But every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. (1 John 4:3)
In the fourteenth century, scientists discovered that a mixture of organic compounds gathered from lichen turned red in acid solutions and blue in alkaline solutions. This process became known as a litmus test to determine the property of a specific chemical. Nearly 600 years later the term is still used, but what was once a scientific term is now used figuratively. For example, politicians or media might quip that a Supreme Court ruling is a litmus test on how they will judge another case. What they are saying is that a litmus test reveals what’s in their hearts and minds.
Similarly, we are faced with a spiritual litmus test every day—especially when it comes to how we live our lives and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Savior of the world. The spiritual litmus test is not only saying we believe in Jesus Christ, but also conducting ourselves in a way that honors and pleases Jesus, regardless of the cost. To fail to do so, according to John, could only mean one thing: You have the spirit of the antichrist.
You belong to the spirit of how you live your life, regardless of what you say. You have the spirit of Christ or the spirit of the antichrist. There is no middle way.
Let your litmus test reveal Jesus!
Devon Smith is district superintendent of the Tri-State District of The Wesleyan Church, and founder/director of the CROSS Training ordination program at Oklahoma Wesleyan University.
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.