You may have often heard or been told that a specific preacher or minister is an anointed healer or that someone is the most anointed preacher today. You may also listen to inspirational teaching, leading you to think those speakers have a special anointing.
In essence, such people may be gifted by God to minister powerfully or are certain people anointed for ministry and not others? What do the scriptures say about certain Christians being “anointed” and what does it mean? Let us begin by understanding the concept of someone being anointed.
In the Old Testament, people were anointed with oil to signify God’s call on that person’s life. A person could be anointed for a particular office such as a prophet, priest, or king. For example, 2 Kings 9:6 says “So he arose and went into the house. And the young man poured the oil on his head, saying to him, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, I anoint you king over the people of the LORD, over Israel.”
Another meaning for the word is “chosen one”. The Jews were waiting for the anointed Messiah, and we see it ultimately fulfilled in our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. In Luke 4:18-19, Jesus says “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Do we continue to see a special anointing on certain people to do ministry in the New Testament? You may hear the word anointed used in church circles to refer to Christian ministers who minister powerfully. Biblically how accurate is this?
When people use these terms, it is often due to a confused understanding between a gift and an anointing. It is vital to understand that in the New Testament, all believers are anointed by God. This is a beautiful truth. 1 John 2:20 says ” But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.”
The anointing you have received is the Holy Spirit. Notice that this anointing teaches us all things about the truth of Christ and the gospel message. Just like Jesus Christ was anointed with the Holy Spirit to spread the good news to those dead in their sins. Those in the body of Christ who are saved have been given the free gift of the Holy Spirit.
John 14:6 “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,”. You see, all Christians are anointed for ministry in this world to further the kingdom of God. It means you are enabled, entrusted, and empowered to accomplish God’s will. God specially chooses all believers. Praise God!
The purpose of anointing is for you to have the ability to discern the truth and testify of the truth. This anointing will help you pray, live a holy life, be strengthened in your inner life, be led by God, have joy and hope, receive spiritual gifts, and bear spiritual fruit.
1 John 2:27 says “But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.”
All believers are anointed with the Holy Spirit to teach and impart spiritual powers to believers to understand better who God is and His divine purpose in our lives. This anointing is not of ourselves, but it is a sovereign act of God. Once you receive the anointing, it will never leave you but remains forever.
2 Corinthians 1:21 says “And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us,”
Also, the Holy Spirit gifts believers to serve the church and others. These gifts could be in leadership, serving, administration, encouragement, etc.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 says “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”
In conclusion, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you are anointed with the Holy Spirit. Likewise, the Holy Spirit has distributed a variety of gifts to the church. Once you distinguish the two, it is easy to understand the difference between the New Testament anointing (for all Christians) and the Holy Spirit gifts given according to the Holy Spirit’s will (1 Corinthians 12:11).
Romans 12:4-5 says “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”