“I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh.” Ac 2:17 NKJV
Jesus was called a “friend of…sinners” (Mt 11:19). Why? Because He didn’t analyze and label people. He didn’t seek out the well-heeled and well-behaved. He included them, but He didn’t limit Himself to their company. He sought out those who were marginalized and ostracized by society, and reached out to them with God’s love. “But what about their sinful practices?” you ask. “Mightn’t it look like we’re excusing their lifestyle?” One day the Pharisees brought a woman to Jesus, saying, “This woman was caught in adultery, in the very act” (Jn 8:4 NKJV). Notice what Jesus did; He stooped down to her level and brought her back up to His! Only then did He say, “Go and sin no more” (v. 11 NKJV). The fact is, if people could clean up their act before coming to the Lord, they wouldn’t need Him. The church was born when God’s Spirit was poured out on people from everyrace, culture, tradition, and background. You can’t have a genuine outpouring of the Spirit where people are alienated and excluded. When the world sees us coming together in unity under one anointing, they’re going to run again to the Upper Room crying, “What shall we do?” (Ac 2:37). Paul wrote: “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first (the insiders) and also… the Greek (the outsiders)” (Ro 1:16 NKJV). As believers we have the formula for making broken people whole. But before we can share it with them and have credibility, we must first be united by the Spirit.