Acid Test

forensic_document_examination

An acid test used to test the fineness and purity of gold. The testing, according to the experts, focuses around the fact that gold is a noble metal, which is resistant to change by corrosion, oxidation or acid. The acid test for gold is to rub the gold-coloured item on black stone, which will leave an easily visible mark. The mark applying nitric acid, which dissolves the mark of any item that is not gold. If the mark remains, it is tested by applying (nitric acid and hydrochloric acid). If the mark , then this test dissolved the gold, proving the item to be genuine gold. More accurate testing of the item for its fineness or purity can be done through the use of differencing strengths of and comparative testing of gold items of known fineness.

Figuratively, Acid Test is any definitive test of some example , a person’s character the performance. For years, my humble forensic mind was consumed by this question, what unique attribute Jesus possessed that set apart? I wanted to know the distinctive Christ’s that made Him stand out and how can we attest to it?

Initially I thought it was His miraculous birth and acts He performed (though He performed really undisputed great miracles), but I discovered that was not so unique as, according to Jesus Himself, there are greater miracles that have been performed by many compared to the ones Jesus did. Then I thought it is His profound teaching, but again, as He Himself said, today – through the Holly Spirit – we should be experiencing more profound knowledge than the one Jesus revealed to us.

I then studied and wrote extensively about Jesus’ compassion for the poor. I discovered that helping the poor was and (still is) one of the signature characters of Jesus Christ. I soon realized that as noble as it is, helping the poor (in and within itself) is not necessarily unique to Christ because many – before and after Him – have done great charitable deeds. After all, one can give to the poor but with a sinister motive behind it. In fact, Apostle Paul said even giving all of your possessions to the poor does not make one amount to anything especially when given without required spirit.

Then I thought it’s got to be His resurrection surely. Undoubtedly, Jesus’ resurrection the most significant cursors to His unquestionable hallmark. But again, resurrection was (and still is) not unique to Jesus, as many other people have come back to life. One of them is Lazarus whom Jesus called back to life after spending four days in the grave.

Finally, as I was passing through the darkest time of my life I stumbled on a series of scriptures that really opened my eyes. One of those scriptures is Philippians 2:5-11; “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” Says the Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges and took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He human form, He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a Cross. Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of highest honour and gave Him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

According to the above scripture Jesus’ humility – the act of conscious surrender to God’s sovereign will – was the attribute that caused God to elevate Jesus to the highest place of honour. The main point is not a question of what Jesus did or experienced but why. During His life and right through His death Jesus deliberately did and went through everything in accordance to the will of His Father.He graciously navigated through adversity knowing it to be an inevitable and necessary part of the divine plan for Him. In John 4:32-34, Jesus summed up His personal ethos in I have a kind of food you know nothing about … My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent Me, and from finishing His work.”

Christ’s attitude, apart from making Him confront His eventual atrocities with courage, also made Him love criminals and those that were going through pain. Simply put, humility enables one to maintain a loving, cheerful and obliging attitude towards unjust oppressions and towards the oppressors. What made Jesus so admirable is His down-to-earth attitude. He left His divine power and glory for a humble mortal nature. Though powerful, rich and famous Jesus still respectfully interacted with the people deemed to be substandard, weak, less useful, and vulnerable. Jesus earned the uttermost respect of both heaven and earth by the way He gracefully handled persecution and death – remarkably forgiving even the very people who persecuted and killed Him!

In this regard, I can safely conclude that the ultimate quality of the Christian faith is TOTAL God’s will, always and anytime. But the acid test for theChristian faith is persecution.

Faith is always tested (and attested) as we go through inconveniences. The strength of faith is always proportional to the intensity of pain. Since God’s will is often personal and private the best three ways to know whether one has the Spirit of Christ is by observing how gracious one is when hurting, how one treats those that are inflicting the hurt and by one’s attitude towards other people that are also hurting.

As you might have noticed the acid does not make gold pure, it just reveals its purity by dissolving the impurities. In the same way persecution does not make one a Christian, it only reveals the Spirit of Christ already present in a Christian. I repeat: we do not become better Christians by inflicting pain on ourselves but our faith in Christ is revealed and affirmed as we go through our allotted pain.

May the Lord clothe us with humility and refine our spirits for His sake.

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