Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. 2 Corinthians 1:21
It is God who has anointed us, and He has also established us in Christ. The Spirit of God is in our hearts, a seal that is our guarantee of eternal life. Paul was reminding the Corinthians that in spite of spiritual battles, believers are established, anointed and sealed. This knowledge is like an anchor that holds us together in times of tribulation and hardship. One of the primary methods that the enemy of our soul uses, is unforgiveness. That is why Paul warns the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 2:10-11; Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.
Paul was modeling forgiveness for a church who was harsh on an individual who did not receive him as an authentic Apostle. But Paul knew he was established by God in Christ, and so he encouraged the people of Corinth to forgive, because he personally was not offended, but rather he desired to come from Macedonia to Corinth in love. We should learn the lesson of love over conflict, forgiveness over vengeance, so that we will never be ignorant of the enemy's devices, lest satan should take advantage of us.
What is the key to managing conflict in the church? If we look closely at the situation in Corinth, we see that Paul took something that could have been personal, and used it to model corporate behavior. He used encouragement and an established truth to refocus the congregation on love and forgiveness, instead of punitive retribution. In fact, Paul says he forgives for the sake of the church; “I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ,“ — we should all do likewise. In doing so, we will be building up the Body of Christ.
God has established and anointed us for more than ourselves. We are being built together as the household of God, a dwelling place in the Spirit according to Ephesians 2:19-22; Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Even though we cannot physically be together in one place due to the coronavirus, we are being built together for a dwelling place in God, which connects us even when we are apart.
Therefore, we must know who we are and whose we are in the Spirit, lest we slip being unaware. Jesus had to rebuke his disciples one day because they sought to destroy those who were not with them. James and John asked Jesus if He wanted them to call fire from heaven like Elijah did. His answer surprised them — But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.
It is important that we know the spirit that we are of. Otherwise we may engage in thoughts or even behaviors that are contrary to the will of God. Never forget that God has anointed us to be ambassadors in the earth to carry out His plan for salvation. The work is finished, but He has many sheep that are not of this fold that must come also — And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd. John 10:16
The will of God concerning you and me, is that we would be one in the Spirit. The Lord is gathering together one flock and there will be one shepherd. So be encouraged by the knowledge that, He who establishes you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.