Commentary on "Walking in the Light:
Day 5: Wednesday, August 5, 2009
The statement in 1 John 2:20 is the text for today's lesson. The primary purpose of this statement is to identify the difference between those who have gone out from among us (v. 19) and those who are true members of the Christian Church. About three-fourths of the way through the lesson, an excellent statement is made; “The Bible has to be the final authority in all our teachings.” This is absolutely true. It is also true, as is pointed out in the lesson that our understanding of God's word is made possible by the Holy Spirit, in whom we are sealed.
There is one troubling statement about the Holy Spirit and his manifestation. On page 72 of the Teacher's Quarterly, the statement is made that “True believers rely on the Holy Spirit as He manifests Himself in scripture.” This statement almost sounds Biblical, but notice something that is taking place here.
When Jesus said that he was going to send the Holy Spirit, he stated exactly what the Holy Spirit was going to do. Jesus said, in John 14:26, "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.” It is never the purpose of the Holy Spirit to manifest himself. It has always been his purpose, since Pentecost, to indwell the believer, filling her with the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and illuminating the meaning of what God has revealed in his word.
Although the lesson author identifies the use of the word “anointing” here by John, it is of ultimate importance that the Christian know that he is filled with the Holy Spirit upon believing in Jesus Christ. Christians are not like Old Testament believers, waiting for a special anointing of the Holy Spirit so that they can perform a work for God. We have been given the fullness of the Holy Spirit and are to walk in him as we follow the lead of our savoir, Jesus Christ.
In the NASB (New American Standard Bible, updated 1995) the word “anointing” occurs 28 times in the Bible. Twenty-three of those occurences are found in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, the word “anointing” occurs only five times. Of those five times, three are referring to anointing with oil or perfume. Only here in First John do we find the word anointing associated with the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. The Greek word John uses (chrisma) is different from the other uses of the word “anointing” (aleipho) found in the NT. John's use of the word anointing is, as pointed out in the lesson, is synonymous with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the believer. However, we must be careful to not confuse this with the type of anointing that is indicated in other passages of scripture.
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