Oct. 11, 2016

The Anointing of the Holy Spirit

To be “anointed” in simple, general terms means to be chosen for a specific divine purpose. That is what the word “Messiah” means, and comes from the Hebrew word “Yeshua Ha Mashiach”, Jesus the Messiah. Our Greek word “Christ” means The Anointed One, or the chosen one. So when we say “Jesus Christ” we are honoring His name and His title, His office of the one Savior and Lord of humankind - “Jesus the Anointed One”.

When the woman anointed His feet with expensive ointment as He reclined at the Pharisee’s table at dinner, and Judas whined (!), He said (loosely paraphrased), “Leave her alone, for she has anointed Me for My burial.” (See the full account around Mark 14:7-9) That is yet another sort of anointing.

During Jesus’ last supper with His disciples, right before His arrest and crucifixion, He tells them (Jn 16:7-15) “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.”

This is an amazing truth. He’s saying that if He did not die, rise up again from the dead, and ascend into heaven, that His Holy Spirit could not be poured forth - because in Him all the fulness of the godhead dwells! God’s intention was to pour out essentially Himself upon human beings, to make Himself one with us through the Holy Spirit! In Joel 2:28,29 - the prophet says, “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.” One does well to study that entire book and chapter to understand the context. Peter then states at the 1st Pentecost (Acts 2) that this event - the outpouring of the Holy Spirit - was the beginning of the fulfillment of the prophecy from Joel 2, and the onset of the age of the church - the body of Christ.

Colossians 2:8-10, Paul says, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, which are based on human tradition and the spiritual forces of the world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity dwells in bodily form. And you have been made complete in Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.” This involves the mystery of the Trinity - God is One, but God is also Three in One - Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit. So you might say, He could not pour out His fulness upon those chosen for the “mission” of the church. This is why the church is the very “body” of Christ on earth - made up of those called to it and anointed, or chosen.

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples made by human hands. Nor is He served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He Himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.” (Acts 7:24, 25) And 1 Corinthians 6:19,20 - “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body”.

God made us to indwell us, to be one with us. When we fell, He redeemed us with the Blood of Jesus. Then He “sanctifies” us - sets us apart as He comes to indwell us by the Holy Spirit. He wishes to make His home within us, and He asks us to abide in His love. We cannot take it for granted, but must nurture this bond with a life of prayer, and the study of His word - where He reveals Himself and teaches us. It is the most amazing life!

Jesus invites. “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, 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 11:9-13) (The sense of the “ask, seek, and knock” means keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking... persist!) It is a life of continual surrender to the love God wants to pour into us - His very own presence, so that we may, in essence, be the parts of Christ’s Body here on Earth.