Rejoicing Comes in the Fellowship of His Sufferings: Part 10


Rejoicing in Assurance of Our Anointing

“As for you, keep in your hearts what you have heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the first dwells and remains in you, then you will dwell in the Son and in the Father always. And this is what He Himself has promised us—the life, the eternal life. I write this to you with reference to those who would deceive you, seducing and leading you astray. BUT AS FOR YOU, THE ANOINTING—THE SACRED APPOINTMENT, THE UNCTION—WHICH YOU RECEIVED FROM HIM ABIDES PERMANENTLY IN YOU; so then you have no need that anyone should instruct you. But just as His anointing teaches you concerning everything and is true and is no falsehood, so you must abide in, live in, never depart from Him; being rooted in Him, knit to Him, just as His anointing has taught you to do. …” (1 John 2:24-27, Amplified with brackets removed).

Our anointing: yum! Taste and see that the Lord is good.

From the beginning of our relationship with God through Christ, we receive His Spirit as a gift within us, anointing us and making us whole. We may not always realize this wholeness as it sometimes takes time for experience to catch up with the reality of the Kingdom life we now have in Him. But we are even now fully complete in Christ and made adequate by Him through the power of His Spirit at work in us.

Jesus was fully God, but in His decision to come in the form of the Son—however that was accomplished, scripture teaches He left His rights as God behind to live fully in human form. He was fully God and fully Man, but while on the earth He lived as a Man. That means He grew from infancy to adulthood and knows the weakness of flesh fully because of it, yet without sin. Why is that?

I believe that it is because, as we see throughout scripture to that point, like with the kings and prophets of Old, Jesus was The Anointed One. Though He refused the crown at that moment, He was and still is King. The King was anointed by God with the power of His Spirit to perform. Also Jesus was and is the High Priest. That position is an anointed position. So though He was in flesh by choice and living in that weakness, He was fully anointed by the Father with the Spirit to help and empower Him.

Thus we see that Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man (Luke 2). Amazing the spiritual leaders of the day with His wisdom at such an early age, He worked and lived even at age 12 in the power of His anointing. He saw where God was working and joined Him in that place of opportunity as the Spirit anointed His flesh eyes to see in the power of the Spirit and accomplish the work. And He had power to perform because He was fully surrendered to the Father and able to walk in the anointing of His Spirit. And as I reread this paragraph, I am reminded that He often protected His anointing and empowerment of Spirit by refusing to take opportunities presented Him that would lead Him away from the God-head’s designed will for His earthly path.

This, too, is our call and responsibility as we complete the sufferings of Christ. We too must work out of the anointing we have through His Spirit at work in us to overcome the flesh, fulfilling our calling and equipping in the earth. To understand this anointing, let’s take a look at the Spirit of God and His work in and through us. As always, this is a good starting place to grow from.

1. The Spirit of God seals us:

“In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14).

We are sealed into Christ and into relationship with God by the power of His Spirit; a seal that cannot be broken by any man (Romans 8). God gives us His Spirit at the moment of our rebirth into Christ, when we say “I do” to Him as Savior, King and Lord. We become one with Him for all eternity in the power of the Spirit, our promise of eternal hope in Christ. We are sealed and sanctified by the Spirit, never to separate from Him again.

2. The Spirit of God transforms us, bearing the good fruit of the true Vine in us:

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

The Spirit of God works in us to transform us back into the likeness of God, working maturity in us from one degree of glory to the next. If this is not our experience, something is wrong with our relationship. Either our commitment to Him is not sincere and we are still lost in sin, or we are rebelliously or ignorantly clinging to a sin.

Scripture teaches that those who are truly His will be known by the fruit born out of their lives. Jesus used fruit bearing trees to make this point, saying, “You will know them (those who are God’s as opposed to those who belong to the evil one) by their fruits” (Matthew 7:15-23). And what is the fruit that proves us to be His?

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).

The proof of relationship is seen as we begin to take on the characteristics of God in Christlikeness, by the power of His Spirit at work in transforming us to His image. I believe this is a partial list here in Galatians. We see indications of other flavors of fruit in other passages, such as Colossians 3, Romans 12, and 2 Peter 1. But note that though there are many shapes and flavors, if you will, it is all one fruit, the fruit of the Spirit at work and bearing forth in and through us. If this fruit is not in us, we have need for concern.

“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans12:1-2).

3. The Spirit of God gifts us:

“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware. You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, ‘Jesus is accursed’; and no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.”

Note in starting his discourse on the spiritual gifts, Paul begins by saying that except by the power of the Spirit in us we cannot truly call Him “Lord”. It is the Spirit that leads and equips us to bow to Him in sincerity, and in bowing to Him, we are entrusted as His servants with spiritual gifts that He can use through us in blessing others and fulfilling His work in the earth in our day.

