473. The Blessing Of Being Anointed By God. But Who Are The Anointed? (Part 1 of 4).

Over 50 years ago I began to notice a great increase in Christian circles of the words, “anointed” and “anointing.” I was cautious back then about using the words in the way many people were using them. It seemed to me at that time, that some of those folk were giving far more meaning to the terms than I saw in the New Testament. However there has been another great increase of the use of those words in more recent times. Should I still be cautious? 

Recently I found among my own ancient jottings, a summary of a study on the topic I had done many years ago. This is what I wrote way back then.

  • Every believer is anointed by God. The anointing is the reception of the gift of the Holy Spirit into one’s life as one believes. 
  • There are no degrees of anointing. One is anointed by the Spirit or one is not. One cannot be more anointed than one already is.
  • One cannot be more anointed or less anointed than another person. 
  • God is the only One who anoints as 2 Cor 1:21 states, “And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us.”

That summary seems to be somewhat removed from what we hear or read from many teachers and authors in some Christian circles today. So it is worthwhile looking at the scriptures to see whether my conclusions, back then, are still true.

 As we begin, we need to note that it is important to use biblical terms and concepts in the way the Bible uses them and not to use them in a way contrary to Biblical use. This applies especially to the term “anointed.” In this article I look at the few references there are to the word “anoint” and the cognates of that term. So for convenience, I will list here ALL the references in the New Testament to “anoint” and “anointed” and “anointing.” 

All The New Testament References To “Anoint” And “Anointed” And “Anointing.”

First of all we need to put to one side those verses in which “anointing” is simply associated with smearing or rubbing with oil. 

  • The word [aleipho.] 8 references. [See NOTE 1]
  • The words [egchriō] and [epichriō]. 3 references. [NOTE 2].
  • The word [murizo.] To anoint with aromatics. One reference. [See NOTE 3]

Next we set aside for our particular purpose, the references to Jesus being anointed. [See NOTE 4].

Now we are in a position to list all the vast references that apply to believers being anointed.  Stand by! Don’t be overwhelmed by the following avalanche of verses! Here is the l..o..n..g, l..o..n..g  list. It actually consists of only one verb reference and 3 noun references [but with 2 in one verse.]

The one verb reference

  • (2 Cor 1:21 “And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” We note here the tenses of the verbs. “Establishes” is a present particle and could be translated as “is establishing.” It was what God was continuing to do at the time St Paul wrote.  However “anointed” is an Aorist participle  of the Greek word from [chriō; χρίω] and could be rendered “having anointed.”  Another verb in the verse is “put his seal on us” which translates the Greek word from [sphragizō; σφραγίζω] and is also an Aorist participle meaning “having sealed.” The final verb in the verse is “given” from [didōmi; δίδωμι] is also an Aorist participle meaning “having given.”

Thus the verse could be translated as, “And it is God who is establishing us with you in Christ, having anointed us, and having sealed us and having given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”

Then come the 3 noun references in 2 verses.

  • (1 John 2:20 “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.” “Have” is present tense. His readers already possessed the anointing as believers. The word “anointing” is [chrisma; χρίσμα] and this anointing by God enabled them to know the truth.
  •  (1 John 2:27 “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.” Here again the word for “anointing” is [chrisma; χρίσμα]. John is saying that his readers had received [past tense] the anointing and that this anointing continued to abide [present tense] in them and to teach them.  

THAT’S IT! That is the sum total of verses on ‘anointing’ as it is used in the New Testament in relation to believers, apart from being anointed with oil. There are dozens of other terms that are bandied around which are used in conjunction with the term “anointing” for the believer. But if they can’t be proved to fit in with biblical concepts then they can’t be accepted as biblical truth. Even when such concepts come from highly regarded teachers and writers! 

 In the next article I hope to look at why the dispensation or distribution of the Holy Spirit [or the anointing] in the New Testament may differ from that in the Old Testament. Following that I hope to examine in closer detail, the meanings behind the New Testament words anoint, anointing and anointed.


NOTES.  (Other New Testament words translated as “anoint” or “anointed.”)

[NOTE 1.] The word [aleiphō; ἀλείφω] 8 references.  Mt 6:17, Mark 6:13, Mark 16:1, Luke 7:38, Luke 7:46, John 11:2, John 12:3, James 5:14. 

