Consecrated By the Spirit
“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us…” (2 Corinthians 1:21)
In the Bible, anointing oil symbolized the presence of the Lord’s Spirit to give a person wholeness. The word for anointing that is used in the Old Testament means to “consecrate to service.” God anointed prophets, priests, and kings and set them apart for service. For that matter, pots and pans were anointed and set apart too! Anything or anyone called to be used for temple service was set apart by anointing. I may be a priest or a pan—one is as consecrated as the other!
In the Old Testament only certain persons and objects were anointed for office, but in the New Testament all believers receive the anointing by the Holy Spirit. First John 2:20 says, “You have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.” He later adds, “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 the anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him” (v.27). This was predicted by Jeremiah, who talked about the promised New Covenant era:
“This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. (Jer. 31:33-34)
So when the Holy Spirit comes into a believer’s life, he comes to teach, guide, and empower. He teaches and guides us to the truth, saves us from error, and gives us strength to hold on to that truth. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would guide His people into all truth. He will help you read the Bible, understand it, and interpret it correctly.
When I first became a Christian, I had never read the Bible for myself. I was at college in Cambridge among students who were investigating all the religious philosophies under the sun. I didn’t know if an apostle was the wife of an epistle! How would I know how to interpret the Bible?
I prayed one day, “Lord, please deliver me from error.” I didn’t know that John had prayed for that for the readers of his epistle. He was writing to people who couldn’t read or write, as well as to the educated. They, too, lived among other philosophies. He said “You have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.” So as God promised, He makes it possible for you to know the truth and to discern error. And He consecrates you, sets you apart, to serve Him.
Jill Briscoe is the Founder and Executive Editor of Just Between Us magazine and ministry.