The Litmus Test of Grace

By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand. (1 Peter 5:12 KJV)

The litmus test of grace showing litmus paper

In his first Epistle, Peter said he wrote briefly about the true grace of God. True implies there is a false grace, a distorted message of God’s grace. How do we distinguish true from false grace? As we see large segments of the Church falling away from Christ before our eyes today, it is now more important than ever to discern Satan’s deceptions.

Whenever we need to distinguish two things, simple tests can come in handy. For example, to distinguish an acidic from an alkaline solution, we can use a litmus test: the litmus paper turns red in acid and blue in alkaline.  Similarly, there is a litmus test of grace: true grace has a color (visible effects) distinct from false grace (false Christianity, fake ministers, fake churches, false brethren).

The litmus test of true grace is the fruit or works of the people who claim to have received grace. True grace always—without exceptions—shows up in the lives of people as deliverance from sin and the fruit of a godly lifestyle. Grace is man’s only means to overcome sin and, therefore, the divine antidote to sin. Whenever grace is present, sin is overthrown; and whenever grace is absent, sin is prominent. 

The litmus test of grace is the presence or absence of a lifestyle of sin. Do not look at miracles, charisma, or positions of authority, as these can sometimes be deceitful. If you find where people live in sin, especially in open defiance against God’s Word and claim to know grace, run!


What does true grace do to us according to Titus 2:11-12?

Apply the Word

Jesus is pleased when we are able to test people, ministries, and doctrines and discern truth from deception (Revelation 2:2). We are living in perilous times, so learn to test the spirits to know if they are of God; learn to discern true from false grace.


Ask the Spirit to pour out the gift of discernment upon us.

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