We affirm the historic Apostle's Creed. We also stand within the rich tradition of the Reformation of the sixteenth century, which is anchored in the gospel of grace. The Westminster Confession of Faith is our church's official statement of faith.

The Faith We Embrace

Everybody needs Jesus' mercy

Midtown is founded on the basic Christian faith, believed by Christians across continents and centuries. We have certain unique and eccentric beliefs as Presbyterians—which we like!—but the main things for us are the things we hold in common with most all other Christians.

The Christian story goes like this. God created the world to reflect his beauty and goodness. At the pinnacle of his creation he made human beings to live in loving relationship with him, to flourish in all of their capacities and potential as humans, and to nurture and develop the rest of his creation. His verdict on the creation was, “It was very good.”

But the man and woman, in their pride, rebelled against God, choosing autonomy over deference to God. This rebellion was catastrophic, and plunged God’s good and beautiful creation into chaos. People could no longer get along with each other, the physical environment became a threat to them, they unraveled psychologically, and worst of all, they were alienated from God himself.

God speaks of himself as utterly pure morally and rigorously just. But instead of squashing his people because of their rebellion, he moved out toward them in mercy. He promised to restore them to their true humanity in relationship with him. Ultimately, he would accomplish this rescue through Jesus Christ— God himself who became a human being to deliver us and bring us back home.

Jesus lived the true human life—the most beautiful life any of us has ever seen—in flourishing, obedient relationship with God. He put on display the fixed world he was promising to bring: healing of diseases and even death itself, deliverance for the oppressed, forgiveness of rebellion, ending of injustice, and peace with God. He called this reclamation and restoration project his kingdom.

Having lived this life of total obedience to God’s will, that is, living the life we should have lived but never have, Jesus then died the death we deserved to die on the cross. All of the justice of God due to us for our rebellion was meted out against Jesus in our stead.
He paid the debt we owed to God’s justice. This means that God can forgive our rebellion without compromising his moral standards, that he can end injustice without ending us. The penalty has been fully paid.

Jesus then rose again to life on the third day. His resurrection broke the back of the project of human autonomy, and the diabolical evil which lies behind it. His renewed body is the first glimpse we have into what the renewed creation will look like. He is the first fully human being we have seen since Adam and Eve. His promise is that we will be raised with bodies like his at the end of history, live in a restored creation where our relationships are healed, our psyches are healed, the physical world is healed, and we live in flourishing relationship with God. Jesus has ascended to the throne of the world now in heaven, and will return to judge the world and open the new creation at the last day.

The startling and counter-intuitive claim of Christianity is that everything needed for a restored relationship with God is given to us gratis. Undeserved. Unearned. To use the Bible’s words: “by grace you have been saved through faith, not as a result of works so that no one may boast.” The idea that we don’t have to earn God’s love and favor through devout actions or good intentions and sentiments goes against every instinct we have, and is contrary to every other religious notion about God in the world. Jesus has earned all of God’s love and blessing for us; we live as the happy recipients of his gift. We are the people of grace.

This restoration and future hope are not given
automatically to everyone, but rather are offered
indiscriminately to everyone. You become a Christian
when you put all of your confidence and trust in
Jesus Christ, hoping only in Jesus to take away your guilt, and embracing him as the King of the world and of your life. When you commit yourself to him you are included in his kingdom forever and you enter an unbreakable relationship with him. This step is so radical that the Bible calls it a new birth. Christians are baptized with water to mark them out as those that belong to Jesus.

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