What is anointing?

It’s one of those ‘churchy’ words we hear all the time, yet no one ever explains.

Have you had that happen? You grow up in church, maybe even a PK (that’s a churchy word for preacher’s kid), and yet are still confused over words like ‘sanctification’ and ‘redeemed.’ I won’t even get into the bracket of ‘christianese.’

Even words such as ‘salvation,’ and ‘born again’ are often not defined in churches, and we wonder why so many leave the church. How can we spread the gospel if we can’t make any sense even to ourselves within the church? Yes, even adults who have grown up in the church are often left scratching their heads at some of these words.

Today, we take a closer look at the term ‘anointing.’

Anointing, according to New Bible Dictionary (IVP, pg. 50), signifies in the Old Testament a separation unto God, by God, for his purpose; a bestowal of divine favor. In the New Testament, anointing came to have another meaning, such as anointing the sick with oil (setting apart or giving up a sickness to Christ).

According to the same Bible dictionary, the word ‘authority’ in the New Testament came from the Greek word exousia, which is translated to mean a “rightful, actual and unimpeded power to act, or to possess, control, use or dispose of, something or somebody.” This particular word also refers to a lawful form of authority. God has ultimate authority, and he has a right to it since He created all things. Therefore, as New Bible Dictionary states, “Such authority as men have is delegated to them by God, to whom they must answer for the way they use it.”

This adds a dimension of understanding to the Holy Spirit because since Pentecost, it is the Holy Spirit that works the anointing; and it is the Holy Spirit that imparts to us authority. In both actions, the Holy Spirit bestows these (and other) things unto us as deemed by God the Father. It is also the Holy Spirit at work within us to help us move further into our anointing (Holiness) and authority (power).

3 thoughts on “What is anointing?

  1. Great topic. There are many phrases we use in “Christianese” (love it 🙂 ) that are not understood by outsiders or unbelievers…

    TAke for instance: “washed in the blood”

    Some unsuspecting unbeliever will freak out if the term is not used and explained properly.

    I am less sympathetic to those who are actually Christians, (born-again) who have trouble with these terms. It shows that they may not be students of the Bible and have not moved toward the maturity needed in their faith to study the Word of God and understand the lingo.


  2. Pingback: What is anointing? | A Closer Look

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