e all those in heaven and on earth who place their faith in Jesus Christ, who are set apart, holy to God in Christ, and transformed by his grace.
An apostle is one who is sent. The Church is called “apostolic” because it holds the faith of the first apostles sent by Christ. In continuity with them, the Church is likewise sent by Christ to proclaim the Gospel and to make disciples throughout the whole world.
The Church is called “catholic” (“according to the whole”) because it keeps the whole faith it has received from the Lord, in continuity with the whole Church, in all times and places.
The Church is holy because the Holy Spirit dwells in it and sanctifies its members, setting them apart to God in Christ and calling them to moral and spiritual holiness of life.
The Church is one because all its members form the one Body of Christ, having “one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all." The Church is called to embody this unity in all relationships between believers.
The Nicene Creed expands upon the Apostles’ Creed to list four characteristics of the Church: it is “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.”
The Church is called the Body of Christ because all who belong to the Church are united to Christ as their Head and source of life, and are united to one another in Christ for mutual love and service to him.
Holy Scripture teaches me to view the Church as God’s family, as the Body and bride of Christ, and as the temple where God in Christ dwells by his Spirit.
The Church is the whole community of faithful Christians in heaven and on earth, called and formed by God into one people. The Church on earth gathers to worship God in Word and Sacrament, to serve God and neighbor, and to proclaim the Gospel to the ends of the earth.