A29 (San Jose) Session 5 – D.A. Carson (Gospel Preservation)

The session marks the start of Day 2 of the Acts 29 Boot Camp in San Jose [held June 3-4, 2011].

2 Timothy 1:3-2:2

  • “Satan is portrayed throughout scripture both as a roaring lion and an angel of light; I’m not sure which one is worse, but I know what is identifiable”


1) Fan into flame what they received (v.3-7)

-You cannot simply live on yesterday’s training/grace

-[You must], Check your heart regarding sin

-[left blank, significant to add in; will add in when audio/video is released]

-[You must], Meditate often on scripture (cf. “renewing of your mind”)

  • You’re not what you think you are, but what you think, you are

-[Comes from] When you teach it to others (it is developed as you share/teach; you will establish growth from it)

2) Maintain a clear grasp of the value of the Gospel (v.8-11)

-If you believe this, it changes everything. [“You might have it, but it hasn’t gripped you” — cf. Ian Thomas quote on ‘Christian Life’ (ask me if you’d like expansion on this)]

-You cannot preserve the Gospel unless you’ve got it [and it has you] || You must develop it.

-The Gospel is central (not ministry, church planting)

  • Preaching is not an art form; rather, the proclamation of the Gospel [cf. Jeff Vanderstelt’s comment of Gospel sufficiency (it’s already the best thing there is)]

3) Maintain a willingness to suffer for the Gospel (v.8, 12, 2:8-9) ; cf. Phil 1:29

  • Be honest with your own motivations (proper evaluation –> proper courage –> unashamed advancement –> willingness to suffer)
  • It is graciously given to you that you have faith. Just as much, it has been granted to you to suffer for Him. [Namely, “It will be tough; suck it up!]

-Acts 5:41 [cf. the Gospels –> “if they hated me..”] || if we’re His slaves, we’ll suffer as He does; Jesus said we should be getting kicked in the teeth

-Acts 5:41 [first time experiencing persecution for their faith] –> they rejoiced! || “Yes! it is so good to be identified with Him”…”to know the power of His resurrection.. to share in the fellowship of His sufferings”

-The early believers.. you know what they read for encouragement? Foxes Book of Martyrs || (also check out writing of the persecutions in Cambodia.. ‘the killing fields’)

You preserve the Gospel when you are not afraid (and are willing) to suffer.

4) Maintain the mandate to guard (defend) the Gospel (v.13-14)

-This implies that there will be opposition

-You need pastors/leaders who know how to guard/protect the flock [cf. 1 Timothy 4; Matt Chandler on 1 Timothy 4].

-Don’t develop a ministry of pointing out wrong [note all the details mentioned; will be included when full sermon audio/video is provided]

  • Many people will come up to me after I preach and say “I don’t agree with that” in which I respond “did I get the text right?” || I’m not concerned about how people feel about it, I’m concerned about being faithful to the word of God. || Don’t believe it just because Dr. Carson said it, but because it’s the word of God!

-Note the section of “listen to these people” [again, will be provided once sermon audio/video is provided]

-Part of promoting the Gospel is knowing where the lines are drawn [cf. Rob Bell: Universalist post on Gospel Coalition website, and D.A. Carson’s reactions to their biblical approaches in defending the faith] || stand firm in the faith ; defend it.

5) Distinguish the betrayers and supporters of the Gospel (v.15-18)

-They were committed to the cause of the Gospel (in contrast, some aren’t committed enough) || cf. Gospel Diversity; commitment to the Gospel [and faithfulness to it] leads to unity. || Doctrine and Truth ultimately are meant to unify, not divide.

  • In the Bible, Truth is non-negotiable, but unity is relative good.

Unity (2 views) – Ephesians 2 ; Genesis 11

Diversity (2 views) – Luke 12:15 ; Romans 16:17

  • Concept of Truth being hierarchical (open and closed handed issues) || cf. 1 Cor. 15 – “first importance” || insist on… [develop within sermon audio/video for yourselves. Meditate on this]

-v. 13 – sound teaching (preserve the Gospel in the pattern of sound teaching).

6) Give it Away / Pass it on (2 Tim 2:1-2)

-Pass it on to others to pass it on to others to pass it on to others (make disciples who are making disciples.. etc)

  • Develop future generations (cf. Hezekiah as a negative example of this principle // he was only focused on his time and well-being)
  • Develop preaching and teaching to build upon for future generations, not just this one.

In Summary, as a quick view of the principles to meditate on:

We Will Preserve the Gospel by:

1) Fanning the flame

2) Grasping the value of the Gospel

3) Having a willingness to suffer for the Gospel

4) Guarding the Gospel

5) Identifying the betrayers and supporters

6) Passing it on




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