The Anointing

Occasionally I’ll hear someone speak of themselves (or others) as anointed. “I have a special anointing from the Lord.”

Perhaps they are referring to musical skill, or the ability to speak and exposit scriptural truth. Maybe it is an extraordinary ability to evangelize. The individual’s talent is so far beyond that of the general populace that they/we believe it to be a special anointing from God.

We speak of anointing as though it is a rare gift. Few are so fortunate to be blessed with unction from God. It becomes the mainspring for an atmosphere of spiritual one-upmanship. “I have an anointing that you do not have.” Such an attitude smacks of the competitive arrogance that plagued the church in Corinth (1 Corinthians 1:12).

“I am of Paul.”

“Oh, well, isn’t that special. I, on the other hand, follow Apollos.”

“Well, I’ve got you both beaten. I am of Cephas, and as we know, he has the keys to the kingdom.”

Some believers at Corinth even managed to say, “I follow Christ,” in such a way that it was divisive.

This is the same family of arrogance that led to the rise of Gnosticism — “I have special knowledge from God that you do not have.” The Gnostics were enlightened and as such believed themselves to be living on a higher spiritual plane than the average disciple.

Your Anointing

The reality is, if you are in Christ, you have an anointing from God. Bank on it.

But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. — 1 John 2:20, NASB

Several translations say “you all know the truth,” and that is the implication of John’s statement. Jesus, himself said the Spirit would teach the disciples all things (John 14:26). As a Christ-follower, you know God and have the indwelling Spirit of God, the Spirit of truth. Having believed the truth and responded to that truth, you recognize a lie when you meet it.

As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit — just as it has taught you, remain in him. — 1 John 2:27, NIV-1978

Specific Anointings

Historically (think Old Testament), oil anointings were performed on both objects and people. For example, the tabernacle with all of its furnishings was anointed. The altar and utensils were anointed with oil, and this “consecrated” those items, making them holy.

Similarly, priests, kings, and Levites were anointed, setting them apart for a special purpose. Once anointed, these people and artifacts were to be treated with the greatest respect, and even reverence.

Your Anointing

Clearly, it is a special thing to be anointed. That is the message embraced by those who claim a peculiar anointing from God, an anointing the rest of us do not share. The reality is, we do share in the same anointing.

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. — 2 Corinthians 1:21–22, NIV-1978

We are anointed, not with oil, but with the Spirit of God within. We see above (1 John 2:27) how this is an anointing that remains, or abides, and it teaches us.

If we take this one step further, what is beautiful is that just as the tabernacle and temple were anointed, now our very bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit within us. Our temple is likewise anointed, consecrated, holy.

You are special. You are consecrated. You are anointed by God, set aside as a vessel of honor for his purposes (2 Timothy 2:21). Live your life in light of that reality.

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Victoriously in Christ!

– damon
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Damon J. Gray

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