The Church and Salvation
Our salvation is through Jesus
Christ alone. But since the church is the body of Christ, the church is closely
related to our salvation. Christ has given the church the mission to preach and
baptize for the forgiveness of sins; he also continues his saving work through
the sacraments administered by the church. Therefore, to accept the church is
to accept Christ and to be saved is to become a member of the body of
Christ--the church. We may not separate the Savior from his body.
"For the husband is the head
of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its
Savior" (Ephesians ).
Christ is the savior of the entire body, not of separate body parts. Therefore,
we are not saved apart from the church, but as part of the whole church.