According to the New Testament, any engaging of mystical practices contributes nothing to one’s regeneration and justification. Mystical practices can no more affect one’s salvation than walking down the aisle, saying a prayer, or signing a decision card at the end of an evangelistic meeting. People become right with God by His grace (i.e., unmerited favor). They are regenerated by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5). They are justified through “repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).

A believer is justified by the righteousness of Christ alone (2 Corinthians 5:21). As Paul wrote, “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand” (Romans 5:1-2). Mystical experiences possess no power to justify or regenerate sinners. Neither can intentional spiritual practices sanctify saints.

Spiritual disciplines originate with man. Therefore, they are works of the flesh. Such works possesses no power to sanctify the human soul. As Paul wrote to the Galatians, “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:3). Of activities like spiritual disciplines that are designed to promote and engender mystical experiences, the apostle wrote to the Colossians, “These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence” (Colossians 2:23). (No Pass For Campolo’s Impasse)

Pastor Larry DeBruyn