[NOTE 2.] The words [egchriō; ἐγχρίω] in Rev 3:18, and [epichriō; ἐπιχρίω] in John 9:6, 11.

[NOTE 3.] The word [murizo; μυρίζω] To anoint with aromatics. Mk 14:8.

[NOTE 4.]  The references to Jesus being anointed. The word [chrio; χρίω].  Luke 4:18, Acts 4:27, Acts 10:38, Heb 1:9.  

Blog No.473 Posted on jimholbeck.blog on Friday 31 March 2023

Posted in anointing, BIBLE PASSAGE OUTLINES, Bible verses. Comments, Evangelism, Faithfulness, Healing, Holy Spirit, Justification, Mental Health, New Covenant, Prayer, Salvation, Sanctification | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


In preparing a Bible study on 1 Samuel 26  I came across David’s description of King Saul as the “Lord’s anointed.” David realised that God had anointed Saul to be the king of Israel and so he was not willing to kill the king, knowing this fact. King Saul had unjustly pursued David and had already attempted to kill him. However, David had been able to creep unawares into the camp of Saul’s army and had the opportunity to kill him as he slept. When his companion Abishai said to David,  “God has given your enemy into your hand this day. Now please let me pin him to the earth with one stroke of the spear, and I will not strike him twice” David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand against the LORD’s anointed and be guiltless?  As the LORD lives, the LORD will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and perish. 11 The LORD forbid that I should put out my hand against the LORD’s anointed. But take now the spear that is at his head and the jar of water, and let us go.” 1 Samuel 26:8-11. That is what they did and King Saul survived.

Saul had indeed been anointed by God to be king and David respected the fact that God had chosen Saul for this role. It was up to God to remove him when he ceased being obedient to God, not David. Of course, God later withdrew His Spirit from Saul and then David became the Lord’s anointed king over Israel. But it shows that God anointed some people for certain tasks by giving them His Spirit to fulfil the roles he had given them. So in the Old Testament times, it was mainly prophets, priests and Kings who received the Holy Spirit to equip them for their ministries. If they were disobedient to God, He could remove the Holy Spirit [their equipping] from them. That is what happened to King Saul and what David prayed would not happen to him after he had sinned with Bathsheba, “Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.” Psalm 51:11.  

What does that mean for us in today’s world? God foretold through the prophet Joel that there would be a change in His anointing of people, “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. 29  Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.” Joel 2:28-29. Here was a massive change. Instead of a few special people being anointed by God for certain tasks, He was going to pour out the same Holy Spirit on all His people, both young and old and even on lowly servants. The only qualification they needed was the desire to belong to Him. 

Because there is a lot of misunderstanding around the topic of God’s anointing I may write a couple of blog articles in the future to try to bring some balance on the topic.  However, if you hear some individual urging you to follow them because they say they are the Lord’s anointed, take care! We all, as believers, have an anointing from the Lord. He wants us, by His equipping by His Holy Spirit, to fulfil the roles He has for us to accomplish in His eternal purposes. It may be that some believers are anointed by God for certain leadership roles such as a pastor or a teacher and for that they bear a greater responsibility before God. But it is not that they are God’s anointed ones who have to be followed no matter what, whilst the rest of us have no anointing. 

Every believer has been anointed by the Holy Spirit of God to fulfil a role He has planned from eternity for us to follow and every role has significance when it is God Himself who is working through His people by His Spirit. Paul referred to that in Philippians 2:12-13  when he wrote, “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13  for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”

Praise God that every believer throughout the world has received an anointing, the gift of the Holy Spirit to make them willing and able to do the Master’s will to His glory!

You are anointed! By God himself! By giving you His Holy Spirit! To do His will!

Blog No.472 posted on Wednesday 29 March 2023.

Posted in BIBLE PASSAGE OUTLINES, Bible verses. Comments, Creation, Evangelism, Faithfulness, Glorification, Healing, Holy Spirit, Judgement, Justification, Mental Health, New Covenant, Prayer, Salvation, Sanctification, spiritual warfare, Temptations | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

471. The Hoped-for Gentleness of Christian Ministry. 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12

One often wonders why some churches continue to grow while others grow less in numbers and influence. It seems that much has to do with the type of ministry being exercised in those parishes. Often one hears of an overbearing minister who wants everyone to be subservient to him and whose way has to be followed, or else! However the ministry we see being exercised by St Paul in his writings shows a humility that points to a reason behind successful ministries.

