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The Church as Sacrament The Church, Sacrament of Salvation  Church is the visible sign of the invisible reality of God’s salvation.  Sacrament is the visible sign of an invisible reality.  “Mystery” (invisible); “Sacrament” (visible)  The Greek word “mysterion” is translated into Latin by two terms: “mysterium” and “sacramentum”.  “Sacramentum” outlines better the church as the visible sign; “Mysterium” outlines better the occult reality of salvation.  Christ is himself the “mystery” of salvation.  Christ instituted his Church as the universal sacrament of salvation. The Church is an Invisible and Visible Communion  The Church is at the same time both invisible and visible.  As an invisible reality, the Church is…show more content…
 Marriage – symbolizes the union of Christ and Church which is the fruit of Eucharist.  Eucharist – new members are added to the Church through this sacrament. Necessity of the Church for Salvation  Just as Christ is the one and only mediator between God and men, so also is the Church the one and universal means – sacrament-of salvation.  Church is necessary for salvation.  We cannot forget the church is not merely a way of salvation; it is the only way. This is not a human opinion, but the express will of Christ.  “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”  Membership in the Church necessarily requires Baptism, belief in and profession of Christ’s teaching, reception of the same sacraments, and recognition of the Pope and the other legitimate of the Church. The Church’s Universal Mediation  Since the Church is the universal sacrament of salvation in the world, all graces come through it and all graces are directed towards it. Degrees of Membership  Each one is admitted into the Church through faith and Baptism.  The faithful enjoy full membership, but there are some who without being united to the Church, are somehow related to her, with different degrees of closeness. We can distinguish: 1. The Faithful 2. The Non – Catholic Christians 3. The Non – Christians Degrees of Membership (Notes) 1. Catechumens (Aspirants) 2. Full Members a. State of grace
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