Statement of Faith

Summary of my principle views (my “statement of beliefs”):

1. Only one God in one person

There is only one God, as repeatedly taught in both the Old and the New Testament, consisting of only one person. He is eternal, immortal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and the creator of the universe. The doctrine of the trinity is false. Jesus was only a human being born to a virgin called Mary and was God only in the sense that he manifested the divine nature in his life (John 14:9). The references in the New Testament to his preexistence are based on the wisdom of God in Proverbs 8. He had no preexistence as a person. Jesus became the son of God, Christ and Lord at his resurrection (Acts 1:32-36; 13:33; Romans 1:4). The holy spirit is not a separate person; this phrase or its equivalent as used in the Bible means mainly either the power of God (Luke 1:35) or the mind or disposition of God (1 Corinthians 2:10-16).

My articles relating to the above:

2. Salvation

Salvation in the New Testament means the deliverance of the believer from his sins. Jesus is the author and finisher of this salvation (Hebrews 12:2). The name “Jesus” means “Yahweh saves,” “Yahweh” being the personal name of God in the Old Testament (Exodus 3:13-15; 6:3). He was to deliver his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). Sin, as defined in the New Testament, is “the transgression of God’s law” (1 John 3:4). For the Christian believer, the laws concerned are the moral commandments expounded by Jesus and the writers of the New Testament Church. The ultimate reward of the saved is eternal life after the cessation of this earthly existence. In a spiritual sense, eternal life is the life of God, which a believer partakes of here and now. Men are called to share in God’s glory, that is his moral excellence, and this is achieved practically by repentance of sins and emulation of Christ, in whom God’s glory dwelt. Jesus died so that the righteous requirements of the law might be fulfilled in those who believe in him through the inspirational power supplied by his suffering and death (Romans 8:4). The death and the resurrection of Christ, while symbolic of the believer putting the old sinful self to death and rising to a new life in Christ, serves, respectively, at a practical level, to cleanse his conscience of sins by its inspirational power and to display God’s power to raise the believer to a new life, which Paul calls “the power of his resurrection” (Philippians 3:10) .

Jesus and the New Testament writers taught that entrance into eternal life is conditional upon keeping God’s (moral) commandments (Matthew 19:17; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). The apostle Paul’s rejection of what he calls salvation by “works of law,” which refers to a system of salvation, is not opposed to a doctrine of salvation requiring the observance of God’s moral commandments as a sine qua non. Faith in God is the conviction that a believer has that God will save him from his sins by the power that is available in Jesus (Romans 1:16). Salvation, that is , the deliverance from sins and the consequent attainment of righteousness, is from beginning to end a gift (Gr. charis) of God, because it is God who opens the eyes of the spiritually blind, both wills and does his pleasure in the believers and leads them on the path they should go (Acts 26:18; 2 Corinthians 9; Ephesians 2:8-9; Philippians 2:13). The believer cooperates with God by his faith and obedience. Salvation is said to be not of works because all who attempt to keep God’s law without the power that comes from him through Christ are doomed to failure (Romans 3:9ff).

The doctrine of vicarious atonement, widely taught in Christendom, is unbiblical. Jesus saves by the inspirational power of his example (Romans 8:3-5; Hebrews 9:13-14; 1 Peter 2:21ff). To have faith in Christ means to believe him to be the promised messiah and saviour and the way to God by emulation of his life.

3. Judgement

Judgement is spiritual in nature and presented in the scriptures under various metaphors as the spiritual defeat of the kingdom of Satan (the world of unbelievers) by the kingdom of God, i.e., the NT church–the victory of righteousness over evil. The Bible does not teach punishment of the unsaved for eternity in a conscious state. Man was created mortal and becomes extinct at death unless given eternal life through a resurrection. The doctrine of an immortal soul is unbiblical.

4. Eschatology

All eschatological prophecies (predictions relating to the end of the age) were fulfilled in the first century. The second coming of  Christ,  “the resurrection to life” and “the resurrection to judgement” and the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:17)  took place in the latter part of the reign of the Roman emperor Domitian (AD 81-96), who was represented by “little horn” of Daniel 7, the two beasts of the book of Revelation and “the man of lawlessness” of 2 Thessalonians 2. With the fulfillment of these events, what is called the “present age” in the New Testament ended and “the age to come” dawned. Both the Old and the New Testament saints took part in the resurrection of the just. The resurrection of the unjust to judgement was a non-literal event.

The second coming of Christ was fulfilled when the life of Christ was reproduced in his Church. This is primarily seen as happening in the martyrdom of the Church during its persecution in the reign of Domitian.  Christ is also seen as coming in spirit during the persecution of Christians in the reign of the emperor Nero (Revelation 12:10-12; cf. Isaiah 19, where Egypt represents Rome).

5. The Church

The New Testament church, which began on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), comprised the community of believers who existed in the first century and was typified by and patterned after the Old Testament congregation of Israel. The church era ended when the eschatological events mentioned above took place. Hence ALL “churches” that existed after the first century starting from the Catholic Church are false and heretical (however well-meaning they may be). With the cessation of the church era, authentic supernatural gifts of the holy spirit, such as healing, speaking in tongues, too, ceased.

Nevertheless, believers in this age are saved on the same basis as the believers of the past age, i.e., through Christ (see above).

5. The Bible.

The true Bible consists of 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament. The Hebrew Old Testament was providentially preserved through the Jews and the Greek New Testament through the Catholic Church. The Bible is not, as oft-repeated in various Christian denominational doctrinal statements, the word of God. Rather, it contains the word of God, which, as understood in the Bible, is a divine verbal communication. The historical narratives of the Bible are not the word of God, though it may have the word of God embedded in it.

The Bible is not inerrant inasmuch as its historical portions do contain demonstrable discrepancies, e.g., the discrepancies in details between parallel accounts in the gospels, which are real. But these discrepancies are of an inconsequential nature and do not affect the reliability of the Bible. The authentic fulfilled prophecies found in the Bible make this book unique among all the books in the world and confer authority upon it such as no book possesses.

I believe the Bible to be the sole source and vehicle of God’s truth now, there being no authorized or commissioned representatives to preach his message in this age.

6. Creation

The Bible does not teach a creation of the universe by God in a literal period of six days about 6000 years ago. Genesis 1 describes the creation of the Garden of Eden (called “heaven and earth” in the text) within a framework of six days followed by a day of rest and, as such, the language is metaphorical and anthropomorphic. As indicated by geological and other scientific data, the earth may be millions or even billions of years old. Geological data, as rightly interpreted, show that the millions of species that exist now and existed in the past were created in stages supernaturally. I think the major cause for the past mass extinctions of species was the sudden creation and introduction of vast numbers of new species into environments in which they became invasive species. This explanation of extinctions is corroborated by our present experience and observations.

I believe in polygenism, i.e., different races of men have been created over time in different geographical locations by God, Adam being the last and the progenitor of the human beings who inhabited the biblical world.

Leonard Jayawardena

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s