Established in the Truth

2 Peter 1:12
Neil Girrard
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Scriptures Referenced in This Article:
          (Follow the Scripture links if you want to study the Scriptures for yourself.)
Mt. 7:21-23 π Mt. 22:37 π Mt. 24:4 π Jn. 1:17 π Jn. 7:17 π Jn. 7:38 π Jn. 8:31-32 π Jn. 8:44 π Jn. 14:6 π Rom. 3:31 π 2 Cor. 10:3-6 π 2 Cor. 13:5 π Gal. 5:13 π Eph. 2:10 π 2 Ths. 2:10 π 2 Ths. 2:11 π 2 Ths. 2:16-17 π 1 Tim. 4:1 π Heb. 8:10 π 2 Pet. 1:5 π 2 Pet. 1:9 π 2 Pet. 1:10-11 π 2 Pet. 1:12; 2nd π 2 Pet. 3:16-17 π 1 Jn. 2:20-21
Greek Words Mentioned in This Article
Firm, Setsterizo – [4741] π 2nd

Warnings have been rightfully sounded to avoid any and all groups that want to prove that they have some exclusive answers through a pet doctrine or special revelation. One of the latest of these groups relies heavily on their special, private interpretation of “grace.” This particular error and heresy relies on a twisted mixture of truth, error and distortion to arrive at pseudo-truths that leave the genuine follower of Christ struggling to separate the truth from the error – and because this touches on such an important part of the Christian’s life in Christ a more diabolical deception would be difficult to envision. The deception is such that the average “Christian” today (who is most likely steeped in an ignorance of the depths of the Scriptures because of their years of “church” attendance) – apart from the Holy Spirit’s protective discernment – would not be able to discern the error from the truth, precisely what this deception (the work of the devil and the demonic – Jn. 8:44; top ) is designed to do.

Interestingly, some adherents of this error find it difficult to be around believers (who do know the truth) and these avoid these stronger (true) believers, trying to hide behind the idea that they “just aren’t established in the truth yet” and therefore they don’t have the strength to be around those other believers who, still in what is now perceived to be error, just don’t have this wonderful new understanding of “grace.” But where does this phrase “established in the truth” come from? It only appears once in the New Testament and it has nothing to do with coming into the truth of Christ Jesus – in fact, it says something else entirely!

Peter wrote,

“For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established [ 4741 ] in the present truth.” ( 2 Pet. 1:12; top )

No discussion of this verse would be complete without understanding what “these things” are that Peter speaks of here. Peter has just written:

“Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” ( 2 Pet. 1:10-11; top )

Interestingly, this “grace” deception relies so heavily on the supposedly “finished” work of Christ (this is another deep layer of this deception that will not be fully addressed here) that the believer is supposed to do nothing because that “self-effort” would remove them from the realms of “grace” and put them back under “law.” Peter, however, had no qualms about telling his readers to be even more diligent to make their call and election sure!

In connection with the last days before His return, Jesus plainly warned His disciples, “Take heed that no one deceives you.” ( Mt. 24:4 ) Paul, quite similarly, instructed his readers, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless indeed you are disqualified.” ( 2 Cor. 13:5 ) It is the demonic who lures believers into passive inaction in any facet of their being – God and Jesus still views the most important commandment as:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” ( Mt. 22:37; top )

There is no part of our being to be left untouched, passive or inactive in our devotion to our Creator, Father and God!

Paul wrote:

“Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.” ( 2 Cor. 10:3-6; top )

Jesus said it more succinctly:

“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” ( Jn. 8:31-32; top )

Let us note well the power of real truth. Truth is:

Proponents of this specially interpreted “grace” doctrine should note well also what truth does not do – He does not set you “free” so that you may use your liberty in Christ to indulge your flesh ( Gal. 5:13 ) nor does He set you “free” so that you may practice lawlessness (whatever is right in your own eyes – see Mt. 7:21-23; top )

But let us note well the vast difference between what real truth can do in contrast to how these “grace” adherents need to be “established in the truth” so as to be strong enough to withstand others’ “errors.” These “grace” followers need to be immersed in their teachings so long and so often that they attain to a place where their stand in the “truth” is “established.” These are so weak in their specialized interpretations that the simple art of persuasion (that is part and parcel of the real Christian life) is capable of dislodging them from their place in what they perceive to be the truth! Any “truth” that cannot withstand any and every onslaught from any and every source is not the Truth that conquered all the spiritual forces of hell and evil at Calvary! Any “truth” that cannot stand up to each and every challenge is not strong enough to hold up one’s life – neither in this life nor on judgment day – and, quite simply, is not truth.

