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What Is The Church? PDF Print E-mail

The Christian church is made up of those who have been baptized and thus have received Christ as the Son of God and Savior of the world.  Sometimes it is referred to as "the Body of Christ."   Lutherans believe that they are a part of a community of faith that began with the gift of the Holy Spirit, God's presence with his people, on the day of Pentecost.  The church, regardless of the external form it takes, is the fellowship of those who have been restored to God by Christ.  Indeed, to be called into fellowship with Christ is also to be called into community with other believers.

The church is essential to Christian life and growth.  Its members are all sinners in need of God's grace.  It has no claim on human perfection.  The church exists solely for the hearing and doing of God's Word.  It can justify its existence only when it proclaims the living Word of Christ, administers the Sacraments and gives itself to the world in deeds of service and love.  Most Lutherans recognize a wider fellowship of churches and are eager to work alongside them in ecumenical ministries and projects.