Good Works in the Judgment Hour
The Gospel is the good news that God Himself has, in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, come to earth, lived a sinless life, died for our sins upon the cross, arose from the grave on the 3rd day, and ascended into heaven.
1 Cor 15:1-11 "Now I make known unto you brethren, the GOSPEL which I preached unto you, which also ye received, wherein also ye stand, by which also ye are saved, if ye hold fast the word which I preached unto you, except ye believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which also I received: that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried; and that he hath been raised on the third day according to the scriptures; and that he appeared to Cephas; then to the twelve; then he appeared to above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain until now, but some are fallen asleep; then he appeared to James; then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to the child untimely born, he appeared to me also... Whether then it be I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed."
Justification of a sinner is by faith ALONE in the imputed perfect righteousness of the doing and dying of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 4:22-5:1 "And therefore it was imputed to him (Abraham) for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
Sanctification is the FRUIT of justification by faith. Sanctification is not the Gospel. In sanctification the Lord fills us with the Holy Spirit and we are given power to enable us to begin the life long work of becoming a partaker of the divine nature. This work is a cooperative work in which the believer has an active part to play.
Sanctification is good works motivated by the Spirit and done by the justified believer. As Paul describes what sanctification is in Romans 12:1-21
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."
Justification = God accepting the repentant believing sinner by faith alone in Christ's imputed righteousness.
Sanctification = works of righteousness which the justified believer does with the motivating power of the Holy Spirit.
These good works of loving service to God and our fellow man never justify a believer but are rather the fruit of having been justified. Even these good works are never without taint of sin however and must always have the incense of Christ's perfect merit added to them so that God may accept them as worthy of reward. (God will reward every man according to his works.)