FORMED AND FUELED
A Series by Kymone Hinds
Vince Lombardi, the late, great coach of the Green Bay Packers football team, had a ritual that he did before his team every year. Lombardi was so prolific and successful that the National Football League (NFL) championship trophy was named after him. But his speech before his team at the beginning of each season seemed so elementary.
Lombardi would hold up a football and say to his team “Men, this is a football.” I know you may be scratching your head too. After all, these players had probably been holding one of those oblong objects from the moment they knew how to walk. This was not insightful coach.
His point was that every year the team needed to be reminded of the basics. With all the focus on strategy and schemes, the basic building block of the game of football was the football. The team that won moved the ball and stopped the other team from doing so, won the game.
As we talk about what the church is, let’s go back to the basics of it. Let’s be reintroduced to the real church. This diagram will help us explore what the church is and it’s relationships.
You cannot fully describe someone without taking into account their relationships. If you were to describe me you may say that I am a black man who works as a pastor. You may say that I am relatively tall. But that doesn’t fully tell who I am.
I am a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a friend. You can describe me based on what
I do but also based on my relationships. And that’s what we will do with the church.
Our diagram shows the following about the church.
• The church is the body of Christ filled with the Spirit of God.
• The church is called and sent by God with the gospel into the world
to advance the Kingdom of God.
Over the next few issues, we will take a look at these elements and their relationship to what the church is.
In this article we will look at this aspect of the church: The church is the body of Christ filled with the Spirit of God. Here is what we understand about the church and how that relates to us: The Church is Formed by God.
1 Corinthians 12 talks about the church being the Body of Christ and it goes on to explain what that means. It tells us that the church is a collection of people that have been brought together by God. God is the one that has planned it.
God is the one that has molded us together. Verse 18 says “But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them as he chose.”
The church is made up of people. But not just people who sit together in a building for a couple hours each week to have an experience. No the church is knit and bonded and bound together. We are joined together and so in relationship with one another that the way God describes us is a body. You can’t go off alone and do your thing. You can’t be passive and a spectator in what the body is doing because a body is a unit.
There is a fallacy that if you want to lose weight in a particular part of your body that you do exercises that will reduce that part. So you have people who will do a whole bunch of sit ups to reduce their mid section. But what they don’t realize is the body functions as a unit. To lose weight in your stomach you exercise your whole body.
God describes the church as a body of people together. It’s not a building. It’s a body. One of the things that means is that if you are a part of the church, God is the one that has placed you as a part of this body. You are not here as a part of the body by accident. You have a role and a function. You are a part of the body.
What we also need to recognize is as God forms the body, everyone else that God brings has been fashioned by God into the same body. Even those who may be at odds with, God has molded them into His church. The Church is Fueled by God.
Acts 1:8 – “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.”
Jesus is addressing the body of believers that he has formed and he tells them that they will get power. The power for the church to do what God has called her to do comes from the Holy Spirit. The spirit of God enables the church to do what God has called the church to do.
When we read the book of Acts we see the church exercising power because of the presence of the Holy Spirit. The church is active and in motion. The reason the church is so powerful is it is demonstrating the same formula at work that God used when He formed the first man.
In Genesis 2, God formed the body of man. Then God breathe in his nostrils the breath of life. The word used in Genesis for breath is the same as Spirit.
Body + Spirit = Living Soul.
Well God has formed another body. It’s this thing called the church.
It’s the Body of Christ.
But then in John 20:22 we find that Jesus does something powerful.
With the body that he has been forming. The Bible says “And when he said this, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
Body of Christ + Spirit of God = Living Church.
And that’s what the church is. It’s a people formed by God together in a relationship bond that is like a body. Then God infuses that body of people with the power of His Holy Spirit so they can have life.
“This is the church.”
Kymone Hinds, his wife and their three energetic children live in Memphis, TN.
He pastors two churches - Overton Park SDA and Journey Fellowship.
Hinds also speaks and writes regularly on different life issues.
You can connect with Kymone via twitter (@kymonehinds) or on his blog at kymonehinds.com