Devotion for Thursday, May 21, 2020
1 John 2:27, “the anointing…abides in you.”
In addition to the concept of the Word of God as sustenance, the Bible also indicates that the Word of God along with the Holy Spirit produce what is called an anointing in the life of the believer.
John states in the second chapter of his first epistle, “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all have knowledge…the anointing your received from Him remains in you, and you don’t need anyone to teach you. Instead, His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie; just as it has taught you, remain in Him.” (1 John 2:20, 27)
The knowledge that we need to follow Christ is given to us by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God. John highlights the fact that we don’t need anyone to teach us. Why does he say this? By this time in the early church towards the end of John’s ministry, a nascent heresy had sprouted called Gnosticism. This was a mystical, knowledge-based sect within Christianity that believed there were hidden truths available to the believer in addition to God’s Word. This hidden knowledge could only be provided through enhanced spiritual enlightenment and through the teachings of learned experts.
John reiterates that the only thing that the believer and the church needs is the Word of God. Thankfully, we don’t need new revelations, new prophets, new knowledge. We have all that we need. John encourages us to focus on the true priority – remaining in Him, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As we remain in God and in His Word, the anointing of the Holy Spirit remains on us.
What is this anointing? While many denominations observe the practice of anointing with water and oil, which is poured on the outside of the body, the anointing indicated here is something that happens INSIDE the body – in the spirit BY the Spirit. As we intake the Word of God, the anointing of the Holy Spirit remains IN us. Therefore, I firmly believe that the anointing is not expressed primarily through charismatic spirituality. Rather believers primarily express this anointing through the reading and doing of God’s Word. That is what God desires most in His people.
James indicates the notion of anointing in the praying over the sick. If someone is sick, James instructs them to call for the elders of the church, and “they should pray over him after anointing him with olive oil in the name of the Lord.” (James 5:14)
Does the olive oil heal the sick person? No. It is a symbol. The fervent prayer of the righteous is very powerful (James 5:16) not because we are using oils or other ceremonial methods. The power of prayer is founded upon the Word and Promise of God. The pastor of the church can pray effective, fervent prayer because he speaks upon the authority of God’s Word according to apostolic authority. That Word of Promise has ANOINTED us all. The act of anointing with oil is a reminder to the pastor and the disciple that the power is found in God’s promise to all believers who place their faith in Christ. We are all more than conquerors through Him who loved us. (Rom. 8:37)
Anointing, of course, has the direct relation to the anointing of kings in the Old Testament. The term of Messiah literally means, “Anointed One.” Therefore, the anointing that happens in the life of the Christian is that the King of Glory has taken up residence in your life. The anointing is an abiding presence. If you remain in the Anointed One (Jesus), the Anointed One will remain in you.
Welcome the abiding, eternal presence of Christ Jesus our Lord into your life today. Open the gates of your heart to the anointing power of His Word. Then, you will become a living stone – a living temple of the Lord of Hosts. We are God’s temple, commanded to open up our gates and doors to the Holy One of Israel!
As the psalmist says, “Lift up your heads, you gates! Rise up, ancient doors! Then the King of glory will come IN. Who is He, this King of glory? The LORD of Hosts, He is the King of glory.” (Psalm 24:9-10)
Pastor, Sharon First Baptist Church