How to Recognize the Counterfeit

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

It’s hard to know what is true anymore!

John talks a lot about truth in this epistle, because it was also hard to know what was true back in his time… It seems that nothing has changed that much, after all.

What is all of this about anointing (mentioned 3 times in this verse)? Traditionally, we know that a person was anointed for a special purpose — to be a king or to enter into ministry, for example. Who did the anointing (a high priest, or another dignitary) was very important. In verse 20, John identifies the Source of our anointing as the Holy One, which refers to Christ, but also to the partnership work of the Holy Spirit. When we accept Christ’s work of atonement for our sins, the Holy Spirit anoints us, not with oil, but with supernatural power to live the Christian life!

This anointing does 2 things for us: it remains in us (we cannot lose it), and it teaches us everything we need to know. We need to do 2 things: remain in Christ and believe in this anointing that it is real and not a lie (counterfeit).

I was drawn to this passage because it used the word “counterfeit”. I wondered why anyone would have questioned the authenticity of the Holy Spirit’s anointing. Perhaps it was due to the same ridicule that the disciples encountered in Acts when they spoke in tongues and were accused of being drunk (Acts 2:13)?

Do you doubt that you have received this anointing of the Holy Spirit? That it is perhaps a lie? That you cannot understand the truths of Scripture? You are not alone. John was writing to others who weren’t sure that they were really anointed by God for life and ministry, and this doubt kept them from moving ahead in faith. Our culture still questions all things spiritual, including the truth of what Christ has done for you on the cross, but you need to stand firm in what you know to be true and keep believing, no matter what!

Father, please help me to take hold of what is true in a world that has so much that is false and counterfeit, and to know that your Spirit’s work in me is real, not counterfeit, and I can take everything that you have deposited in me to the bank!

Choose to focus on what is true today.

Refuse to buy into doubt and to listen to the ridicule of our culture when it comes to what God has done in your life!

By Karen Woodard
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•  Truth– By Katherine Kehler

•  The True Foundation

•  Which Word is Trueby Mark Buchanan