One of the most memorable sayings in the writings of St Paul is this, “To the weak, I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means, I might save some.” 1 Corinthians 9:22. He was willing to adapt and change his approach when necessary to ensure that his ministry was successful.

St Paul’s motivation in life and ministry was to minister appropriately to those amongst whom he came. That meant behaving towards them in a whole range of ways that were appropriate for the times he spent with them. He treated them as if they belonged to the same family as himself. That meant humbling himself among them and treating them with the gentleness of a child. It meant caring for them with the care a nursing mother would show towards her own child. It also meant encouraging them like a father would, to walk in a manner worthy of God’s calling them to be His children. We read about this in 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12.

1].        He Became Like A Child Among Them. [2:7]

The NIV translates verse 7 as,  “Instead, we were like young children among you. Just as a nursing mother cares for her children.”  [1Thess 2:7.]  This translates the phrase [all’ egenetheme νηπιοι nepioi] we became (young children) among you.] The word νηπιοι (nepioi) means infants, babes or young children. Thus “we became as young children.” 

The NASB and other translations are based on another variant text  [all’  egenetheme ἤπιος, ēpios] where epios is missing the letter “n” from nepioi and means mild, kind or gentle. Thus NASB “But we were gentle among you.” In a sense, the two variants mean the same. Paul was among them like a young child being gentle and non-threatening to them and not seeking to impose his authority upon them. This is what the previous verse implies, “Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ.” 1 Thess 2:6. 

Paul came amongst them with a gentleness of a young child, not seeking to exercise authority over them but seeing himself as a member of the same family. As he wrote later in the epistle, he recognised that, before God, he and they were all children, indeed children of God, children of light. “For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.” 1 Thess 5:5. 

2].        He Became Like A Mother Among Them. 2:7-8.

1Thess 2:7-8 “But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. 8  So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.”

Paul exercised the gentleness of a nursing mother towards her own child. In the same way that a mother cares for her children and shares her own body with them, so St Paul had given of himself in ministry to them. His care for them resembled that of a mother exercising protection and care for her children. It was because he was “affectionately desirous” of them and because they had “become very dear” to him.

3].        He Became Like A Father Among Them. 2:11-12

“For you know how, like a father with his children, 12 we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.” 1 Thess 2:11-12.

Paul now moves from the maternal side of his care for the Thessalonian believers to make mention of the paternal side of his care. It was in 3 areas, exhortation, encouragement and challenge.

i]. Exhortation. [from parakaleō]. This means  to beseech, comfort, exhort, pray, intreat, beseech.

We know that the Holy Spirit is called the Paraclete [the one called alongside to help] from the same root origin and thus He is called the encourager, the exhorter, the counsellor, the comforter, the advocate. Paul was being the Holy Spirit’s instrument in his exhorting ministry to the Thessalonians.

ii]. Encouragement. [From paramytheomai (para = to the side of) and (muthos = speech) meaning to speak to, address one, whether by way of admonition and incentive, or to calm, to encourage, to console. The word is found 4 times in the New Testament, 

  • John 11:19 – Console. “and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother.” 
  • John 11:31 – Consoling. “When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there.”
  • Here in 1 Thess. 2:12 – Encouraged
  • 1 Thess. 5:14 – Encourage. “And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.”

iii]. Challenge. Paul had charged them. “[I] charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.” [“Charge” is from martyromai, to call to witness; to make a solemn affirmation or declaration, to make a solemn appeal.] Paul was exhorting, encouraging and challenging the Thessalonian believers to live lives that showed they respected the fact that God had called them to live for Him. Their lives had to be worthy of God where “worthy” [axios] means as becometh, appropriate, suitable. “Worthy” is seen in other verses, as worthy of the saints [Rom 16:2], of their calling [Eph 4:1], of the gospel of Christ [Col 1:10].

So in these verses we have a pattern for ministry that will be successful under God. There will be times when we need to humble ourselves before God and recognise that we and those to whom we minister are all children before God and that we need to be gentle towards those in our charge. At all times we have to have like a mother’s care towards her child, being willing to give ourselves in our care for them. We also need people to be like fathers exhorting, encouraging and challenging those under our care to live in a way that brings glory to God, while being affectionately desirous of them, and their being very dear to us.

Blog No.471 posted on Sunday 26 March 2023.

