For anyone involved in education today the picture looks a lot different than when I was at school. While the delivery then was taught from the front, learning today is expected to be far more involving for pupils. It is now recognised that different kinds of learners learn in different ways. John, one of the first followers of Jesus, tells us in his first letter how those who follow Jesus learn from him directly:

I’ve written to warn you about those who are trying to deceive you. But they’re no match for what is embedded deeply within you—Christ’s anointing, no less! You don’t need any of their so-called teaching. Christ’s anointing teaches you the truth on everything you need to know about yourself and him, uncontaminated by a single lie. Live deeply in what you were taught.  And now, children, stay with Christ. Live deeply in Christ. Then we’ll be ready for him when he appears, ready to receive him with open arms, with no cause for red-faced guilt or lame excuses when he arrives. 1 John 2:26-28 (The Message)

John has reached a point in his first letter where he wants to convince us of one thing. The truth of God’s message in Jesus is something learned, not by following a teaching alone, but by living a life filled with God’s presence. ‘Christ’s anointing’  is the indwelling sense of Jesus alive in our hearts. We are not to be Word people alone but Spirit people, and by accepting the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives we learn, first and foremost, by experience the truth of God’s living Word, and not by wrote. You see, while people may want to convince us of the right way to believe, the anointing of God within our hearts convicts us of the right way to live because we believe. John says, that Christianity is not a book of rules but a guide to life that is applied through our relationship with God, through his Son, in the ‘anointing’ of the Holy Spirit. Learning the correct message of God in Jesus from the Bible is important, he says, but we can only have the confidence to live a life of faith if we are ‘living deeply in Christ’. This is the only way in which our whole lives will be ready to meet with him, because our whole lives dwell in his life.

Thank you God for the anointing of  your Holy Spirit, that comes freely into our hearts, to guide us in the life you will. Let my experience in Jesus show us today your faithfulness and love. May the life of Christ within bring to life your Word and power in my life. Amen.

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