The gospel saves. So it is widely believed among us. So Paul states in 1Co 15.1-2:
Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel that I preached to you, that you received and on which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
It is appropriate to ask what has to happen in order for the gospel to save. In the first verse, Paul also addresses what happened among the Corinthians. They serve as a good example. What they did also applies to everyone in all ages.
- The gospel has to be preached to someone. The gospel is the message of salvation and necessarily includes what people must do to receive it.
- The hearers must receive it, receiving being a synonym for the proper initial response, i.e., faith and obedience.
- The receivers must stand on it and hold firmly to it. They must remain faithful. The “if” of verse 2 makes it clear that faithfulness is a condition to continued salvation, “you are being saved.”
These three things, unlike salvation through the gospel, are not universally agreed upon among the churches. Some among us deny it.
It saddens us to say that there can be no fellowship between people who have such contrary views against what the Bible teaches, for the faithfulness mentioned above includes keeping the teaching pure, maintaining the truth of the gospel. If we open the door to fellowship with false teachers, we become one of them.
To be faithful, we must teach these things to everyone who has not yet obeyed. Evangelism is also faithfulness. Are you?