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470. Taking Opportunities To Show Love. Re-reading Blog No 271. 

I don’t often go back to look at my previous blog articles but when this one appeared on my computer screen I decided to read it again. I was challenged by it. I wrote it when my beloved wife was slowly succumbing to the cancers that had invaded her body and I was very conscious of the need to love her even more thoughtfully and deeply while she was still with me. I tried to!

It means a great deal to me that one of my favourite memories of my wife took place just a year later and a couple of days before she entered hospital for the last time, never to return home. I was helping her to her favourite chair when she suddenly stopped, took me by my hands, looked up into my eyes and said just 2 sentences to me that I will remember for the rest of my life. She said, “Thank you for loving me. Thank you for caring for me.” She had often said lovely things to me like those words but this was different. It was as though she knew her death was imminent, and she wanted to express her gratitude for the almost 54 years of marriage we had enjoyed together, before she was unable to do so. Her words  touched me deeply and still do almost 4 years later. 

I hope as you read the article on the link below that you might respond to the challenge it contains. The world is in desperate need of people who are willing to take advantage of the opportunities to show love to the people in their environment. I praise God for the love I have received throughout my life from people who saw an opportunity to show love to me and unselfishly met it. 

Become, or continue to be, a lover!

Click on No 271 on http://www.jimholbeck.blog OR below

Blog No.470 posted on Sunday 19 March 2023 

Posted in BIBLE PASSAGE OUTLINES, Bible verses. Comments, Coping With Personal Grief, Evangelism, Faithfulness, Forgiveness, Healing, Holy Spirit, Justification, Mental Health, New Covenant, Prayer, Real Life Stories, Salvation, Sanctification | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

469. Proverbs 3:5-6. God Makes Straight Our Paths.

Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 3:6, In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

There are three things that are necessary for that promise to come true in anyone’s life. We all need to act on His conditions:-

1].        Trust In The LORD With All Your Heart

In the Greek Old Testament [the LXX] the word for “trust” is [ισθι  πεποιθως ] from [peitho] meaning = be persuaded, to persuade, have confidence, believe. 

Why should we be persuaded to trust Him? 
We should acknowledge His rule over us because of who He is and what He has done.

  • Because of Who He is. He is the Creator, the Lord of the universe. He is infinite in knowledge and wisdom. He alone understands every human situation. He alone has the answers to our human problems. 
  • Because of what He has done in human lives. In this Proverb, God is seen as the source of the wisdom which can guide people in the right paths. He always acts for the good of His people.
  • Because of what He wants to do in our lives. He wants us to walk in His ways which He knows are best for us. He has a plan and purpose for us to fulfil.

2].        Do Not Lean On Your Own Understanding

“Lean” = epairō.  to raise up (literally or figuratively): – exalt self, poise (lift, take) up.  That is, “Do not be lifted up by your own wisdom.” His wisdom is far beyond our human wisdom. He tells us about His wisdom in these verses, Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” AND Romans 11:33-34  “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counsellor?”

We need to lean against [rely on] the Lord’s wisdom, not our own. Proverbs 14:12 puts it, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” We often fail to see beforehand the consequences of our decisions and actions. We think at the time we are being wise and discerning but time shows that our decisions were based on insufficient knowledge and a failure to grasp the intricacies of a situation. What better situations we might now be in if we had only sought more wisdom before making that fateful decision! 

3].        In All Your Ways Acknowledge Him

Acknowledge” = gnōrizō = to make known; gain knowledge of, subjectively to know, understand. We need to acknowledge our dependence on Him in seeking His way ahead. 

“In all your ways.” Everything in life has to be handed over to God so that He can direct, and where necessary, change our plans. He has a good and perfect will for His people and they are fools not to accept His guidance and over-ruling. His wisdom is far beyond our human wisdom. It is only by the revelation brought to us by the Holy Spirit that we can ever discover the hidden wisdom of God, 1 Corinthians 2:11 “For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.” The Spirit of God can reveal to us what He wants us to know and understand.

4].        And He Will Make Straight Your Paths.

“Make straight”. The Greek word for “make straight” is from [orthotomeō] meaning to make a straight cut, that is, to dissect correctly, to rightly divide. Many of us may remember our mothers or sisters taking a piece of paper and making a pattern out of it with a pair of scissors to eventually make a dress or a garment. That is what God does as we submit to His will for us. He cuts out a pattern for our lives that traces out our future paths. As we keep on abiding in Him, He leads us in a way that He has designed just for us individually.  It implies that God does a work on our behalf as we come to Him seeking His will and His ways. He smooths the way ahead by removing many of the obstacles we fail to recognise. And by leading us in a way that is most beneficial for us.

