At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit fell upon a prepared people who “were all with one accord [of one mind]” (Acts 2:1). So, what does it mean that the people were of one mind? Simply put, mercy was flowing through them. Let me explain.
Consider those who were on the scene at Pentecost, people we revere today as church fathers. Some of these men had sinned grievously against the Lord and against their brethren. They all had to be forgiven and their sins covered, or the church never would have moved forward with the work the Spirit was about to do.
Consider Peter. He had blasphemed horribly, wounding Jesus as well as the other disciples. That church body forgave Peter, and they covered him so his past would never be held against him. Consider also James and John, the “Sons of Thunder.” They too had sinned grievously, offending their fellow disciples when they professed to be greater than the rest. They also were forgiven and covered.
In truth, anyone present that day might have said, “Hold it, Peter. Who made you the leader here? You denied Christ.” No one did that, because their hearts had been prepared through mercy. And they were ready to receive the Spirit when He came in the great outpouring at Pentecost.
Beloved, this is why in Peter’s epistles his focus is on the issues of the heart. He knew firsthand all these things had to be cast out and forgiven, lest the Spirit’s work be hindered by any flesh. The same is true for Christ’s church today, we who are to receive His mighty harvest rain.
Will we hinder that work of the Spirit by failing to forgive? Or will we be prepared by allowing mercy to flow through us to others?