Relational Core Values

For the social harmony, spiritual development, and societal witness of Seventh Reformed Church, members are to pursue the following relationship values as representative of all the Christian values laid out in Scripture:[1]

1. Love: Love can be a feeling, but it is always a command to be obeyed.

“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37–38

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34–35; cf. 15:12; Matthew 22:39; Romans 13:9–10; 1 John 4:7–8

2. Truthfulness: Love without truth is mere sentimentality, truth without love is harsh and explosive.

“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

“. . . speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” Ephesians 4:15–16

3. Fairness: A sense of justice that requires us to mind only the matters that are our business, and to mind them according to the facts.

“If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame. . . . The one who states his case first seems to be right, until the other comes and examines him.” Proverbs 18:13 and 17

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.” Matthew 18:15

4. Respect: The treatment of others that recognizes we are all God’s image-bearers and, in Christ, the temples of the Holy Spirit.

“With [the tongue] we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.” James 3:9–10

“Pay to all what is owed to them . . . respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.” Romans 13:7

“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” Hebrews 13:17

“So I exhort the elders among you, . . . shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, . . . not domineering over those in your charge but being examples to the flock.” 1 Peter 5:1, 2, 3

5. Courage: The bravery to speak and to do the things that please God and rebuff Satan.

“ . . . the people who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits.” Daniel 11:32

“ . . . God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18

6. Encouragement: The will and the action to inspire courage in others.

“And when Saul had come to Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him . . . But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. . . . So he [Saul] was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out. And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus . . .” Acts 9:26, 27, 28–29

“And when I [John] saw Him [Christ], I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, ‘Do not be afraid . . .’” Revelation 1:17

7. Integrity: The desire and pursuit of life in the light of God’s presence.

“For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” John 3:20–21

“Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” Romans 13:13–14

8. Selflessness: A desire to treat others as we would want to be treated, to put the needs of others before our own, and to carry our share of the service and ministry of the church.

“You are the light of the world. . . . Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 4:14, 16

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

“Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

“ . . . as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:10

Passed by Consistory, November 2, 2009

[1]The texts appended to each value are illustrative of the scriptural basis of the value listed. They are not exhaustive.