Video by Got Questions Ministries

Imagine you’re Peter Parker, an ordinary high school student until the fateful day a radioactive spider bites you.

Suddenly you develop amazing abilities – climbing walls, super strength, and spider senses. At first overwhelmed, you soon realize the potential to help people with these new gifts.

This is similar to the Biblical concept of “the anointing.” Ordinary people are anointed by God and supernaturally empowered to carry out extraordinary purposes.

Prophets like Elijah called down fire from heaven. Kings like David led armies to victory against unbeatable foes. The sick were healed, the dead raised – all through the Holy Spirit’s equipping.

Jesus himself depended on this same Holy Spirit anointing, quoting the Prophet Isaiah:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news…”

Luke 4:18 (ESV)

The same power that enabled him is now available to all believers!

You may be thinking, “That all sounds great, but what does it mean for me?”

This is the question we all ask. How can I live, love, and serve through this important Biblical promise of power from on high?

Read on to understand more!

The Ancient Act of Anointing

Anointing Of Kings

To understand what the anointing means, we must start with the ancient ritual of anointing.

In the Old Testament, kings, priests, and prophets were anointed by having sacred oil poured on their heads.

This oil represented the presence of the Holy Spirit who came upon them to empower them for service.

For example:

This act of anointing with oil symbolized a special purpose and calling from the Lord.

The anointing oil represented the Holy Spirit’s empowering presence to accomplish God’s work through that person or object.

Jesus – The Anointed One

Jesus The Anointed One

The Hebrew word for “anointed” is Mashiach (Messiah) and the Greek word is Christos (Christ). So Jesus became known as the Messiah or the Christ, which means the “Anointed One.”

God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit to fulfill His special purpose:

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.”

Acts 10:38 (NIV)

Isaiah 61:1-3 (NIV) prophesies about the Messiah’s anointing to preach the Good News, heal the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom, and bring restoration:

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor…”

Jesus announced the fulfillment of this prophecy about Himself in Luke 4:18-19. As the Anointed One, Jesus was set apart and empowered by the Holy Spirit to fulfill His messianic mission.

The Nature of the Anointing

Nature Of The Anointing

The New Testament teaches that all Christians have received an anointing from God:

“But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.”

1 John 2:20 (NIV)

“As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit – just as it has taught you, remain in him.”

1 John 2:27 (NIV)

These verses tell us that the anointing is the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.

As Born Again followers of Jesus, the same Spirit who empowered Jesus has come to dwell in us. This is the source of the anointing.

The anointing is not something you can earn. It is freely given by God to all who put their faith in Christ.

It is the promised Holy Spirit who seals us when we believe (Ephesians 1:13).

What Does the Anointing Do?

What Does The Anointing Do

The purpose of the anointing is to set us apart for God’s purposes and to empower us to accomplish His works.

Here are some key functions of the anointing:

  • The anointing empowers our lives and ministries with supernatural ability. It makes our service to God effective.
  • The anointing brings deliverance, healing, freedom, joy, and restoration to people’s lives.
  • The anointing enables us to boldly preach the Gospel with power.
  • The anointing gives wisdom, revelation, and understanding of spiritual truths.
  • The anointing breaks strongholds, frees captives, and ushers in God’s presence.
  • The anointing bestows the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4-11) to believers.
  • The anointing brings breakthrough, victory, and favor when we walk in faith.

In short, the anointing enables ordinary followers of Christ to do extraordinary works by the power of the Holy Spirit, just as Jesus did.

How to Walk in the Anointing

Walk In The Anointing

Since the anointing is the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit, the key to walking in the anointing is to develop an intimate relationship with Him.

Here are some keys:

  • Pray in the Spirit daily. Praying in tongues builds you up in your spirit man where the anointing dwells (Jude 1:20, 1 Corinthians 14:4).
  • Soak in God’s Presence. Create time and space to wait on the Lord in quiet worship and open your heart to Him.
  • Study the Word. The teachings of Scripture activate the anointing in the believer. Allow the Bible to renew your mind.
  • Pursue Purity. The anointing flows easily in clean vessels. Deal with sins that could quench the Holy Spirit.
  • Walk in Love. The anointing manifests powerfully when you minister out of compassion for others.
  • Obey God’s Leading. Respond promptly to the promptings of the Holy Spirit within you.

As you develop an intimate, obedient relationship with the Holy Spirit, you’ll experience a greater measure of His anointing and power in your life.

Key Takeaways on the Anointing

  • The anointing is the manifest power of the Holy Spirit upon Christians to empower them for service.
  • Jesus is the Anointed One who fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy about the ministry of the Messiah.
  • All believers have received the anointing of the indwelling Holy Spirit when they were born again.
  • The anointing enables us to do the miraculous works of Jesus and boldly advance the Kingdom.
  • To increase the anointing, develop intimacy with the Holy Spirit through worship, the Word, prayer, and obedience.


The anointing is not some mysterious force for “super Christians.” It is the overflow of the Spirit-filled life that all believers have access to. Its purpose is to demonstrate Jesus’ love and power to the world.

As you align your life continually with the Holy Spirit and His Word, you’ll walk in greater levels of anointing and effectiveness for advancing God’s Kingdom on earth.

Just as Jesus promised:

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.”

John 14:12 (NLT)

So discover your anointing, fan it into flame, and fulfill your calling as an “anointed one” in Christ!

Frequently Asked Questions about the Anointing

Q. What is the difference between the anointing and the Holy Spirit?

A. The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Trinity – the very presence and power of God.

The anointing refers specifically to the manifested power, gifts, and grace of the Spirit upon believers to empower them for service.

Q. Can I lose the anointing?

A. No, the anointing is God’s free gift that remains in every born-again believer.

However, you can grieve the Holy Spirit through disobedience and unrepentant sin which can hinder His flow in our lives.

Q. Do I need to feel something when I’m anointed?

A. Not necessarily. The anointing is often sensed but it also flows in quiet strength whether you feel it or not.

Don’t depend on emotions to know if you’re anointed. Walk by faith in God’s Word.

Q. How do I know if it’s the anointing versus just my own zeal?

A. Focus on exalting Jesus, bearing spiritual fruit, and demonstrating love. The anointing will point to Jesus and build up others. Our own zeal may draw attention to ourselves.

Q. Can the anointing be transferred from one person to another?

A. No, the anointing comes from the Holy Spirit alone. People can’t impart it to others.

However, when believers gather, their shared anointings can have a powerful cumulative effect.

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