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
useful and instructive