What is the “present truth” in 2 Peter 1:12?

SHARE

By BibleAsk Team


Present Truth

In 2 Peter 1:12, the Apostle Peter refers to the concept of “present truth,” which carries significant theological implications within the context of the passage and the broader Christian faith. To fully grasp the meaning of “present truth” in this verse, we must examine the surrounding context, the author’s intent, and the application of this concept to the Christian life. Let’s delve into a thorough exploration of 2 Peter 1:12 and its implications.

Contextual Background:

The Second Epistle of Peter is addressed to believers in the early Christian church and is primarily concerned with issues of doctrine, ethics, and spiritual growth. In the preceding verses of 2 Peter 1, Peter exhorts his readers to grow in their faith and to pursue spiritual virtues such as faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love (2 Peter 1:5-7). He emphasizes the importance of these qualities for spiritual maturity and fruitful Christian living.

Exegesis of 2 Peter 1:12:

  1. 2 Peter 1:12 (NKJV): “For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth.”In this verse, Peter expresses his intention to continually remind his readers of the spiritual truths and teachings that he has imparted to them. He acknowledges that they are already familiar with and firmly established in the “present truth.” The term “present truth” (Greek: παρουσία ἀλήθεια, parousia aletheia) can be understood as the truth that is relevant and applicable to the present circumstances and context of the recipients.

Interpretation and Application:

  1. Relevance to the Original Audience: The “present truth” for Peter’s original audience likely referred to the foundational teachings of the Christian faith, including the message of salvation through Jesus Christ, the importance of spiritual growth and maturity, and the need for ethical conduct and holy living. These truths were essential for the spiritual well-being and perseverance of believers in the face of persecution and false teachings.
  2. Continual Remembrance and Reinforcement: Peter’s commitment to reminding his readers of the “present truth” underscores the importance of ongoing spiritual instruction and reinforcement within the Christian community. The truths of the Gospel are not to be taken for granted but require continual meditation, teaching, and application in the lives of believers.
  3. Applicability to Contemporary Christians: The concept of “present truth” is not confined to the historical context of the early church but has relevance for contemporary Christians as well. In every generation, believers are called to uphold and proclaim the timeless truths of the Gospel in the midst of changing cultural, social, and theological landscapes. The “present truth” encompasses not only the foundational doctrines of the Christian faith but also their application to contemporary issues and challenges faced by the church.

Examples:

Present truth, in 2 Peter 1:12, is the preaching of the everlasting gospel that has particular urgency for a specific time. Let’s review some Bible examples:

  1. Noah’s message of the Flood (Genesis 6 and 7; 2 Peter 2:5): Noah was a preacher of righteousness. He taught God’s love as he warned of a coming flood that would destroy the world. The Flood message was present truth for that time. Its urgent cry was “get into the boat” to be saved. And it was so important that it would have been immoral not to preach it.
  2. Jonah’s message to Nineveh (Jonah 3:4): Jonah’s present truth was that Nineveh would be destroyed in 40 days. Jonah also preached about repentance, and the city repented. To not give the 40-day warning would have been unfaithful and unforgivable. It was present truth. It fitted that time in a very special way.
  3. John the Baptist’s message (Matthew 3:1-3 Luke 1:17): John’s present truth was that Jesus, the Messiah, was about to appear. His work was to present the gospel and prepare people for Jesus’ first coming. To have not given that first-coming element of the gospel for his day would have been unthinkable.
  4. Today, the three angels’ messages (Revelation 14:6-14) are God’s present truth. Salvation through Jesus Christ alone is central to these messages. However, the present truth of the three angels also has been given to prepare people for Jesus’ second coming and to open their eyes to Satan’s brilliant and highly convincing deceptions in order not to receive the mark of the beast. Unless people understand these messages, Satan will indeed deceive them. Jesus knew we needed these three special messages, so in loving kindness He gave them. 

Implications for Christian Living:

  1. Steadfastness in the Faith: Believers are encouraged to remain steadfast in their commitment to the “present truth” of the Gospel, resisting the influence of false teachings and worldly ideologies that seek to distort or undermine the core tenets of Christian doctrine.
  2. Continual Growth and Transformation: The pursuit of spiritual growth and maturity is essential for embracing and embodying the “truth” in daily life. This involves cultivating virtues such as faith, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love, as outlined by Peter in the preceding verses.
  3. Faithful Witness and Testimony: As recipients of God’s truth, believers are called to bear witness to the Gospel message and to share it with others in both word and deed. By living out the truths of the Gospel in their lives, believers become living testimonies to the transformative power of God’s grace and truth.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the concept of “present truth” in 2 Peter 1:12 encapsulates the relevance and applicability of the Gospel message to the lives of believers. It underscores the importance of continually upholding and proclaiming the foundational truths of the Christian faith, even in the face of challenges and opposition. As recipients of the “truth,” believers are called to remain steadfast in their faith, to grow in spiritual maturity, and to bear faithful witness to the transformative power of the Gospel in their lives and in the world. Through ongoing remembrance, reinforcement, and application of the “truth,” believers are equipped to face the end time trials and to fulfill their calling as ambassadors of Christ’s kingdom.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

We'd love your feedback, so leave a comment!

If you feel an answer is not 100% Bible based, then leave a comment, and we'll be sure to review it.
Our aim is to share the Word and be true to it.