6.4.1.2 The church is "holy"

The church of Christ is holy on account of the sanctifying activity of God in Christ's sacrifice and through the activity of the Holy Spirit in word and sacrament. This sanctifying activity takes its effect upon believers in divine service.

The holiness of the church of Christ is founded solely upon the triune God, not the human beings who belong to it. In Jesus' intercessory prayer, the Lord brings to expression that He sanctifies Himself for His Apostles, "that they also may be sanctified by the truth" (John 17: 19). He also includes the church in this process of sanctification through Himself (John 17: 20).

Hebrews 10: 10 speaks of this sanctification through the sacrifice of Jesus: "By that will [of God] we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."

Apostle Peter calls the believers a holy nation (1 Peter 2: 9-10). He says this despite the fact that the believers are human beings encumbered by imperfections. Their sinfulness does not invalidate the holiness of the church.

See also