see we are dead in our sins, dead, DEAD! dead people don't rise by themselves. we need God to resurrect us from the dead, to bring us back from the sin that we love so much, and to be made right before Him before we can even do anything for Him.
after that, it's not like we're suddenly perfect, sinless, and mega-holy. in God's eyes in judgment day, yes, but for now we're still humans, we still sin, we still fall. and sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives after we've been born again to conform to Christ's image. we still can't do it. praise God! but we must allow and heed what the Holy Spirit is doing in our lives and to follow what the bible teaches us. we can't just 'sit back' and 'just let God do it all', but at the same time we have to realize we can't sanctify ourselves without the Holy Spirit working. crazies!
anyways, that's just a brief. i'll try to blog more on other things i've been learning.
fight the good fight!