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Sermon #58 — 1st John Series


            Title:               The Efficacy of the Unction


      Text:                                  1 John 2:20-27

            Subject:                     The Unction — God’s Holy Anointing

      Date:                                Tuesday Evening — April 1, 2014

      Readings:           Allen Kibby and Mark Warta



Open your Bibles with me, once again, to 1st John 2. Our text is 1st John 2:20-27. The title of my message is The Efficacy of the Unction1st John 2:20-27.


The Unction


But ye have an unction from the Holy One” (v. 20). — This Unction is God the Holy Ghost, the Divine Comforter, given to God’s elect by Christ, the Holy One. God the Holy Spirit is the fulfilment of the typical Holy Anointing Oil described I the 30th chapter of Exodus (John 6:44-45; 16:7-14).


It is by the gift of this Unction, the gift of God the Holy Spirit, bestowed upon us in the new birth…

  • That Christ is revealed in us.
  • That we are taught of God.
  • That faith is given to us and we are caused to come to Christ.


John 6:44-45 (44) No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. (45) It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.


John 16:7-13 (7) Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (8) And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (9) Of sin, because they believe not on me; (10) Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; (11) Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. (12) I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. (13) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.


John 16:14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.


The Teaching


That teaching of God that effectually, irresistibly brings us to Christ in faith is not a learning process, but a Divine gift, a revelation of grace, fulfilling one of God’s covenant promises to his elect in Christ (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:25-29). —


Jeremiah 31:31-34 (31) Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: (32) Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: (33) But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. (34) And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.


Ezekiel 36:25-29 (25) Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. (26) A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. (27) And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. (28) And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. (29) I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.


Scripture Fulfilled


We know that these Old Testament prophecies have their fulfilment in us in this Gospel Age because God the Holy Spirit tells us they do in Hebrews 8 and 10. After telling us that our Lord Jesus Christ is the Mediator of a better covenant, a covenant better than the old covenant of law, the Surety and Mediator of the everlasting Covenant of Grace “ordered in all things and sure,” the Holy Spirit tells us that this better covenant is the one promised in the prophets.


Hebrews 8:10-12 (10) For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: (11) And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. (12) For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.


Then, in Hebrews 10, after telling us that Christ, the Covenant Surety and Substitute, sanctified, redeemed, and made perfect all for whom he suffered and died at Calvary, we read that the Holy Ghost is a witness to us of these things in fulfilment of that covenant made with our Surety before the world began.


Hebrews 10:15-17 (15) Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, (16) This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; (17) And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.


God the Holy Spirit is “the Unction,” the Holy Anointing Oil, we have as the gift of our crucified Redeemer. —— Read on…


Infallible Teacher


And ye know all things” (v. 20). — It is the unction of the Spirit by which we know all things. He is an infallible Teacher. The typical picture of the Holy Anointing is beautifully fulfilled by the gift of the Spirit.

  • The Unction of the Spirit, gives spiritual eyes and gives light to the eyes.
  • The Unction softens the heart, searches the understanding, and becomes the Oil of Joy and Gladness in our souls, giving us the mind of Christ and knowledge of all things necessary to everlasting salvation.

God the Holy Spirit gives us grace, saving grace, and all that accompanies it. — And “the grace of God that bringeth salvation” teaches “us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:11-14).


Jesus the Christ


I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also (vv. 21-23) — John tells here that all who deny that Jesus of Nazareth accomplished all that the prophets said the Christ, the Messiah, would accomplish are antichrists. — This is where the rubber hits the road. The crucial issue of the Gospel is the person and work of Christ.

  • The One Who is the Incarnate God, the Woman’s Seed!
  • The One Who Magnified the Law and Made it Honorable by His Obedience and Death!
  • The One Who Brought in Everlasting Righteousness!
  • The One Who Satisfied Divine Justice!
  • The One Who Put Away Sin!
  • The One Who Saved His People!




Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father” (v. 24). — Don’t you love the admonition the Holy Ghost here gives us for the stability of our souls? — “Abide in him.” A close adherence to Christ, snuggling up as close to him as possible all the time, is the safest and most comfortable thing we can do. Yes, I know, it is Christ who keeps us. That is our safety and security. But this is our happiness and peace. This is the comfort and joy of faith in him. To abide in Christ is to be always…

·    Looking to Christ!

·    Trusting Christ!

·    Resting in Christ!

·    Living upon Christ!

·    Living for Christ!

·    Looking for Christ!


“Where this abiding in Christ is there will be an increasing desire after him and an increasing delight in him.” (Robert Hawker


God’s Promise


And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life” (v. 25).

  • God promised eternal life to his elect before the world began (Titus 1:2).
  • God our Savior, the Good Shepherd, promises eternal life to all his sheep (John 10:28).
  • The Triune God promises eternal life to all who trust the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:14-16).
  • And the Lord Jesus promised to give eternal life to all the Father gave him in the covenant (John 17:2).


Seducing Anitchrists


These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you” (v. 26). — John’s purpose, he tells us, in writing these things to us about the Unction and Anointing of the Holy Spirit, is to give us security against those antichrist seducers[1] who would turn us away from Christ. Particularly in this passage, he is telling us that the reason saved sinners are not duped by false teachers is this: — We have been taught of God!


Now, look at verse 27, and I will show you the efficacy of the Unction.


But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” — In verse 24 he told us to let the Unction abide in us. Here he assures us that because we have experienced the Anointing, because we have been born of God and taught of God, we “shall abide in him.


When John says, quoting the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel, “ye need not that any man teach you,he is not telling us that we do not need faithful pastors to teach us the Word of God and the things of God. He is not suggesting that every saved sinner is his own prophet. That would be in direct contradiction to other things plainly stated in the Word of God (Ephesians 4:11-16; Hebrews 13:7, 17). Rather the Holy Ghost here tells us by his servant John that…

  • We don’t need anyone with a new revelation to teach us anything. — We’ve been taught of God and have his Word.
  • We don’t need any man (priest, counselor, etc.) to bring us to God. — Christ is our Great High Priest; and we are his “royal priesthood!
  • We don’t need the teachings of those antichrists, those seducers, who deny the person and work of Christ. — We’ve been taught of God.


Proposition: If you have been taught of God you know all things; and no one can unteach you what God the Holy Ghost has taught you.


If what you have is what you got from a man, another man can take it away and sell you something else. —— If what you know is something you learned from a man, by the words of man’s wisdom and cunning craftiness, another man can teach you something else directly contrary to what you thought you knew. But if you’ve been taught of God no one can unteach you what God the Holy Ghost has taught you.


Know All Things


What John mean when he says, “Ye know all things…The Anointing teacheth you of all things”? Does he mean that all believers (or any believers) actually know all things, all the realms of science; all the varied departments of art? Of course not! The Lord’s people are not commonly found among elite academics. Not many of God’s saints are found in law offices, chemistry labs, or research institutes (1 Corinthians 1:26-31).


Certainly John is not here telling us that all saved sinners have great doctrinal, theological knowledge.  They commonly do not. Many of God’s saints are terribly ignorant of fine points of doctrine. Many who profess faith and profess religion, yet dead in trespasses and sins, have a much clearer knowledge of the letter of Scripture and in the great scheme of salvation than some of God’s poor, broken-hearted family.


John is here telling us that all who are born of God, being taught of God, know all things needful. He is telling us the very same thing Peter states in 2nd Peter 1:3.


2 Peter 1:1-3 (1) Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: (2) Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, (3) According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:




1.    Themselves


All who are taught of God know themselves. A knowledge of yourself is indispensable to salvation. If you do not know yourself you cannot know God. If you do not know yourself you cannot know the Son of God. — The Publican!


To know and see yourself as you really are: poor, miserable, filthy, guilty, lost, undone, a sinner, a child of Adam, with a heart deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, with a nature thoroughly depraved, helpless, and hopeless. If ever you come to know yourself, your boasting will cease, your righteousness will wither.


Isaiah 51:1 Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.


Isaiah 64:1-6 (1) Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence, (2) As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence! (3) When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence. (4) For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. (5) Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways: behold, thou art wroth; for we have sinned: in those is continuance, and we shall be saved. (6) But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.


By this unction from the Holy One we know our sinfulness, our dreadful, desperate, abominable sinfulness. By this unction from the Holy One we know our hypocrisy, our dreadful, desperate hypocrisy. By this unction from the Holy One we know our obstinacy, our perverseness, our alienation from God, our proneness to evil, and our horrible aversion to good. By this unction from the Holy One we know that we deserve the eternal wrath of God, that we are altogether as an unclean thing, and that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.


If a man is not rooted and grounded in the knowledge of self, he never can be rooted and grounded in a knowledge of Christ as a Savior. — “The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). — The only people who despise Christ are those who do not need Christ. The only people who despise a Surety are those who do not need a Surety. The only people who despise substitution are those who do not need a Substitute.


2.    The Law


All who are taught of God know themselves; and all who are taught of God know the purity and spirituality of God’s holy law but by this unction from the Holy One.


Romans 7:7-14 (7) What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. (8) But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. (9) For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. (10) And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. (11) For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. (12) Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. (13) Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. (14) For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.


3.    The Scriptures


We cannot know the Scriptures, we cannot know the Word of God except by this unction from the Holy One. I know that this Book is God’s Word because the One who wrote the Book lives in me and I live in him. — Memorizing Scripture is not knowing Scripture. If you would know the Word of God you’ve got to experience it.

  • Depravity
  • Redemption
  • Forgiveness
  • Acceptance
  • Life
  • Hope



4.    Lord Jesus


You can never know the Lord Jesus Christ, except you have this Holy Unction from the Holy One. We may have correct views and sound notions, we may have speculations floating around in our heads; but humbling, heart melting, flesh withering, pride abasing knowledge of the Son of God in his sufferings and agonies and accomplishments we cannot have but by this Unction from the Holy One.

  • To see the Savior’s atoning blood,
  • To see his glorious robe of righteousness,
  • To see free, full justification in him,
  • To see sin put away by him,
  • To see him risen, ascended, exalted, interceding,

Nothing but an unction from the Holy One, the Holy Anointing Oil of the blessed Spirit upon the heart, can give us this knowledge of him whom to know is life eternal.


We know Christ, not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (2 Corinthians 5:16).


2 Corinthians 5:14-21 (14) For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: (15) And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. (16) Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. (17) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (18) And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (19) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. (21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.


5.    Forgiveness


Without the Unction from the Holy One we could never know the pardon and forgiveness of sin, by which our hearts are settled in peace. We cannot know that the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sin, but by virtue of the unction from the Holy One.

  • Christ is a Sure Refuge!
  • Christ is a Bed big enough to stretch yourself upon.
  • Christ is Covering you can wrap yourself in.
  • Christ is a Sure Foundation Stone.


6.    Gospel Liberty


No sinner can ever know the sweet and blessed liberty of the gospel, the sweet and blessed liberty of grace, the glorious liberty of the children of God, except by “the Anointing which ye have received of him!


Isaiah 61:1-3 (1) The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; (2) To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; (3) To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.


We cannot come out of darkness into light, bondage into liberty, coldness into warmth, but by the Unction from the Holy One. By this sweet Unction from the Holy One the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts and all the blessings of covenant grace are sealed to our sous (Romans 5:1-11; Ephesians 1:3-14).

  • Free from Sin, Death, and Hell!
  • Free from the Law’s Covenant, Guilt, and Curse!
  • Free from the Crushing Load of Guilt!


Psalm 119:45 I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.


7.    Our Father


Sinners, poor, lost, doomed, damned, dead sinners like you and me could never lift our hearts toward heaven and call God our Father, except by “the Unction from the Holy One.


Galatians 3:13-14 (13) Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: (14) That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.


Galatians 4:4-6 (4) But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, (5) To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (6) And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.


It would be impossible for any sinner on earth to know what it is to have a heavenly home, a harbor of rest and peace, a blessed mansion above where tears are wiped from off all faces, but by virtue of this Unction, the Anointing we have from God our Savior. — O blessed, blessed Unction of God!


All this saving knowledge is the knowledge of just one thing, one thing needful. Let me show you this, and I’ll be done. The Unction of God, the Anointing of God effectually teaches sinners to trust the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God, by revealing Christ in us and to us (John 17:3).


John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.


Illustrations:             Whitefield’s Conversation

                                                                                    With the Maid

 Ron Young at Charleston

                                     Conversation with Bill Parker


Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved!” — “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?





Don Fortner








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[1] False religion is always seductive, like a harlot, never open and honest (Proverbs 7).