Before pushing any further, we should keep 1 John 3:1a at the center of these posts. “See [or, behold] what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” Without this, if you asked, “Is it really possible to practice righteousness consistently while we live in this world?,” the answer would be no. John puts forward the gospel here by saying, “. . . what kind of love is this that we should be called children of God—that sinners should be forgiven forever and legally adopted by God the Father into his household.” Does that rivet your heart and affections toward the beauty of Christ? It should, especially since the beginning of the verse is followed by the words, ‘and so we are.’ Therefore, all who bank all their hope in all that God promises to be for us in Jesus Christ can be sure that ‘what we are declared to be’ by God—we really are.
How does this affect the way we live? In what manner should we cherish Christian liberty in light of 1 Cor. 10:23-11:1 and 1 John 2:28-3:3? While you are reading this post, I imagine you want to know how 1 John 2:28-33 relates to texts like 1 Cor. 10:23-11:1 and Gal. 5:1, “For freedom Christ has set us free . . .” In order to understand these verses, it is important to include their qualifying verses. 1 Cor. 10:23-11:1, in its context, should focus on v. 31, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Also, the beginning of Gal. 5:1 should be tempered by the end of the verse, which says, “. . . stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Christ has set us free from our bondage to sin and death and folly under the Law so that we might be free to practice righteousness and enjoy God forever. That is why he set us free. He set us free to enjoy his gifts, including food and drink, but the manner in which we should enjoy those things should be to the glory of God. Similarly, Paul’s counsel in Gal. 5 is given so that we might be free and stand firm instead of sinfully strapping on a new yoke of slavery. When put that way, nothing is amoral. Either what you do glorifies God or it does not, it pleases God or it does not. Now, we do not add to God’s glory when we glorify Him. Why? God is glorious. Instead, we magnify his glory in us to the world when we enjoy who he is more than enjoy his gifts (cf. Rom. 11:34-36).