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. BUT TO EACH ONE IS GIVEN THE MANIFESTATION OF THE SPIRIT for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills” (1 Corinthians 12:1-11).

Now there are several lists of gifts that the Spirit gives, and these are believed to be categories of gifts that may have other giftings that stem off of them as part of that category for fulfilling that area. Most studies I have done on the gifts teach that we have a main gifting as seen in verse 28 of this chapter, Romans 12:6-8, and Ephesians 4:11-13. These are areas of gifting that each is said to have one of, and out of this gifting, all other gifts given function. One whose functional gift is that of the prophet may have an underlying helping gift, but as he helps, he will prophesy about how to overcome the issue that requires his help. A helper may prophesy, but it will be with hope of helping the person come up higher in life.

All are gifted and we need to know what our gifts are so we can better function and cooperate with the Spirit as we do our part in the church and in ministry to those in our sphere of influence.

4. The Spirit teaches us:

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you” (John 14:26).

Yes, we can and should learn from one another, but we cannot learn in truth unless the Spirit teaches us. And if we have the Spirit, we have the teacher and are able to learn without the aid of others. You can study the word and learn just as I do. Don’t let the devil tell you otherwise.

“As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him” (1 John 2:27).

5. The Spirit directs us:

“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come” (John 16:13. See also John 14:15-17; Galatians 5).

Jesus gives us His Spirit to take His place as guide. In John 14:18 He tells us that in this way He will not leave us as orphans. The Spirit is here to parent us, leading us not only into all the truth of God, but in His ways and into His individual will for us personally.

6. The Spirit empowers us:

“… you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

I shared on my Spark People blog that I am in a season of transition. When I am in such a time as this, I often find myself struggling, unable to get things done well, having little energy, struggling to walk right paths. Why? Because I am hanging on to things and activities that God wants me to give up so I can take hold of some new things. In those times, I struggle in my own strength to keep up. God is not obligated to empower that which is not of Him. So I am reevaluating my proverbial plate and making adjustments so I can flow in His power. We need His power, and we need to realize when we are walking in little power because we are hanging on to things not ours to have.

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:14-19).

7. The Spirit perfects us:

“…Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? …” (Galatians 3).

It is the work of the Spirit in us that brings us to perfection, reestablishing us to portray the image of God. Mankind was originally created in His image. That image was distorted for all born to flesh because of the sin of Adam and Eve. Jesus came to reveal the true image to us. And by His Spirit at work in us, that image is restored as it was originally intended to be when God created man. We are perfected in Christ by the power of the Spirit at work in us.

But the Spirit, like God, will not force us to His will.

“Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22).

We can quench the work of the Spirit in us through disobedience to His gentle nudges. Now the seal is unbroken, we are still His in Christ’s perfect sacrifice, but our relationship with God and our power to perform will be hindered as long as we refuse to obey and cooperate with the work of the Spirit in us.

For those truly saved, there will be fruit bearing. If there is no fruit, there is no Spirit in the life of that person. The amount of fruit born to the true believer filled with His Spirit will be hindered by refusal to cooperate with the perfecting work of His Spirit. That is why we can move with strength from Him in one area where we are surrendered to Him, while struggling and floundering in another area of life where we are rebellious. Do not quench the Spirit.

8. The Spirit is our assurance:

“The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us” (1 John 2:24).

We can know that we are in Him and Him in us by His Spirit at work in us. The Spirit is our assurance. Knowing His presence in us is vital to our stability and faith.

“And now, little children, abide—live and remain permanently in Him, so that when He is made visible, we may have and enjoy perfect confidence, boldness, assurance in Him and not be ashamed and shrink from Him at His coming. If you know, perceive and are sure that Christ is absolutely righteous—conforming to the Father’s will in purpose, thought, and action, you may also know and be sure that everyone who does righteously and is therefore in like manner conformed to the divine will is born and begotten of God” (1 John 2:24-29, Amplified with brackets removed).

Little children that we are, we must walk by the Spirit, for in so doing, we will not carry out the deeds of the flesh. This is our charge in completing the afflictions of Christ. We must overcome the flesh in the power of the Spirit.

“Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another” (Galatians 5:24-26).

This life is available to all who will believe, receive, cleave, and proceed in the power and work of the Spirit of God in us. In this way we each can learn, we each can grow strong, we each can be the best “me” God designed and desired, we each may fulfill our purpose. Thus there is no need for jealousy or boasting. Just be as God’s Spirit leads. We all are one in Him, equal of importance in our unequaled roles.

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