What Is The Anointing of the Holy Spirit?

What is the “anointing of the Holy Spirit” mentioned in 2 Corinthians 1:22,23 and 1 John 2:20-27?

The Old and New Testaments use the word “anointing” to refer to an external act representing a token of God's acceptance [such as, the anointing of the priests (Exodus 29:7), the anointing of a new king (2 Samuel 5:3; 1 Kings 1:39) as well as Jesus at His baptism (Matthew 3:13-17; Luke 4:18; Acts 4:27; 10:38) and coronation (Hebrews 1:8-9).]

The false teachers of 1 John were claiming to have some type of superior knowledge (an early form of the false heresy known as Gnosticism). In order to combat these false teachings, the aged John argues that the Christians staying true to the faith had God’s anointing. 1 John 2:20-27 provides hints as to what this anointing is/means:

“But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is the antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life. These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teaches you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.”

Notice that this anointing provided the early Christians with knowing all things – knowing the truth – that Jesus is the Messiah. If an early Christian had the anointing of the Holy Spirit, he did not need to be taught anything. The anointing must have been a miraculous endowment from God for the early Christians in the first century A.D. They were chosen by God and God gave the evidence of external acceptance by Him of this anointing (miraculous endowment).

Also notice 2 Corinthians 1:22,23 (ASV): “Now he that establisheth us with you in Christ, and anointed us, is God; who also sealed us, and gave us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.”

In the context of 2 Corinthians, there were false teachers who were opposing Paul even though he was a true messenger of God. How did Paul oppose these false accusations? Answer: Paul was able to confirm that he was anointed and therefore appointed by God as God’s messenger of truth through the miracles he performed before the Corinthian brethren (2 Corinthians 12:12; Mark 16:17-20).



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