Verse 27b: The Anointing is Real
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.
“His anointing teaches you about all things”: the voice of the Spirit is the word of God by which Christ sheds the light of his knowledge deep into our hearts to transform, renew, and sanctify us from the inside out.
At the intersection of teaching, we must stop and look for the ancient paths where the Holy Spirit dwells:
Jeremiah 6:16 (CEB) The Lord proclaims: Stop at the crossroads and look around; ask for the ancient paths.
John 6:63 (CSB) The Spirit is the one who gives life. The flesh doesn’t help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
Christ personally teaches every believer to traverse the way of truth in sanctification and holiness so that we can be renewed in the image of God’s likeness in all righteousness and purity of truth:
Ephesians 4:21-24 (CSB) assuming you heard about him and were taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to take off, your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires, 23 to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on, the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth.
Ephesians 5:25b-26 (CSB) just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word.
One vital observation here is that John says the anointing teaches “you” (plural). Unfortunately, English no longer possesses a distinction between “you” (singular) and “you” (plural), so many have mistakenly believed that the Holy Spirit teaches them individually in complete isolation from the body of Christ. This is simply not true.
Peter warns against private interpretations:
2nd Peter 1:20-21 (CSB) Above all, you know this: No prophecy of Scripture comes from the prophet’s own interpretation, 21 because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
The whole body collectively supplies every member with the means necessary to grow in Christ:
Ephesians 4:15-16 (CSB) But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into him who is the head—Christ. 16 From him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part.
The Christian faith is a community faith – not an individualist faith – and Christ’s expectation is that we walk together in truth through the unity of faith with the holiness of love. No one individual rules over the truth of God’s word, and no one individual can claim revelation from Christ that departs from the faith that was once and for all handed down to the saints.