Renewal Journal 14: Anointing
The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition by Vinson Synan
The God Chasers, by Tommy Tenny
Primary Purpose, by Ted Haggard
Anointed for Ministry
Jesus explained his ministry in terms of being anointed by the Holy Spirit. He took his charter text from Isaiah:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me
Because he has anointed me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.
(Luke 4:18-19; Isaiah 61:1-2)
He empowered his followers to do the same, in his name and authority. Our anointing for ministry stems wholly from who Jesus is – the anointed Christ, the Son of God. By his death and resurrection he conquered sin and is both Saviour and Lord.
Our ministry is the ministry of Jesus in and through us by the power of the Holy Spirit. Just as the Holy Spirit anointed Jesus, so he anoints us.
A quick look at any concordance affirms the significance of that anointing:
God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him (Acts 10:38).
He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God (2 Cor. 1:21).
You have an anointing from the Holy One and you know all things (1 John 2:20).
The anointing which you have received from him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach 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 (1 John 2:27).
One stupid application of that teaching is that we don’t need teaching because the Holy Spirit teaches us everything.
First, John is not saying we don’t need teaching. He is teaching in his writing! The purpose of his letters includes teaching.
Jesus taught. Often. He spent three years teaching his followers.
Every preacher teaches. If all we needed was the Holy Spirit on our own, we should stop preaching and teaching.
A clue to understanding the anointing is to know God. Knowledge can teach you about God, but you may not know God. Or you may know God as a distant consultant, available for a crisis. Or you may know God as a daily point of reference. Or you may know God intimately. Or, as is most likely, your knowing God ebbs and flows with the currents of your life.
Often when we feel most overwhelmed or in need, we know God much more deeply, for then we depend on him. We come to him with deep longing and with the cry he is so quick to answer. On the other hand, when we are busy and very competent we often know God dimly, not realizing how easily we depend on our own God-given abilities rather than on God himself, and how easily we quench or grieve the Spirit.
Jesus, on the other hand, lived in the full knowledge of God – not just intellectually, but totally and intimately. He explained his relationship with God, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do … I can of myself do nothing” (John 5:19, 30). Then he said the same of our relationship with him, “Abide in me … without me you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5).
The anointing of God on your life is linked with how you abide in your Lord, and he in you.
This issue of the Renewal Journal gives examples of a fresh anointing touching many people now with new intimacy and grace for powerful ministry. Benny Hinn uses the life of Elisha to highlight principles for a greater anointing. Barry Chant clears away some myths about Jonathan Edwards whose sharp mind and anointed writing still impact people. I give an overview of many places and people experiencing deep encounters with God through the nineties.
© Renewal Journal #14: Anointing, http://www.renewaljournal.com
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