116 • Part I. The Creed: The Faith Professed
the Church with the invisible aspects in such a way that the Church is
always a unity of both aspects.
In the unity of this Body [of which Christ is the head], there is a
diversity of members and functions. All members are linked to
one another, especially to those who are suffering, to the poor
and persecuted. (CCC, no. 806)
The Church is the sacrament of salvation. “The Church is like a
sacrament—a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and
of unity among all men” (CCC, no. 775). The Church is a sacrament
of the union of all people with God, and a sacrament of the unity of
all peoples—for the Church gathers people “from every nation, race,
people, and tongue” (Rev 7:9).
The Spirit communicates to us the salvation gained for us by Jesus
Christ through the Church and her seven Sacraments. “The Church ‘is
the visible plan of God’s love for humanity,’ because God desires ‘that
the whole human race may become one People of God, form one Body
of Christ, and be built up into one temple of the Holy Spirit’” (CCC, no.
776, citing Pope Paul VI [June, 22, 1973]).
THE CHURCH IS THE PEOPLE OF GOD
[God] has . . . willed to make men holy and save them,
not as individuals without any bond between them, but
rather to make them into a people who might acknowl-
edge him and serve him in holiness.
—CCC, no. 781
Chapter two of the
Dogmatic Constitution on the Church
) gives prominence to a scriptural and patristic image of the
Church as the People of God. The Father began this formation process
with the Israelites and brought it to fulfillment in the Church. A per-
son is initiated into God’s people not by physical birth, but by a spiri-
tual birth through faith in Christ and Baptism. God’s people include the