We are a congregation; a group; a body. We, the Church – as a group, as a body find several scripture passages directed to us. But many times these passages are taught as if they are for the individual. This tends to bring confusion when the individual is not able to be it all, or do it all, or receive it all.
Let’s look at a couple of these passages:
Mark 16:17 – And these signs shall follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.
Do you see what I mean? Notice the words “those” and “they.” These words are plural. “They” refers to “those who believe.” These signs are to follow the church; the congregation; the body of Christ. Not the individual members. You, as an individual member of the Church, may or may not cast out demons; may or may not speak with new tongues; may or may not……. But you will do your part.
Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God; to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover Whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these he also glorified.
Once again, notice the words “those” and “these.” These words are plural. “Those who love God” refers to the Church. All things work together for the good of “those who love God” – the Church. He foreknew the Church – the body of Christ – and predestinated it. Individuals have freewill and can enter into the Church or not. We all have an open invitation. Also, the Church – the body of Christ – is called, justified, and glorified.
In conclusion consider:
1 Corinthians 12:12 – For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body….