This department is provided for the free and courteous discussion of biblical and spiritual problems which may be considered edifying to the people of God. Letters concerning such matters are requested.
The Anointing Of Christ
Dear Brother G.
Grace and peace to you from God the Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ.
I trust this letter finds you and your family prospering well both in body and soul. The main purpose of my writing is to ask you about the anointing of the Lord Jesus by the Father as stated in Luke 4:18-19; Acts 4:27 and 10:38.
1. Is this anointing the same as the believer’s anointing with the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 1:21; 1 John 2:20 and 27)?
2. Was this anointing a necessary preparation for our Lord’s earthly ministry?
3. When did this anointing take place, at His baptism?
4. If this anointing took place at our Lord’s baptism, does this mean that the Lord Jesus did not possess the Holy Spirit (the anointing) until the event of His baptism?
I would appreciate very much if you would take time to enlighten me on this subject.
Sincerely in Christ,
Dear Brother C. G.
In the Old Testament it was the will of God that men from among His people holding public position be anointed with oil for consecration into their office. Kings were anointed; as were Saul, David, Solomon, etc. Prophets were anointed; as for example, Elisha. Priests were anointed with a special oil made according to divine specifications (Ex. 30:30).
Without doubt, the anointing of persons in the Old Testament typifies the santification of the believer by the power of the Holy Spirit, as this is taught in the New Testament. Believers today are not anointed into any office, because, from their conversion they have the anointing within them (1 John 2:20-27). From the experience of the new birth, consequently, they are made a kingdom of priests (Rev. 5:10).
In the case of the Lord Jesus, He was anointed as were the prophets, kings, and priests of the Old Testament into His public office. The title, “The Christ,” simply means, “The Anointed One.”
The anointing of Christ was predicted in Psalm 45:7 and a number of other Old Testament passages. This Psalm is Messianic and Millennial in character. It pictures Christ as King on the day of His marriage anointed with the oil of gladness above all the friends of the Bridegroom. According to the prophetic Word the marriage of Christ to His Bride, the Church, and the future manifestation of His Kingship in glory are closely associated.
That John the Baptist saw the fulfilment of this predicted anointing is generally conceded, but to suggest that not until His baptism did Christ possess the Holy Spirit is a wrong conception of the personality of our Lord. This must be remembered, the anointing of the Lord Jesus was an external act witnessed by John which produced no internal change. The anointing of the believer is an internal act which does produce a change both in his nature and in his relationship to God; this change is seen by others through his conversion.
Christ is God, yet perfect Man. The hypostatic union of the two natures in Christ cannot be over-emphasized; He is the God Man in one glorious personality. Consequently, it is incorrect to say that as God He did this and as Man He did that; He, in all His acts was God, yet Man. Furthermore, He is one of the distinctions in the Godhead: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To even infer that the Christ, the Eternal Son did not at any time possess the Spirit, when we know Him to be one with the Spirit, is to wrest the doctrine of Christ.
Let it ever be remembered that the anointing of Christ was an external act fulfilling the predictions of the Old Testament, as well as its types, an act that did not, nor could, change His nature or His relationship to the other members of the Godhead.
In that the Lord Jesus while on earth became voluntarily subject to the Holy Spirit, He became such in order to be a pattern to all them that believe.
Sincerely in Christ,