Christians-Those Anointed by the Spirit
Lesson 78

Are you a Christian? If there is any doubts about it, if you are not quite sure, your testimony for Christ is worthless. The blind man to whom Christ gave sight had no doubts about it. The dead that He raised again to life knew they were alive. You cannot be a Christian and not know it.


If you have unconfessed, unforgiven sins in your life, whatever your profession, you are not a Christian. The Christian has an inner witness of the Spirit that he is a child of God. Paul said, “the Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” Romans 8:16. Right now, we may know we are God’s children, born from above.


He who thinks himself a Christian because of his church membership, his honesty in business dealings, his standing as a good citizen and a good neighbor, misunderstands the meaning of the word Christian.


When the church at Jerusalem sent Barnabas to Antioch to care for the developing interest there, what kind of man did they send? The Book of Acts says, “He was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost.” Moreover, what resulted from the work of this leader inspired by the Holy Spirit? Luke stated, “Much people was added unto the Lord.” And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” Acts 11:24,26. Evidently, these disciples had so much in them of what Christ had in Him that the people decided the only appropriate name for them was “Christian.” What a tribute!


If you have in you what Jesus had, you are a Christian. The disciples of Antioch had in them the same Holy Spirit who had given Jesus power.


“We have found the Messias,” Andrew exclaimed. (John 1:41.) Ever since Adam and Eve had been driven from Eden, the world had lived in anticipation of the coming of the Messiah. The word Messiah is a Hebrew word. The Greek form of the word is “Christ,” and the English equivalent is “The Anointed.” Andrew was saying that God’s Anointed has come, and that he found Him. What an announcement!


Two thousand years ago, the name Jesus was common in Israel. But there has been only one Jesus to who God gave the title “Christ.” John the Baptist, who viewed the anointing of Jesus, declared, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.” John 1:32. At that time the Father said, “Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.” Luke 3:22.


When the Apostle Peter later presented the gospel to Cornelius, a Gentile and a Roman centurion, he emphasized one grand truth: “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost.” Acts 10:38. God Himself did the anointing. God used no intermediate agency, no prophet, priest, or preacher.


Following His anointing Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness tempted by the devil. After this ordeal “Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14) and went to Nazareth, where He gave the Sabbath discourse. Taking the Sacred Scroll, He read from a prophecy of Isaiah, who centuries before had foretold His anointing: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because The Lord hath anointed me.” Isaiah 61:1. Then He applied this prophecy to Himself, saying, “This day is the scripture fulfilled in your ears.” (Luke 4:18,21.)


The fact that Jesus, one of their fellow townsmen, claimed the Messiahship (the divine anointing) stirred up such resentment in the hearts of the congregation that unless God had intervened, they would have murdered His Son that day. This issue still lives today. Many are willing to accept Jesus as a good man, a miracle worker, a great teacher, and even as a prophet, but like the Jews of Nazareth they revolt against accepting Him as the anointed of God. This is the crux of the matter. To accept Jesus as the Anointed implies that we are calling to be anointed with the same Holy Spirit with which He was anointed. Then a Christian is one who not only believes that God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit, but also allows God to anoint him. The Apostle Paul states it, “He which hath anointed us, is God.” 2 Corinthians 1:21.


When converted, Paul “straightway preached Christ,” proving that this is the very Christ.” (Acts 9:20,22.) The eloquent Apollos preached Christ: “He mightily convinced the Jews, showing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.” Acts 18:28. The two words Jesus Christ, coupled together so often throughout the New Testament, underscore the fact that Jesus was the Anointed of God.


No one preached a funeral sermon for Jesus. However, Peter, God’s mouthpiece at Pentecost, preached a glorious resurrection sermon. He quoted the prophecies that foretold the resurrection of Jesus, the Anointed, and concluded, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Acts 2:36.


The Spirit moved the listening throng, now realized that Jesus was indeed the Christ, to cry out, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”


Peter replied, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ.” Then Peter went on to promise every one who thus accepted Jesus as the Anointed of God the same anointing that Jesus had: “Ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Acts 2:38.


Brought before King Agrippa, Paul preached Christ so fervently that the King cried out, “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” Acts 26:28. However, the king never humbled himself to accept Jesus as the Christ and receive the anointing of the Spirit. But all who have been anointed with the Spirit will enjoy both the fellowship of the Spirit and fellowship with their fellow Christians.

Memory Verse:

Romans 8:16. Paul said, “the Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”


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