“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! 🙂
Many are excited about the prospect of being anointed as a Prophet, Priest or King, but not many are excited about the opportunity to be anointed for “burial”. When Jesus was at the home of Simon the leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table. When indignant disciples complained about the “supposed waste”, Jesus said what she did was a “good deed” __ “For when she poured this perfume on my body, she did it “to prepare Me for burial.” (See Matthew 26:6-12) Selah
Also, remember what happened at the home of Cornelius , when the anointing was “poured” out __ and Peter said, “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized/buried, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did can he?” (Acts 10:44 – 48)
Thanks, Tom. What you’re saying is true and integral to the full anointing of God on our lives. The way to resurrection life and power is through the cross, and the deeper the death, the greater the resurrection. There’s an element of “knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection” that can be known before an experience of the cross, but it’s only as we go through “the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death” that we come into the fuller expression of “that I may attain unto the resurrection of the dead” into the fullness of His life and blessing. Thanks for bringing to light this deeper aspect!
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Also very interesting to see how Jesus took Peter, James and John up the mountain and met with Moses (whose brother Aaron is the start of the Jewish priestly line), Elijah (the greatest of the prophets), and of course Jesus himself is the King of Kings. In a way it’s slightly surprising that David wasn’t also present! Jesus is the New Covenant fulfillment of the Old Covenant priestly, prophetic and regal roles.
And as his body here in the world we too are called to be priests (drawing people into relationship with the Father, through the Son), prophets (declaring the truth boldly as it is revealed to us), and perhaps a ‘kingly’ calling as well? Jesus is the head, we are the body, we are here to do his bidding, not our own. We are not here to build shelters, nor are we here to build the church (Jesus told us he would do that).
I’m just thinking aloud about these things here. It all needs a lot more thought.
Grace, peace and blessing to you David – and to all your readers.
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Chris, thanks for your musings here. Amen! I hope to peel the onion another layer or two on these aspects in the next few posts. I appreciate your feedback and blessings!
Very good word, David, thank you.
A couple of days ago I listened to UK Bible teacher Ron Bailey’s recent podcast, Baptists, Baptism, and an Anointing (study 31 in his series on The Better Covenant, which I highly recommend). He shows clearly the central emphasis of the anointing, pointing out as you have that Jesus Christ is Jesus the Anointed One.
I think you’d enjoy this. You can find the podcast, which you can listen to as you follow the accompanying notes in either HTML or PDF, here:
If you don’t have time to listen to the podcast, at least view the notes:
Allan, thank you for the podcast and notes links. They sound good! I will check them out!
I’m trusting that these posts will give a greater revelation of Christ the Anointed One and of our calling in Him as the Body of Christ (i.e. the Body the Anointed One.) Thanks for your contribution to this first meditation! Grace and peace!
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Staying tuned, David!
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👍 Thanks, bro.!