As many of us look back on our lives we can recognise that they are far from what we expected when we first came to the Lord. But we recognise how wise He was in leading us in a way that was far beyond our expectations and so much more fulfilling.

In my own life I am amazed at the Lord’s plan and purpose in bringing a 4 year old girl with her parents all the way from Kharagpur in India to settle down in Australia. And then when I was converted to Christ at the age of 23 going to a church where I met and fell in love with her. She was beautiful, attractive, intelligent and so kind. And amazingly she fell in love with me too and we had almost 54 years of a very happy and fulfilling marriage before the Lord took her home 3 years ago. The Lord filled her with His love and I was the recipient of God’s agape love through her for all those years. Hundreds of other people were also touched by her love in her work as a teacher and as a clergy wife. God made our paths straight individually and together after we had followed those 3 conditions.

Trusting in the Lord with all our heart

Leaning not on our own understanding

Acknowledging Him in all our ways.  PRAISE GOD FOR HIS AMAZING GRACE!

Blog No.469 posted on Tuesday 14 March 2023.

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468. How To Forgive Those Who Hurt Us. Psalm 32.

The Epistle for the First Sunday in Lent 26 February 2023

Most humans find it difficult, if not impossible, to forgive those who hurt them in any way. They may have been sinned against personally or the sin may have been directed towards one of their loved ones who suffered as a result. One of the reasons why some people are not prepared to forgive other people is because they have not experienced the grace and freedom of forgiveness themselves. It is true that only forgiven people are really able to forgive others. That is why Psalm 32 is so important for us to understand the nature of forgiveness. King David had sinned grievously in the sight of God but in this Psalm, he writes of the immense blessing it was to him when He asked God to forgive him. 

In a previous blog article on Psalm 32, I brought out the importance and significance of repenting of our sin and confessing it to God so that we can experience the freedom His forgiveness brings us. Understanding and experiencing forgiveness from God can be the major motivating factor in learning to forgive others. In my ministry I have witnessed amazing healings which took place when people realised how forgiven they are by God and the wonderful release that came to many of them as they learned to forgive all those who had hurt them, of everything. 

My previous blog article No.014 on Psalm 32 is on this link



Blog No.468 posted on Saturday 25 February 2023

Posted in BIBLE PASSAGE OUTLINES, Bible verses. Comments, Evangelism, Faithfulness, Forgiveness, GROUP DISCUSSION MATERIAL on "Forgiveness", Healing, Holy Spirit, Justification, Lectionary Readings Year A, Mental Health, Prayer, Real Life Stories, Salvation, Sanctification, Temptations, TOPICS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

467. God’s Love For His People. Isaiah 43:1-7. 

The Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary introduces Isaiah chapter 43 with these words, “Isaiah 43:1-28. A succession of arguments wherein Israel may be assured that, notwithstanding their perversity towards God (Isa 42:25), he will deliver and restore them.” Here are the first 7 verses.

Isa 43:1  But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. 2  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. 3  For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. 4  Because you are precious in my eyes, and honoured, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. 5  Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you. 6  I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, 7  everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”

It seems that fear and anxiety are on the increase throughout the world. There may be many good reasons why that is so. We know that the nation of Israel has had many reasons to fear throughout its existence. The words of Isaiah 43 were addressed to those Israelites who had been taken captive to Babylon. God promised the exiles that in spite of their rebellion against Him, He would return them to their own land. These words in Isaiah 43 reminded them that God could be trusted to care for them, so there was no need for them to be afraid. This is what God promised through Isaiah.

1]. Fear was unnecessary because they owed their existence to His creative power.  

Isa 43:1 ‘But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.”’ In this single verse God encourages them with how he sees them. Not only did He create them but He also “formed” them. The same word is used of creation in Genesis 2:7, “then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” It is also used later in Isaiah 44:2 to remind them that  He had made them, formed them and would continue to help them, so there was no need to be afraid. ”Thus says the LORD who made you, who formed you from the womb and will help you: Fear not, O Jacob my servant, Jeshurun whom I have chosen.” Not only that but He had redeemed them. “Redeemed” is from the Hebrew [gâ’al] and is used over 100 times in the Bible to describe God’s redemptive work in setting His people free. 

