Titus 2.14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Please note, beloved, that prior to our call to good works, we find that Jesus gave Himself for us that we might be purified unto Him. Once again we see that the primary purpose of redemption is vertical, before it is horizontal. Being purified unto Jesus precedes doing good works in His Name. That is always the divine order. Vertical first, horizontal second. For if the order is reversed, then our good works become deeds of duty rather than expressions of worship unto God.
Jesus did not redeem us to be busy. He redeemed us for Himself. He redeemed us in order that we might be instruments in whom and through whom a lost and broken world might see Him manifested in our lives. Pure religion, as James writes, is only fruitful when our hearts and motives are first and foremost purified by The Lord Jesus. Good deeds in and of themselves can be wood, hay and stubble. Thus, the constant need today is to sit before The Lord and ask Him to touch our hearts and motives with a purity that does God works “unto Him.” Because our flesh is so corrupt, this vertical pursuit and need of Christ is a moment by moment experience.
But here is the beauty of it all. That is how God designed it to be! The gospel is not a one time experience with no further need of revelation. The gospel is the good news that being redeemed is a life-long process of knowing Christ with the overflow of that fellowship resulting in good works being done in purity and for His glory and honor. These things Atticus was to preach and teach with all authority. Vertical first, then horizontal.