“And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all”
Ephesians 1:21-22 NKJV
Those who have been joined to Christ have been incorporated into what Paul calls the “one new man.” (Ephesians 2:15) This new humanity is the corporate Christ of which He is the “Head” and we are “His body, the fullness of Him…” We will be focusing in these next few posts on this corporate Christ with a specific focus on the anointing of the Holy Spirit in relation to it.
The matter of “the anointing” is brought in, front and center, by the fact that God has revealed its significance in the very title ascribed to Jesus of Nazareth: “Christ.” The title “Christ” is the Greek translation (“Christos”) of the word for Messiah (Hebrew: “Mashiach) which means “anointed one.” “Jesus Christ”, therefore, means “Jesus the Messiah” or “Jesus the Anointed One.” The fact that the title most closely associated with Jesus means “anointed one” informs us just how significant “the anointing” is! This is not only true concerning Christ, the Head, but also regarding His Body, the fullness of Him.
In the Old Testament, the anointing oil was used to consecrate three groups of people: priests, prophets, and kings. This oil was generously poured on the head (see Psalm 133:2) for the consecrating of certain individuals to their particular calling and service. The anointing oil is symbolic of the sanctifying, enabling work of the Holy Spirit for spiritual service.
Jesus the Anointed One, in His earthly life, was given “the Spirit without measure” (John 3:34, see also Acts 10:30) as the one ordained and anointed of the Father to be His supreme High Priest, Prophet, and King. Now Christ Jesus, the resurrected Head, has poured out on His Body the same anointing for the full functioning of the corporate Christ under His headship (see Acts 2:33) Much of Christ’s high priestly, prophetic, and kingly service/ministry is now being inwrought and outworked through His Body, the fullness of Him, by the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Running as a golden thread through these three aspects of Christ’s heavenly ministry as Priest, Prophet, and King, and of the Body’s earthly calling as His fullness, is the matter of sonship. In the Old Testament, natural lineage, i.e. sonship, was integrally connected to the priestly and kingly offices. It was also loosely connected with the prophetic calling as evidenced by the oft repeated phrase in the Old Testament, “the sons of the prophets.” (Whether referring to natural or “spiritual” sons, the principle of “sonship” is similarly present.) Ultimately, the highest calling of God is in the bringing of “many sons to glory” (Hebrews 2:10), conformed to the image and likeness of His only-begotten Son, Who is High Priest, Prophet, and King. Sonship, therefore, is the consummate calling that integrates all other callings in one. The Holy Spirit, the Anointing, is “the Spirit of sonship” (Romans 8:15, also Galatians 4:6) Who brings forth the fullness of Christ and of Christ’s heavenly ministry within His people.
We will explore the priestly, prophetic, and kingly aspects of the anointing, and their consummation in “the Spirit of sonship”, as they relate to the corporate Christ in the following posts. Please stay tuned! 🙂