The final phrases in the verse are “I have called you by name, you are mine.” Israel was special. He had formed the nation for Himself to fulfil His purposes and would be with them even when they went through dangers like waters, rivers and fire. [verse 2]. There was no need to fear! They belonged to Him!

2]. Fear was unnecessary because God loved them.

Isa 43:4 “Because you are precious in my eyes, and honoured, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.”

How precious it is to be told by someone, “I love you!” Perhaps the lives of most of us were changed when that special person in our lives first said to us, “I love you!” And when they loved us from that day on. Especially significant is it when it is the  God of the whole creation who says that to us. Even though they were unworthy He still saw them as being precious and honoured. “Honoured” is the Greek word [doxazō] which can be translated as extol, magnify, glorify. Even though God Himself is the only one deemed to be worthy of glory, honour and praise, He wanted them to know He saw them as exulted in His sight. It is a reminder to us in the present day not to engage in any anti-semetic language or activity, for God is always on the side of His people. He loves them!

It would seem that because of the special purpose God had for His people and as a reward for releasing the Jewish captives, Persia was enabled by God to conquer Egypt. “I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.” It was a fulfilment of the promise in Genesis 12 when God chose Abraham to begin a nation belonging to Him, “The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:1-3. Persia was blessed by God for its kindness to His people.

3]. Fear was unnecessary because God who was with them would bring them back to their own land.

Isa 43:5 “Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you. 6  I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, 7  everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” 

The people of Israel [God’s people] would be able to return to their own land by God’s actions on their behalf. The word for “called” in verse 7 is different from called in verse 1. It is [epikaleomai meaning to place one’s name upon people]. God had called Israel to belong to Him as His people, indeed His children. They were God’s own people. He had placed His name was upon them. They were His!

The words here [such as created, formed, made and called] are similar to those in verse 1. But what is added here are the words, “whom I created for my glory.” 

That is why God chose His people, to bring glory to Him by the way in which they lived, as Jesus said, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Mat 5:16. When believers live as they should, in obedience to the Lord, they will bring glory to the Lord, not to themselves. That should always be the motivation in the hearts of all believers, to bring glory to the Lord, not to themselves.

These words in Isaiah 43 apply to the whole of the True Israel, all those who have received God’s Saviour Jesus Christ into their lives throughout the ages. And it is great to know that the glory in our lives can increase so that God is more glorified through our lives committed to Him. This happens when our eyes are fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith [Heb 12:2]. As we gaze at Him in adoration and praise, we are changed, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Cor 3:18.  (As I write this article on Transfiguration Sunday in the ehurch year, I note that the word used here for “transformed” is [metamorphoō] which is exactly the same as is used of Jesus being transformed on the Mount of Transfiguration.) It is the Holy Spirit within us who brings about that radical transformation in our lives. Becoming more and more like Him – to His glory!)

How wonderful it is that we have the incredible privilege of reproducing in our own lives, the glory of Jesus as we live for Him in our everyday lives! Because He has said to His people, “Fear not! I am with you!” and especially those wonderful words, “I love you!”

Blog No.467 posted on Sunday 19 February 2023.

Posted in Bible verses. Comments, Creation, Evangelism, Faithfulness, Forgiveness, Glorification, Healing, Holy Spirit, Justification, Mental Health, New Covenant, Prayer, Salvation, Sanctification, spiritual warfare | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


As I was preparing this passage for a Bible study I was reminded of the true meaning of God’s agape love. Perhaps the best definition I have seen is this. “God’s agape love is seeking the best interests of others.” It does mean love for the undeserving, the unworthy, the unattractive and can even be extended to loving one’s enemies by the grace of God. 

We know that God loves the world, as John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” Or as the 1 John 4 passage puts it, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10  In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:9-10.  The love of God became manifest in Jesus when He came into this world to enable us to live. He did this by dying for the sins of the world and inviting us to allow Him to enter our lives by accepting Him as our Saviour and Lord. The picture in Revelation 3:20 of the Risen Christ knocking at the door of our human hearts and inviting us to open the door to Him, remains a very vivid part of my own conversion. 

