1:12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know [them], and be established in the present truth. 1:13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting [you] in remembrance; II Peter 1:12&13
This is the only place in the bible where we can find the phrase, the present truth. However, from the context in which it is used we can see that it is important that we know and understand what Peter called, the present truth.
First, it is important to know that whenever the bible uses the word, truth, it is referring to the gospel which can be summed up in two words: JESUS SAVES. Next, it is important to know that the gospel is called, the mystery. Notice what Paul says in Romans 16:25&26:
16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, 16:26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: Romans 16:25&26 (Emphasis supplied}.
God knew that sin would occur and He had a plan in place to deal with it called the plan of salvation better known as the gospel. This plan was in the mind of God before His creation knew about the sin problem and was not revealed until Satan chose to exalt himself above God and start war in heaven (see Revelation 12:1-17). This war was the beginning of the two great mysteries. The first great mystery is the mystery of godliness (see I Timothy3:16) also known as the mystery of the gospel, the mystery of Christ , the mystery of God or the mystery (see Ephesians 6:19, Ephesians 3:4, Colossians 2:2 and Colossians 1:26&27). The second great mystery is the mystery of iniquity (see II Thessalonians 2:7) also known as the mystery of Babylon (see Revelation 17:5).
When Satan chose to rebel against God none of God’s creation fully understood the loving nature of God (the mystery of godliness) or the ugly consequences of sin (the mystery of iniquity). It wasn’t until Adam and Eve sinned by eating from the forbidden tree that both mysteries began to be revealed. The mystery of iniquity began to be revealed by the immediate consequences of sin announced by God in Genesis 3:1-14. The mystery of godliness also began to be revealed at that time because in the next verse God said:
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Genesis 3:15 (Emphasis supplied}.
This statement by God was the first unfolding or revelation of the gospel. However, when it was preached to Adam and Eve they did not fully understand that the seed that was referred to would be Jesus. That truth would be revealed to future generations. The truth that was required of them was to believe that their hope of salvation was not in their works but in their faith in the promised seed that would be born of a woman. That was their present truth and had they not exercised faith in that truth they would have been lost.
Since the first gospel preached by God to Adam and Eve the mystery of God (the gospel) has been progressively revealed more and more and each new revelation has been present truth for that generation. For example, at Jesus’ baptism present truth was preached by John the Baptist when He said, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (John1:29). All the generations before then had to offer a lamb according to the requirements of the earthly Sanctuary service in order to be saved but this revelation of present truth changed all of that. Everyone from that point on has had to exercise faith in Jesus, the promised seed and true Lamb of God.
In summary, the mystery of the gospel of Jesus has been progressively revealed by God over time. Each new revelation was present truth for that generation and had to be accepted in order to be saved. The fact that the previous generations did not live by that truth was no excuse because it had not been revealed to them. Acts 17:30 says:
And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Next week I am going to deal with the present truth for this generation. Until then I leave you with this text of scripture to contemplate and pray over:
But the path of the just [is] as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. Proverbs 4:18