The a priori assumption of the mystic is a new covenant state of being – meaning that there is no separation between you and God in [because of] Christ Jesus. It is more than charismata. It is the source of the gifts and the Spirit – union with God. A fulsome life in the Spirit is innately mystical and superbly practical.
It is reliable because it is grounded in the truth that Adam has been undone and Christ is our life. ‘For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive’ 1 Cor 15.22 NIV. In Adam we are dead even when we have affixed Holy Spirit and the gifts to ourselves. In Christ we are alive in spirit and life even on our worst days.
A mystic in a spiritual sense is one who has an experiential knowing of God. This is the kind of ‘knowing that Thomas Torrance would describe as ‘ontological’ – a state of being that is the relationship between persons, person to person. Such a relationship is not a relationship of the head, by which I mean an intellectual christianity.
Neither is it of the law by which I mean a fundamentalist reliance on proof texts, definitions and propositions. It is you living from where you have been re-created to be - You living out your life God.
Let’s be clear. This is not living out Christianity because it’s not living religion. It’s being. It’s resting in the fact that you are one with God.
This is not a propositional perspective of ‘yes or no.’ It is one of ‘both and.’ A yes or no perspective is great in matters of science and safety but not so helpful in theology and spirituality. This is non-dualistic living because it is union with God and therefore union with life.
What is Mysticism? ‘Mysticism is experiential knowledge of God, the true experience of transcendence or the divine. Understanding the mystery of the incarnation means you don’t see everything in terms of either/or, but in terms of both and. Thinking in terms of both allows mystics to understand incarnation, Trinity, and things that otherwise defy logic. Mystical knowledge of God is experiential knowledge, where you know something, but may not be able to verbalize it.’
The sad fact of law based ministry with its appearance of certainty is its excellence in purveying something and nothing. Ministers of the new covenant impart spirit and life because they are alive. Christ is their life and they are His manifestation and messengers.
THE CROSS TURNS THE FALL ON ITS HEAD Thus while the word ‘mystical’ may suggest ‘airy-fairy’ and lack of substance it is certainly the opposite. It is with eternal substance because it is ‘Christ come in our flesh.’ This is the pearl of great price and the revealed treasure of the post cross age. Paul called it Christ in you and ‘Christ your life.’
It simply means incarnation – God woven into our being on account of God’s work and not ours. So this is our possession, not the work of spiritual champions and pious athletes. It is the inheritance of all who believe as long as we believe it and are willing to forsake legalisms, a fundamentalist outlook and an overly rationalist rendering of the Bible and the Gospel. If we are truly of Christ we will follow in Him into this inheritance which is very simple and simply wonderful – oneness with Father.