An Anointing

Bible Verse: "But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth." (1 John 2:20). "The anointing you have received from Him (the Spirit) remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you." (1 John 2:27).

The apostle John used the Greek noun chrisma, to be anointed to refer to the Holy Spirit's work in the life of a Christian. When men and women believed, they were anointed by the Holy Spirit (John 3:5,8). This is what Jesus told Nicodemus. When we believe, the Holy Spirit marks us out as God's own possession (Eph 1:13). In His wonderful mercy and grace, God imputed His holiness to all who believed, separating them from all others and distinguishing them as His children.

But the holiness that God's Spirit imputed to them had to be worked into them by the same Spirit. This is what Paul meant when he wrote, "for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose." (Phil 2:13). This would happen as they studied God's word and lived in daily obedience to that word. For this also the Holy Spirit gave them power.

The Old Testament pointed out a clear distinction between God's people, Israel, and all other nations. When God sent the plague of flies on the Egyptians, the children of Israel in Goshen had no swarm of flies to contend with (Ex 8:21-23). God told the Pharaoh, "I, the Lord, am in this land. I will make a distinction between My people and your people..." The distinction in the Old Testament was purely physical, not of the heart.

After Jesus Christ ascended to heaven, the Holy Spirit came and filled the waiting disciples (Acts 2:1-4). Jesus told the disciples, "He (the Holy Spirit) will bring glory to Me by taking from what is Mine and making it known to you." (John 16:14).

Jeremiah the prophet spoke of a New Covenant which God would make with the "house of Israel and Judah" (Jer 31:31-34). The "house of Israel and the house of Judah" pointed to the Christian Church. God promised, "No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'know the Lord,' because they will all know Me'." (Heb 8:11).

The Holy Spirit is your teacher to help you understand the truth of God's word. Indeed, without the Holy Spirit's anointing, men and women cannot understand the gospel. Paul wrote, "We have not received the spirit of the world.... but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.... The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Cor 2:12-14).

"Discern" means to be able to judge whether or not what we hear is the truth or false teaching. The Holy Spirit will confirm the truth in the believer's heart and enable him or her to avoid error. When you read God's word, ask Him to give you more of the Spirit of discernment. God has promised to do this. Jesus said, "If you then.... know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him." (Luke 11:13). Ask, and you will receive!

You won't feel the anointing and you won't see it, but you will recognize the Spirit's presence. He creates in us a hunger for God's word, an ability to 'smell' what is false and a great desire that others might know the truth.