As I sat at a picnic table, one of my favorite places to stretch after a walk, and I heard a rustling in the trees behind me. Always aware that wild pigs hang out in this park, I always check those rustling sounds. I've never seen a pig, but lots of deer, and Phil and I saw a bobcat once. This time it was a wild turkey.
Anyway, I noticed the grass. The deer and other grass eaters that live here like the meadow areas, and this one has trees around for shelter from human (and predator) eyes.
See in the photo, the clear line of shade and sun...and how the grass stays short and a little sparse in the shade, but grows with wild abandon in the light.
The grass grows best where the sun shines most.
I had read in "Everyday Prayers" how we should start each day with the gospel, letting the Holy Spirit minister grace to us each day. Then came to mind "justification." - the moment we are declared righteous by the blood of Christ, to become the righteousness of God. The grass is planted.
Tullian Tchividian says (roughly) that our sanctification is being pointed back to our justification. Partly, but I think that's only part of the story. We use our justification as motivation for our sanctification.
I believe in a monergistic justification, but Scripture does speak of working out (not for) our salvation. It speaks of the works that are prepared for us in advance, it speaks of studying, of becoming more like Christ.
This is sanctification.
We will fail; we will sin. We should (and must) remain secure in the knowledge of our justification. This, the gospel, should stay in our minds each and every day.
We should have more than living in the past set in our sights. We are rooted in the past, our justification. Our justification - being found in Christ - causes our sanctification.
I believe in a synergistic sanctification. Growing in Christ takes our work - powered by the Holy Spirit, granted by God, grown by Christ.
Christians grow best where the SON shines most.
Only when we continually bask in the love of the Saviour, and yes, pointing ourselves back to our justification, only when we bring ourselves out of the shadows of our sin, only when we walk in His light, and His Word, do we have the basis for the works that He has prepared for us.
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:5-7 ESV)