Early in my Christian life (1970's) I was with a church in southern California that taught salvation was accomplished by Christ alone and received by faith alone. Jesus' words, "It is finished" summed up our understanding. Not too bad, eh? We were adamant that there was no law or works we had to do to gain or keep God's favor... until we got to the practical "how to" grow/live the Christian life, i.e. our template of sanctification. We knew enough to eschew any works of outward law-keeping, Mosaic or otherwise, as a means of spiritual transformation. After all, the Christian life is a spirit-life. Yes, we had a better way!
Sanctification for the enlightened was to follow certain spiritual disciplines in order to "mystically experience" Christ (which was really measured by nothing more than one's inward feelings). And, of course, in our thinking this had nothing to do with works. Little did we know... Around that system of a mystical experience of Christ we built our theological means of growth and grace with our own particular "confessional" terms and phrases:
- experience life
- to know the Lord
- experience reality
- touch the Lord
- pray the Scriptures
- come into His presence
- practicing His presence
- "get out of" your soul and into your spirit
- set your mind on the Lord
- live in your spirit, not in your mind.
- the highest authority is your spirit
We had certain verses that pointed the way and supported the above. To advance in the Christian life meant to encounter daily, hourly, even moment by moment, an inward Christ through a subjective experience. Faith need not apply, at least not in the same way that faith, as a God-given grace, receives the gift of salvation from him. This wasn't about receiving, but climbing and attaining.
The way it worked was, more or less, as you set your mind on the Lord and spent time "in God's presence," you were gradually being transformed into the image of Christ (assuming your "sense" or feeling bore witness to His presence)... [What that means is a whole other topic] You knew you were in his presence when you obtained that certain "peaceful, easy feeling." This mystical sanctification model hung, in a large part, on proof-texts like 2 Cor. 3:18 - But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. On paper it sounded pretty good, especially to those who weren't into that outward works-righteousness thing. But it was really nothing more than a subjective, feelings-based, attain-to-the-glory-now, climb-the-ladder-scheme that inevitably led to the same three outcomes of any other method of works-sanctification: hypocrisy, self-deception, lack of assurance, and even despair.