How Do You Preserve the Gospel?

In a recent message delivered in London, titled “Preserving the Gospel and Gospel Churches,” Don Carson expounded the meaning and context of 2 Timothy 1:14 and 2:2 …

By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you. … and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

… and then he said the following:

How do you preserve the gospel? You give it away.

It’s the only thing in the world that you guard by giving away.

You do not finally guard the gospel by raising the mote, circling the wagons, going into defensive mode alone, so as not to be contaminated by the interaction with the world. You preserve the gospel by gospelizing. That’s why any form of apologetics that becomes primarily defensive is finally spelling its own demise. At the end of the day we must be about the business of training others. …

The initiative is not coming from a person who volunteers, nor is it coming from a Damascus road experience, nor is it coming in some sort of crisis of faith, nor is it coming from some young stockbroker or medical student who is wondering what to do with their life. No, it’s coming from a senior Christian who is tapping the shoulder of a junior Christian and saying, “Receive these things from me.” That means we ought to be taking initiative in our own congregations, in our own frames of reference, looking for people with the ability to do this sort of work, disrupting their lives, tapping them on the shoulder. … [Telling them,] “I would like to pour my life into you and entrust to you the things the Apostle has given to me.” That’s how you preserve the gospel, by passing it on. …

A church that never passes things on to another generation—reliably, faithfully, with training, with instruction, with understanding, with an eagerness to evangelize—that church is doomed to obsolescence, shrinking ranks, and finally, irrelevance.

3 thoughts on “How Do You Preserve the Gospel?

  1. Teach the children!

    That’s what we must always do. They will receive. And when they grow up, they will not depart from it. And they will teach their children of the Lord.

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