I believe in, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints.
Outside the Christian Church, where the Gospel is not found, there is no forgiveness, and also no holiness. However, while sanctification has begun and is growing daily, we expect that our flesh will be destroyed and buried with all its uncleanness. Then we will come forth gloriously and arise in a new, eternal life of entire and perfect holiness. For now we are only half pure and holy. So the Holy Spirit always has some reason to continue His work in us through the Word. He must daily administer forgiveness until we reach the life to come. At that time there will be no more forgiveness, but only perfectly pure and holy people. We will be full of godliness and righteousness, removed and free from sin, death, and all evil, in a new, immortal, and glorified body.
You see, all this is the Holy Spirit's office and work. He begins and daily increases holiness upon earth through these two things: the Christian Church and the forgiveness of sin. But in our death He will accomplish it altogether in an instant and will forever preserve us therein.
The Holy Spirit carries on His work without ceasing to the Last Day when we die to the world and all evil, He will make us perfectly and forever holy. (paragraphs 34, 56-59, 61)
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.