Galatians 5:13

For, brethren, you have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
Read Chapter 5

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
From this point Paul begins to discuss those works of the law which … no one denies also pertain to the new covenant, but with another aim, appropriate to those who perform good works “in freedom.” These acts aim for the rewards of a love that hopes for eternal things and looks forward in faith. This is quite unlike the Jews, who were forced to fulfill these commandments from fear, and not that righteous fear which endures to eternity but one that made them fear for the present life. The result: they fulfill certain works of the law which consist in ceremonies but are completely unable to fulfill those that consist in good conduct. For nothing fulfills these except love…. And so the apostle now says, “You are called into freedom, brethren, but on condition that you do not let your freedom be an opportunity for the sin nature. Do not suppose, upon hearing the word freedom, that you can sin with impunity.” ...

Clement Of Alexandria

AD 215
Et si dicant nos "vocatos fuisse in libertatem, solummodo ne praebeamus libertatem, m occasionem carni"

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
Ye have been called unto liberty. Liberty from the burden of so many useless ceremonies of the law. Christian liberty throughout the Epistle is contrasted with Jewish slavery. It is obvious, therefore, how grossly the Protestants pervert the Apostle"s words, when they argue from this that Christians are free from all positive law, and owe no obedience to prelates, to magistrates, or to parents. This is contrary to the law of nature and the Decalogue, subversive of all civil government, of all ecclesiastical order, of all human society. There has never been a nation, however barbarous, without its magistrates and laws, nor without them could the peace be kept, nor any nation continue, as all nations have clearly seen. If once men are persuaded that the civil or the ecclesiastical law does not oblige in conscience, but only as its sanctions constrain our fears, they will violate the law without any scruple, whenever they think it safe to do so. Accordingly, Christ, Paul, and the Apostle...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
An occasion to the flesh; i.e. that you abuse not, by a vicious life, that Christian liberty which Christ hath purchased for you, but be united in the spirit of charity. (Witham)

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Here again he hints that strife and party-spirit, love of rule and presumptousness, had been the causes of their error, for the desire of rule is the mother of heresies. By saying, Be servants one to another, he shows that the evil had arisen from this presumptuous and arrogant spirit, and therefore he applies a corresponding remedy. As your divisions arose from your desire to domineer over each other, serve one another; thus will you be reconciled again. However, he does not openly express their fault, but he openly tells them its corrective, that through this they may become aware of that; as if one were not to tell an immodest person of his immodesty, but were continually to exhort him to chastity. He that loves his neighbor as he ought, declines not to be servant to him more humbly than any servant. As fire, brought into contact with wax, easily softens it, so does the warmth of love dissolve all arrogance and presumption more powerfully than fire. Wherefore he says not, love one a...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
For you, brethren, were called for freedom; only use not your freedom for an occasion to the flesh. Henceforward he appears to digress into a moral discourse, but in a new manner, which does not occur in any other of his Epistles. For all of them are divided into two parts, and in the first he discusses doctrine, in the last the rule of life, but here, after having entered upon the moral discourse, he again unites with it the doctrinal part. For this passage has reference to doctrine in the controversy with the Manichees. What is the meaning of, Use not your freedom for an occasion to the flesh? Christ has delivered us, he says, from the yoke of bondage, He has left us free to act as we will, not that we may use our liberty for evil, but that we may have ground for receiving a higher reward, advancing to a higher philosophy. Lest any one should suspect, from his calling the Law over and over again a yoke of bondage, and a bringing on of the curse, that his object in enjoining an aba...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
He then also shows the way by which this rectification may be easily accomplished. “Be slaves to one another in love,” Paul says. Here again he hints that love of strife, faction, ladder climbing and folly were the causes of their error. The mother of heresies is desire for power. From this foolishness and conceit he is calling them to “be slaves to one another.” Therefore Paul applies this corresponding remedy: “Since you have been torn apart by your desire to rule one another, be slaves to one another. In this way you will be brought together again.” He does not openly state their fault, but he states the remedy openly, so that through the remedy they may also better grasp the fault…. He did not say “love one another” but “be slaves to one another,” to express the most intense possible love. ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

App Store LogoPlay Store Logo