Here is a comment I made on an Anti-Law blog post I thought worth re-posting here:
The Bible clearly says we are both justified by faith and that we are justified by works. I never understand that fully until I ran across the three tenses of salvation in The Cross or other studies on settingcaptivesfree.com and they got it from A Fourfold Salvation by A W Pink.
In a nutshell the three tenses are past, present, and future. In the past we were saved from the penalty of sin by Jesus on the cross and our faith in Him this is our justification. In the present we are being saved from the power of sin in our lives this is our sanctification. In the future we will be saved from the very presence of sin this is our consummation.
Verses that say we are “justified by faith” fit the past tense of salvation also known as our justification. Verses that say “by works a man is justified” fit the present tense of salvation also known as our sanctification. This is also where verses like 1 Tim 2:15 fit in, childbearing being such a noble selfless act that it directly contributes to a woman’s sanctification. And of course verses like 1 Peter 1:5 speak of our future salvation also known as our consummation.
I think all tenses of salvation past present and future fit under Grace which none of us deserve.