Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;… That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
—Titus 3:5, 7
To teach that the filling with the Holy Spirit is given to the Christian to provide “power for service” is to teach truth, but not the whole truth. Power for service is but one effect of the experience, and I do not hesitate to say that it is the least of several effects. It is least for the very reason that it touches service, presumably service to mankind; and contrary to the popular belief, “to serve this present age” is not the Christian’s first duty….
The primary work of the Holy Spirit is to restore the lost soul to intimate fellowship with God through the washing of regeneration….
God wants worshipers before workers; indeed the only acceptable workers are those who have learned the lost art of worship. It is inconceivable that a sovereign and holy God should be so hard up for workers that He would press into service anyone who had been empowered regardless of his moral qualifications….
Gifts and power for service the Spirit surely desires to impart; but holiness and spiritual worship come first.
Oh, Lord, where has the hunger for holiness gone? Remind us of the priority of holiness and spiritual worship. Amen.