Has Contemplative Christianity Lost It On Righteousness By Faith ?
What is "faith" according to the Bible ?
Heb11:1-"Now faith is the substance ..."
In Greek "substance" = hypo stasis.
Hypo =under. as in hypo glycemia ( under normal blood sugar level) ; hypo tension ( under normal blood pressure ); hypodermic needle ( needle for piercing under the skin ) .
Stasis = standing.
So, "Faith" is "Substance".... is "Hypo-Stasis".... is "Under-Standing".
In Latin, "substance " is similarly composed of "sub" which means "under" as in " subterranean" and "stance" which means "standing"
Faith is not blind. It is the insight of UNDERSTANDING of the word of God.
What is Righteousness By Faith ?
Rom 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
What is counted for righteousness ? Faith is counted for righteousness ! …our understanding of the word of what is being said is counted for righteousness.
In Rom 4:5 gets really personal. 3 perspectives converge together, to be understood and believed together, that the person may be counted for righteousness.
#1 Your confidence that God is Love ….. So loving and so worthy of your trust that you allow yourself to be transparent to Him that He may show you to be UNGODLY and you "believeth on him" that it is so.
#2 In the comfort, in the assurance of His love you are humbled to realize your UNGODLINESS, fully realizating that indeed, you are " the ungodly" one.
#3 You realize that God Who showed us your UNGODLINESS revealed it for the sole purpose that He will " justifieth (you) , the UNGODLY" .
So, your faith …. Your UNDERSTANDING of His word, that it goes forth and is fulfilled and never returns void
You may say, but I have no faith ….. no such understanding
Rom 12:3 " think ( or understand ) soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith".
So we all have a measure of faith. To be sure that is what we are born with ….. not an immortal soul, but definietly a measure of faith. And “ faith works by love” Gal 5:6,
When we see the height of the glorious love of God for us personally, then the 3 things happen together in Rom 4:5 for our justification.
#1 Our confidence in God…… our transparency to God.... our exposure to His workings for our justification.
#2 God reveals our UNGODLINESS, but in love and we cry out " woe is me ".
#3 Then God justifies the UNGODLY by offerring us our share in the death and resurrection of His Son. God gives grace to the humble. In fact He humbles us to give us that grace.
Does that mean that we can remain ungodly after justification ?
When God shows us how ungodly we really are, the experience of that confrontation with our own evil is so cathartic, that we will do nothing else but cling on to Him for sanctification. " I will not let thee go accept thou bless me".
Contrast this to modern Christian Meditation or Contemplation …. How do they work ?
They say ….God has from birth given us an inner-immortal-divine, not just a measure of faith.
They say that there is a perfect divine spark of God in each and every one from birth.
We possess this perfect goodness but are distracted by business, stray thoughts, ambitions, etc.
But, when we silence our mind thru meditation we discover that personal divine goodness
In meditation, when the silence is perfect …. We will sense the perfection of our possessed divinity.
So they need to admit to their ungodliness ? No
Do they need justification ? No
Do they need to share in the death and resurrection of Christ when they already possess divinity, hidden as it may be ? No, they need only meditate.
Do they need righteosness by faith from understanding the word of God ? No
What do they need? Silence. They only need "silence". Father Thomas Keating, the renown founder of Catholic Centering Prayer quotes : “ Silence is God’s first language, everything else is poor translation”. I think he means that even the Bible is poor translation. First and foremost is the perfection of "silence" !