The truth makes you free to obey God – pseudo-truth is a bondage that requires you to hold fast with all of your own might and strength to the ideas you have accumulated from some outside source. The laws of God are written on our hearts under His new covenant ( Heb. 8:10; top ) – any “truth” that has to come to us from an outside source apart from the Spirit of truth whom we adoringly love and uncompromisingly follow is a deception. Do not be deceived by nice sounding words, phrases and ideas that come from someone other than God!

Paul also prayed for the Thessalonicans:

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father…establish [ 4741 ] you in every good word and work.” ( 2 Ths. 2:16-17; top )

Here is this same Greek word used in a different context – one which this group avoids. Though this fringe element wants to be left alone until the demonic “establishes” them in their specialized “truth” (a phrase barely found in the New Testament), these are not at all interested in having the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father establish them in the good works that God has prepared beforehand that they should walk in ( Eph. 2:10 ), a concept much more clearly brought forth in the New Testament! The man who does not practice diligence to obediently add each element that makes up spiritual maturity, Peter says, “is shortsighted, even to blindness and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.” ( 2 Pet. 1:9 , also see v. 5; top ) Again, inactiveness, passiveness and negligence are “front doors” for demonic invasion into a believer’s life!

We should note well also that Peter considers his readers already established in the present truth of Christ! ( 2 Pet. 1:12 ) Peter is taking great care to remind his readers of “these things” even though they already know and are established in the present truth. John said it plainly:

“But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.” ( 1 Jn. 2:20-21; top )

Again we must notice that the truth of Christ, the rivers of living water that come from within the depths of our innermost beings ( Jn. 7:38; top ), are an internal knowledge that comes from the depths of our spiritual being. They are not teachings we glean from any outside source. Teachings we hear from outside sources (other men, reading the Bible, etc.) are confirmations of what we have already heard from the voice of God! Any message from any spiritual voice or any ideas gleaned from the mouths or “wisdom” of men that contradicts the rightly divided words of truth from the pages of Scripture we can immediately dismiss as error or deception. This is the New Covenant God has made available to us – that through His indwelling Spirit we can abide in Him and be His followers and be truly set free from sin, Satan, selfishness and worldliness! Any “freedom” that does not liberate us from all these things is not the liberty Christ’s Spirit brings to His followers!

This “grace” error relies heavily on John’s statement that “The law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” ( Jn. 1:17 ) This demonic distortion about true grace attempts to separate grace and truth as if they were two separate entities. One of their teachers makes great effort to say that Jesus Himself is grace but then fails to simultaneously recognize that separating grace from truth (which Jesus even more clearly says that He is truth – Jn. 14:6; top ) is attempting to divide Christ. Any attempt to completely separate truth, grace and even the law (in its proper and rightful place and usage in a believer’s life) fails to understand Paul’s clear statement:

“Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not, we establish the law.” ( Rom. 3:31; top )

Our faith in Christ Jesus does not entirely eliminate the laws of God – especially those He has written on our hearts! In fact, our true faith establishes His laws in our lives on a footing that mere fleshly obedience to codes and ordinances cannot begin to achieve! Our genuine faith in Christ only changes the source of power we draw from and thereby makes it finally possible to fulfill the laws of God and actually do and be the true righteousness of God in our ordinary, everyday lives. Any “faith” or “grace” or “righteousness” that does not enable us to live more like God – who does not lie nor sin (attributes we know of because God has described them for us in His laws) – is error or deception. Don’t be fooled.

It is not a process of being “established in truth” that these “grace” proponents are involved in – it is the process of being shaken from a secure position in the real truth so that they can feel established in their errors! These who are embracing this special interpretation of “grace” are fighting against the Spirit of truth, kicking against His goads, and then seeking to convert and bring into agreement with their errors any and all who will so that they can feel like they are “established” in what they want to be “truth.” What a twisted web of lies and deception is wrapped up in this false “grace” doctrine!

Peter concludes his letter by saying:

“…untaught and unstable people twist [the spiritual things hard to understand in Paul’s writings] to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” ( 2 Pet. 3:16-17 - emphasis added; top)

This is precisely the warning this group has failed to heed.

Only those who have an internal love for the truth – as is demonstrated in submission to the Person of Christ, a preference for the uncompromised will of God and surrender to the leading of the Spirit of truth – only these will be saved in these last days of lawlessness. ( 2 Ths. 2:10 ) All else will be unable to distinguish the source of the teachings they have embraced as “truth” ( Jn. 7:17 ), embracing even the teachings of demons (like this “grace” distortion) and thinking it to be the very gospel of Christ. ( 1 Tim. 4:1 , 2 Ths. 2:11; top ) This is a serious matter indeed!

Let he who has ears hear.

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