Graduate Level School of Faith: Acts 1:3-8
“4) Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; 5) for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”” Acts‬ ‭1‬:‭4‬-‭5‬; Matthew 3:11-12; John 15-16
In finishing our theme from the past two posts, we must ask the question; “What was the content of the final curriculum Jesus taught His Disciples?” In other words, “What is The Graduate Level School of Faith?”
To answer that question, we need to step back and take a broader look at His ministry. It might be helpful to ask; “What did Jesus focus on in His final class before going to the cross and what was His final focus before His ascension?” Providentially, they encompass the same subject. That is not coincidental!
Are you ready for this: “The Graduate School of Faith relates to the baptism and filling of the Holy Spirit.” This was the Promise of the Father. (Acts 1:4-5; Joel 2:28-29) This was the Prophecy of John the Baptist. (Matthew 3:11-12; Mark 1:7-8; Luke 3:16; John 1:32-34) This was the Provision Jesus offered His disciples. (John 14:16-18, 26-27; 15:26-27; 16:5-15)
This subject is so important that it changed the times and epoch from the Old Testament to the New Testament. This is the new wine and the new wines skins for this present age of grace. Learning how to walk in the Spirit is “The Graduate School of Faith.” (See Galatians 3:1-5; 5:16-26) Every fruitful believer will be enrolled in this course for the rest of their life.
But tragically, few Christians understand and embrace the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Yet this is the source of power for Christian living and witness. No wonder Satan works overtime to bring confusion and ignorance to this vital doctrine. He will do anything to enslave believers in fleshly bondage and keep them from Gods Promised land of power and anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Let me conclude this post by giving a brief A-Z overview of the ministry of the Holy Spirit Jesus offers to every born-again believer.
A. He is the author of Scripture. 2 Peter 1:20-21, 2 Timothy 3:16-17
B. He is the promise of the Father. Acts 1:2-5, Acts 2:33, 38-39
C. He is the gift Jesus offers. Acts 2:38-39, John 14:16
D. He is the power of the witnesses. Acts 1:8; 4:30-31
E. He is the conviction of the sinner. John 16:8-11
F. He is the seal of the saved. Ephesians 1:13-14
G. He is the regenerator of the believer. Titus 3:5-7
H. He is the One who indwells true believers. 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19-20
I. He is the distributer of spiritual gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:4-7; 11
J. He is the abiding anointing that teaches. 1 John 2:20, 27; John 16:13
K. He is the source of the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23
L. He is the basis for Christian unity. Ephesians 4:3-4
M. He is our access to the Father. Ephesians 2:18
N. He is the guide to church leaders. Acts 13:1-4
O. The stiff-necked can resist Him. Acts 7:51
P. The sinful believer can grieve Him. Ephesians 4:30-31
Q. The insensitive Christian can quench Him. 1 Thessalonians 5:19
R. He is the “Daddy Cry” of the adopted. Galatians 4:6, Romans 8:15
S. He is the means of true worship. John 4:23-24
T. He is the inspiration of the singer. 1 Corinthians 14:15, Eph 5:18-21
U. He is the unction of the intercessor. Ephesians 6:18-20
V. He is the overflow of God’s love. Romans 5:5
W. He is the possession of true believers. Romans 8:5-9
X. He is our helper when we are weak. Romans 8:26a, John 16:7
Y. He is our intercessor when we are discouraged. Romans 8:26
Z. He is our assurance when we have doubts (Romans 8:16) and He is our inner strength and power when we are empty. Ephesians 3:16
CONCLUSION: Oh, what more can I say – even though the alphabet is over we have just scratched the surface. Let’s indulge a bit more: He is the member of the God head that perfected creation (Genesis 1:2), He came upon some Old Testament saints (Psalms 51:10-11), He filled many key figures in the narrative story (Luke 1:41, 2:25-26), He overshadowed Mary at the conception of Jesus to make the incarnation possible (Luke 1:35), and He descended as a dove upon Jesus at His baptism (Matthew 3:16-17). He is also the One currently at work building and fitting together all the believers into a holy and awesome dwelling for God in the Spirit (Ephesians 2:19-22).
The important question is not “how much of the Holy Spirit do you have, but rather how much of you does the Holy Spirit have?” There is only one baptism of the Holy Spirit placing believers into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13), but there are many fillings of the Holy Spirit empowering us for life and service. (Ephesians 5:18)
The question is not are you a fundamentalist, evangelical, charismatic or Pentecostal; the question is: “Are you born-again through faith in Jesus Christ and walking in the filling and power of the Holy Spirit?” (Acts 1:8, Galatians 5:16-24)
Resist the temptation to change your understanding of the Holy Spirit to match your experience, background or theology. Instead, invite the Holy Spirit to change you to match your calling in Christ Jesus as explained in the Bible. (Romans 8:1-39; Titus 3:4-7)
Friends, this is as simple as I can make it, but it will take you a lifetime to understand and apply it. Just don’t let anyone or anything hinder your enrollment in this school. You now have the introduction notes to Day One, Class One of “The Graduate School of Faith!”
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global