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God bless you in the name of Jesus Christ who was anointed with the oil of gladness (Hebrews 1:8-9).

If you spend much time in Christian circles, you may have heard the words “anointed” or “anointing” used.  It is often used to describe any high emotion or strong feeling at a given time or what has produced them.  It is used in regard to what is perceived to be empowered or made effective for God’s purposes by the special activity of the Holy Spirit.  However, since it is a biblical term, let’s learn to use it as it is used in the Bible.

It is used 143 times in the KJV Old Testament, and 20 times in the KJV New Testament.  It is used of applying oil, ointment, spittle, and eye-salve to some part of the body 13 times.  It is used of Jesus four times, and believers three times.  These 20 translations into the English “anoint” come from 6 different Greek words.  The two most common are aleiphō (9x) and chriō (5x).  Aleiphō is the mundane or common word for “anoint,” (translated as such in each of its nine uses), and chriō is the sacred or consecrated one.  Chriō, is the root word for christos, from which we get the English word “Christ,” the anointed one.  Prophets, priests, and kings were anointed in the Old Testament, and Jesus served in all of these offices.  His anointing by God consecrated him to the Messianic office and furnished him with all the power and authority necessary for its administration.

Luke 4:18:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed [chriō] me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

Acts 4:27a:
For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed [chriō]. . . .

Acts 10:38:
How God anointed [chriō] Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

Hebrews 1:9:
Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed [chriō] thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

Only two passages relate to the anointing of believers.

II Corinthians 1:21:
Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed [chriō] us, is God;

I John 2: 20-21, 27:
But ye have an unction [chriō] from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. . . 27 But the anointing [chriō] which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

These verses declare that God has anointed all believers.  The anointing is not just at special moments or times when the Spirit is “moving” or people are “emotionally touched.”  Neither is it restricted to certain people who do extraordinary things when the alleged power of God is on them.  God has anointed every believer with the gift of holy spirit and we are all anointed at all times, wherever we go, and whatever we do.  Whether we do ordinary or extraordinary things, we are still anointed.

Anointing is the act by which a person or instrument is consecrated to God for His exclusive use.  In the Old Testament, kings, priests, prophets, and temple furnishings were set aside for (consecrated to) God’s use.  (The temple furnishings remained anointed whether they were used or not.  Kings, prophets, and priests stayed anointed whether they acted properly or improperly.  See example of Saul in I Samuel 26:11.)  Jesus was the Anointed One because He was set aside as Messiah to redeem God’s people.  All believers are set aside for God’s exclusive use when they are born-again.  That’s when we are consecrated to God by holy spirit, Who puts His seal on us (Ephesians 1:13).

Anointing is never used in God’s Biblical vocabulary for the moving of the Holy Spirit, for specially gifted people, or special functions performed.  Certainly, there are instances when something special occurs, and we are moved in unique and memorable ways.  Let’s just not call those things or times “anointed.”  Let’s use other words like “awesome,” “energized,” “powerful,” “moving,” “electrifying,” “thrilling,” or whatever else we’d like.  Let’s reserve “anointed” to be used of what we received when we endued with power from on high.  Perhaps then, we’ll develop a greater appreciation for our new birth and the power of the holy spirit we have all been given.  That’s when we were equipped to engage in and produce the extraordinary services for God and His people.