One of the questions in the Study Book we were using was this, “How have you seen God’s love demonstrated through other Christians?” I thought of many believers I have known who did show forth the love of God in their lives. But I thought particularly of my late wife Carole who especially showed forth God’s love throughout the whole 60 years I knew her before her death. It was seen in the way she devoted herself to ministry to children and young girls in Sunday School teaching and leading youth groups and Girl Guides. Then later after finishing University and Teachers College I saw her total commitment to her students in her teaching career as she sought their best interests in encouraging them to reach their full potential as scholars or athletes. I saw the affection in which she was held by many of her students at the High School where she was the Physical Education teacher, when so many turned up at our wedding to wish her well. 

Sometimes though, people fail to recognise the motivation behind what we do. I remember that when Carole was retiring and was being farewelled at her TAFE College, a very senior official of TAFE NSW surprised everyone by turning up and wishing to speak. He spoke glowingly of her work in TAFE when he had been her immediate supervisor and then as she became the Senior Head Teacher of the largest TAFE section of its kind in Australia. He said that she had the unique ability to network upwardly with her superiors, horizontally with her staff and colleagues and downwards with her students and other employees. That was undoubtedly true judging by the number of awards she received for her leadership in TAFE. But I felt there was a deeper reason. What motivated Carole was agape love [God’s love], as she sought the best interests of everyone in her circle of influence. That meant seeking the best interests of her superiors by making them look good when her section was running well. It meant seeking the best interests of her staff by encouraging them to do the courses that would enhance their teaching and by making the timetable as most convenient as possible for every teacher. It meant too seeking the best interests of her students by making their studies as profitable as possible and encouraging each student to strive to do their best. Her “networking ability” came from the agape love of God in her heart.

How blessed it has been to be married to someone who was always motivated by God’s love in their heart. I cannot think of anything that Carole ever said or did that was selfish, in the almost 54 years of our married and family life together. I had “an excellent wife” as the writer of Proverbs reminds us, “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. 11  The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. 12  She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.”  Proverbs 31:10-12. She certainly “did me good” all the days of our lives together! [Carole Holbeck, nee Tapsell, born this day 07 February 1943 at Kharagpur, India and died at Wauchope near Port Macquarie on 31 October 2019.] 

Praise God that we can all be motivated by the agape love of God. It is by allowing God access into the depths of our hearts so that He can fill us with His Holy Spirit, as Paul wrote in Romans 5:5  “and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

Blog No.466 posted on Tuesday 07 February 2023

Posted in BIBLE PASSAGE OUTLINES, Bible verses. Comments, Coping With Personal Grief, Creation, Evangelism, Faithfulness, Forgiveness, Glorification, Healing, Holy Spirit, Justification, Mental Health, Prayer, Real Life Stories, Salvation, Sanctification, spiritual warfare, Temptations, TOPICS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


These Core Teaching modules are made up of 5 Stages with 5 or 6 topics in each stage. They embody the truths it would be helpful for anyone to know, who is involved in the Healing Ministry of the church. [ Or seeking as an individual to help others from the Word of God.]

The numbers are the blog numbers [with the attached link] on my blog site which can be clicked on to open the article. [Or copied and put into a Search Engine to open.]

I have arranged the contents in this simple-to-follow form so that anyone who wants to share the teaching with others can find them all on the one form in this blog. I am quite happy for anyone throughout the world to use the material to help others understand the teaching behind healing ministries. [It would be nice though if acknowledgement of the source was to be made.]







Posted in BIBLE PASSAGE OUTLINES, Bible verses. Comments, Creation, Evangelism, Faithfulness, Forgiveness, Healing, HEALING MINISTRY Core Teaching, Holy Spirit, Judgement, Justification, Mental Health, New Covenant, Prayer, Real Life Stories, Salvation, Sanctification, Second coming of Jesus, spiritual warfare | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

464. Sharing in Fellowship and Service. [Core Teaching Stage 5. Topic 6.]

Blog No.464. Sharing in Fellowship and Service. [Core Teaching Stage 5. Topic 6.] Posted on Thursday 25 January 2023

Posted in BIBLE PASSAGE OUTLINES, Bible verses. Comments, Creation, Evangelism, Faithfulness, Forgiveness, Healing, HEALING MINISTRY Core Teaching, Holy Spirit, Judgement, Justification, Mental Health, New Covenant, Prayer, Salvation, Sanctification, Second coming of Jesus, spiritual warfare, Temptations, TOPICS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment