Malankara World

40 Questions Answered

By H.G. Dr Geevarghese Mar Osthathios

QUESTION 11. What then is the sign of the Holy Spirit?

Christos means the 'anointed one' and it is the Greek form of Hebrew Messiah, which meant the same thing. Anointment with oil was the usual custom in the N. T. period (Lk. 7: 38; 46). Perhaps oil was used in the laying on of hands by the apostles to confer the gift of the Holy Spirit and heal. (Acts 6: 14-17; 9: 12, 17; 28: 8). The surety that we are anointed with the Holy Spirit is not a psychological, emotional experience as ecstatic utterances with tongues, but an objective anointment of the Holy Muron (oil) by the valid ministry of the Church. The Holy Spirit, freely given to us at the Confirmation which goes with baptism, has to be rekindled in us by our prayerful waiting upon the Lord, holy life, prayer and fasting etc. (II Tim. 1: 6). Just as some people who speak with tongues become backsliders, some of the Christians who were anointed with Holy Oil also will become back-sliders.

The Holy Spirit, freely given to the Church, is at work on all who are grafted to the Church in baptism and confirmation, without distinction of age, but the responsibility to bear the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5: 22) remains with them. The tree is known by the fruit and not by the leaves of gifts or charisma. The assurance of the anointment of the Holy Spirit is neither subjective alone, nor objective alone, but both. Our own experience of new life and sanctification must be noted by others also, though their objective judgment alone is not final. Two or more witnesses including ourselves and others must be amazed at the overflow of agape, heavenly love in us as the fruit of the Spirit. The sign of tongues or healing gift without agape is not a sure sign of the Spirit's anointment. If any one is full of the Spirit, he is a new creation with a new relationship with the Triune God and a new relation with others and a new joy of personal assurance of having been accepted by God in the power of the Spirit.

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