Spiritual Core Values
PCF Spiritual Core Values – John Mullen
What are our core values? They are the primary beliefs that shape our view of the world. They give us the lenses through which we interpret the world. For Christians who see life in the light of Scriptures, community is an essential part of life as it is based on our common relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Since the Creator’s passion is to reconcile the world to Himself, our relationship with God motivates us to be in relationship with His world. Also, God’s love that has been poured into our hearts changes us. It changes how we relate to God, to other Christians, and to non-believers (the world). Therefore, our core values must include our relationship with God, each other and the world. We have organized the values we share at PCF in these three categories. This article is the first of three – PCF Spiritual Core Values, PCF Community Core Values, and PCF World View Core Values.
“these values are something you can expect to see worked out in our daily community life.”
We value grace
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me (John 14:6-7).
The first core value defines how we see God. We desire to embrace God by accepting His gift of salvation. We come to God through faith in Jesus, rather than by seeking acceptance from God through obeying the law of the Old Covenant. There are many paths that claim to lead to God, but there is only one door to enter His house (Mat. 7:13). Life with God begins with accepting the atonement of the Messiah (John 1:18, 14:6, 17:3).
We choose to relate to God on His terms as adopted children (Eph. 1:5, Rom. 8:15 & 23, 9:4) as opposed to self-righteous religious people who earned something. In all the religions of the world, one must try to earn the god’s acceptance – except one – the Christian faith – where acceptance was merited by the sacrifice of Christ 2000 years ago. Our part is merely to accept the gift and be grateful.
Our upbringing, our parents, our culture can all skew how we see God. How we see our life is largely affected by how we see God. If God is a wrathful judge who is just waiting to punish us when you fail, you are going to see your life as an unpredictable jungle where you are fearful and don’t feel like you can trust anything or anybody. Those who have confidence in Christ, not because of what we do, but because of what Christ has done on our behalf; can approach God without fear or hesitation.
We value Christ’s righteousness
For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ (2 Cor 5:21).
The second core value defines how we believe God sees us. We desire to view ourselves as God does (revealed by His Word). The New Testament refers to us as “saints” over sixty times. It refers to us as “in Christ” ninety-five times. And, the Word of God reminds us that “Christ (He) is in you” over sixty times. Romans says, “Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone” (Rom. 5:18-19). We not only are reconciled to God but also given a new life. The new life is Christ’s life. Whoever has the son has life (1 Jn. 5:12). Our spirit was void of God until we received by faith the grace offered to us through the sacrificial atonement of Christ (Eph. 2:8-9). Now, we are joined to Christ and Bible says we are one spirit with Him (1 Cor. 6:17). Our spirit is alive to God (Rom. 6:11). As such, we are adopted into the family of God (Eph. 1:5, Rom. 8:15 & 23, 9:4). Therefore, we are new creations (Gal. 6:15-16, 2 Cor. 5:17) with a new identity (Jn. 1:12, Rom. 8:14, 15, Gal. 3:26, 4:6-7, I Cor. 12:27, Eph. 2:6, 5:30, Phil. 3:20, I Thes. 5:5, I Pet. 2:9-11, I Jn. 3:12)
We value dependence
For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort (Phil 3:3).
The third core value defines how we relate to God. We desire to live in dependence upon God’s truth and upon the present work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The original sin was a desire to be like God which was followed by a decision to live independent of God. Independence is spiritually expressed by refusing to believe God’s truth and continually attempting to meet our own needs rather than turn to God. Paul and Barnabas urged the new believers to rely on the grace of God (Acts 13:43). The temptation they all faced was to turn back to the law to self-justify themselves before God. The church today is filled with self-atonement in hopes of pleasing God and making oneself acceptable to God. The truth is Christ has done everything to please God (1 Pet. 2:5, Mat. 3:17, 12:18, 17:5, Col. 1:19, 2 Pet. 1:17) and He has made each of us acceptable to God (Rom. 3:25-27, 4:11-13, 5:1, 15:17, 1 Cor. 6:20, Eph. 1:5, 2:18, Col. 1:14).
We value prayer and worship
In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy (1 Tim 2:8).
The forth core value defines how we interact with God. We desire to reach out to God continually both in worship and prayer. Jesus said, “My house will be called a house of prayer” (Mat. 21:13, Lk. 19:46). At PCF prayer is a pillar of our community life and gatherings. We pray before Sunday services, during Sunday services (prayer point and ministry time), during home groups and other gatherings. By Christ’s invitation we pray in faith and bring the needs around us before the throne of God (Mat. 7:7-8). We believe that not only does God hear us, but that we can hear Him! There are several examples in the New Testament; Philip received a word for the Ethiopian in Acts 8:30, Peter received a word for Cornelius in Acts 10:20, the prophet Agabus predicted a famine in Acts 11:28 and in Acts 21:10 he warned Paul of his coming arrest, and in Acts 27:22 Paul gave a prophetic warning about the shipwreck and prophetic encouragement about their lives being spared.
We also see in scripture the commands to worship God (Mat. 4:10, Lk. 4:8, Jn. 4:23, 9:31, Phil. 3:3, Heb. 9:14, 12:28, 1 Pet. 3:15, Rev. 14:7, 15:4). At PCF worship is our priority over all other types of spiritual service. It begins with our personal walk (Rom. 12:1), but is culminated in corporate expressions of thanks, singing, exhortation and testimonies (1 Cor. 14:26). Worship is characterized by spirit and truth (Jn. 4:23), and we interpret that to mean we do more than think about God, but rather we open our spirit to the touch of His Spirit and we attempt to walk according to the Spirit rather than the flesh (Rom. 8:4-5). Worship is summarized as loving God with all one’s heart, soul, mind, and strength!
We value the Word and obedience
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work (2 Tim 3:16-17).
The fifth core value defines how we come to know God. We desire to both intellectually discover God through His Word (the Bible), and experientially discover God though spiritual disciplines and actively building His Kingdom. Hence, PCF’s services and gatherings are filled with scripture as we seek to apply biblical lessons to direct our lives and our community. Many of those lessons refer to practicing our faith and doing the will of God. And, just as we meet Christ as we obey the command to remember Him as we gather (Lord’s Supper), we also discover Christ as we care for the poor, care for each other, give sacrificially, etc.
Expressing core values are a way to seek unity. How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity (Ps 133:1). That is our desire as we share our heart regarding living out our faith together in this community. In the midst of our diversity it is unrealistic to expect everyone to agree with everything. However, as the pastors, elders and leaders are engaging the community, these values are something you can expect to see worked out in our daily community life.
PCF SPIRITUAL CORE VALUES SUMMARY
- ● We desire to embrace God by accepting His gift of salvation. We come to God through faith in Jesus, rather than by seeking acceptance from God through obeying the law of the Old Covenant.
- ● We desire to view ourselves as God does and revealed by His Word.
- ● We desire to live in dependence upon God’s truth and upon the present work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
- ● We desire to reach out to God continually both in worship and prayer.
- ● We desire to both intellectually discover God through His Word (the Bible), and experientially discover God though spiritual disciplines and actively building His Kingdom.