47] The Creed calls the "holy Christian Church" a "communion of saints." Both expressions, taken together, are identical. …
48] … So the word Church really means nothing other than a common gathering… Therefore … it ought to be called "a Christian congregation or gathering" or, best of all and most clearly, "holy Christendom."
49] So also the word "communion," … is nothing else than an interpretation or explanation by which someone meant to show what the Christian Church is.… To speak [correctly]…. it ought to be "a congregation of saints"; that is, a congregation made up purely of saints, or, to speak yet more plainly, "a holy congregation." …
51] … this is the meaning and substance of this addition: I believe that there is upon earth a little holy group and congregation of pure saints, under one head, even Christ (Ephesians 1:22). This group is called together by the Holy Spirit in one faith, one mind, and understanding, with many different gifts, yet agreeing in love, without sects or schisms (Ephesians 4:5-8, 11). 52] I am also a part and member of this same group, a sharer and joint owner of all the goods it possesses (Romans 8:17). I am brought to it and incorporated into it by the Holy Spirit through having heard and continuing to hear God's Word (Galatians 3:1-2), which is the beginning of entering it. In the past, before we had attained to this, we were altogether of the devil, knowing nothing about God and about Christ (Romans 3:1012). 53] So, until the Last Day, the Holy Spirit abides with the holy congregation or Christendom (John 14:17). Through this congregation He brings us to Christ and He teaches and preaches to us the Word (John 14:26). By the Word He works and promotes sanctification, causing this congregation daily to grow and to become strong in the faith and its fruit, which He produces (Galatians 45)..
54] We further believe that in this Christian Church we have forgiveness of sin….
55] Everything, therefore, in the Christian Church is ordered toward this goal: we shall daily receive in the Church nothing but … continuous, uninterrupted forgiveness of sin. This is because God forgives us and because we forgive, bear with, and help one another (Galatains 6:1-2).
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.
Lord grant you faith in His grace alone for your salvation unto eternal life. Amen