What We Believe
We embrace biblical and historic Christianity as expressed in the Scriptures of the Old and New
Testaments and as summarized in the Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds. Additionally, we affirm the five
tenets of the Protestant Reformation: Scripture alone, by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ
alone, and to God alone be the glory.
The New City Catechism is an excellent, free online tool that expresses our core beliefs. NCC is in Q&A
format and includes readings from historic Christianity and short teachings from several trusted teachers
such as Timothy Keller, DA Carson, and others.
THE FOLLOWING IS A SUMMARY OF OUR VIEWS OF THE ESSENTIALS OF HISTORIC CHRISTIANITY:
The Bible is the inspired word of God. It is without error in its original manuscripts and contains
everything we need to know about having a right relationship with God and our fellow human beings.
The Bible is the basis for all of our essential beliefs (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
God is one (Mark 12:29), yet mysteriously exists in three Persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) who are
to be equally loved, honored, and surrendered to (Matthew 28:19).
Jesus Christ is fully God and fully human. He is the sole Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5):
able to restore the broken relationship and the resulting alienation between God and people (John 14:6;
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is God, the third Person of the Trinity. He is alive and active. He indwells followers of
Christ, working in unison with the Word of God to guide them in all truth. He is the power that enables
Christians to live as new creations in Christ and empowers believers for service (John 16:7-14; Galatians
5:22-23; Ephesians 6:17).
People are created by God and in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). On this basis, all people must be
treated with dignity, honor, love, and respect (James 3:9-10). At the same time, in their quest for
independence, all people begin their lives alienated from God and, in this condition, are without hope
and under judgment, a condition that can only be cured through God’s loving, gracious, and saving intervention (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1). As image bearers, we are most alive when our trust,
affections, and allegiances center on Him.
Salvation between God and people (also called ‘restoration’) happens when the Holy Spirit gives people
a new heart, leading and enabling them to trust in Jesus alone for salvation (John 1:12-13). Because God
loves His creation, He will also restore the entire universe to a condition of beauty, rest, joy, perfection,
and freedom (Romans 8:18-30). God’s world, which began as a promising Garden (Genesis 1:27-31), will
find its fulfillment in a perfected, life-giving City in which there will be no more death, mourning, crying,
or pain (Revelation 21:1-8).
Good works do not and cannot make us acceptable to God (Ephesians 2:8-9) but are the natural
outcome of authentic faith in Jesus (James 2:17). We become more fully human—the very best and
most healthy version of ourselves—to the degree that we follow God’s loving commands. His
commands, properly understood, are neither limiting nor oppressive but life-giving. Obedience to God’s
commands is an essential prerequisite for true human flourishing.
The Church is the family of God and consists of those who place their trust (faith) in Jesus. God wants all
members of His worldwide Church, together with their children, to be active in a local church that meets
regularly to worship God, serve each other, and be a life-giving presence in their local community and
world (Acts 2:42-47; Hebrews 10:24-25).
Baptism is a sacrament—a practice instituted by Jesus—for the New Testament Church. When we
administer baptism to someone, the church officially and solemnly admits them into the church body as
a member. Baptism is the sign and seal of God’s covenant of grace to his people in the church—his
promise to save and be faithful. We believe baptism is a continuation of circumcision—the sign and seal
of God’s covenant of grace in the Old Testament.
Baptism is also a sign of the believer’s engrafting into Christ, that is, their rebirth, which is an
acknowledgment of the remission of sins, and their yielding to God through Jesus Christ to walk in
newness of life.
As Jesus directed in Matthew 28:19-20, we should practice baptism until he comes back and makes all
things new again.
The minister administers baptism by pouring or sprinkling water over the individual, baptizing them in
the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Baptism is not only for those who profess faith in and obedience to Christ but is also for the infants and
children of one or both believing parents. Because it is a declaration of God’s faithfulness to his church,
we believe baptism should never be neglected or put off. However, we also believe baptism is not inseparably connected with God’s grace and salvation. One can be saved without baptism; on the other
hand, everyone who is baptized is not automatically saved.
Finally, baptism’s effectiveness is not dependent upon the moment it occurs. But when we practice
baptism, we tangibly experience the grace promised, embodied, and conferred by the Holy Spirit to
everyone to whom that grace is given, according to the purpose of God’s own will and in his appointed
time, whenever that may occur in their lifetime. Therefore, we believe if a Christian church has already
baptized you, Midtown Church (or any other church!) does not need to baptize you again. Baptism
signifies God’s faithfulness and promises to you, even if you were unaware of them at the time of your
Read more about infant baptism here.