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St. Thomas Aquinas
Summa Theologica

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  • Aquin.: SMT TP Prologue Para. 1/3 - THIRD PART (TP) OF THE SUMMA THEOLOGICA (QQ[1]-90)
      • Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF THE PREDESTINATION OF CHRIST (FOUR ARTICLES)
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Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF THE PREDESTINATION OF CHRIST (FOUR ARTICLES)

We shall now consider the predestination of Christ. Under this head
there are four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether Christ was predestinated?

(2) Whether He was predestinated as man?

(3) Whether His predestination is the exemplar of ours?

(4) Whether it is the cause of our predestination?


Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[1] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether it is befitting that Christ should be predestinated?

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[1] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem unfitting that Christ should be predestinated. For
the term of anyone's predestination seems to be the adoption of sons,
according to Eph. 1:5: "Who hath predestinated us unto the adoption of
children." But it is not befitting to Christ to be an adopted Son, as
stated above (Q[23], A[4]). Therefore it is not fitting that Christ be
predestinated.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[1] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, we may consider two things in Christ: His human nature
and His person. But it cannot be said that Christ is predestinated by
reason of His human nature; for this proposition is false - "The human
nature is Son of God." In like manner neither by reason of the person;
for this person is the Son of God, not by grace, but by nature: whereas
predestination regards what is of grace, as stated in the FP, Q[23],
AA[2],5. Therefore Christ was not predestinated to be the Son of God.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[1] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, just as that which has been made was not always, so also
that which was predestinated; since predestination implies a certain
antecedence. But, because Christ was always God and the Son of God, it
cannot be said that that Man was "made the Son of God." Therefore, for a
like reason, we ought not to say that Christ was "predestinated the Son
of God."

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[1] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, The Apostle says, speaking of Christ (Rm. 1:4): "Who
was predestinated the Son of God in power."

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[1] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, As is clear from what has been said in the FP, Q[23],
AA[1],2, predestination, in its proper sense, is a certain Divine
preordination from eternity of those things which are to be done in time
by the grace of God. Now, that man is God, and that God is man, is
something done in time by God through the grace of union. Nor can it be
said that God has not from eternity pre-ordained to do this in time:
since it would follow that something would come anew into the Divine
Mind. And we must needs admit that the union itself of natures in the
Person of Christ falls under the eternal predestination of God. For this
reason do we say that Christ was predestinated.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[1] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The Apostle there speaks of that predestination by which we
are predestinated to be adopted sons. And just as Christ in a singular
manner above all others is the natural Son of God, so in a singular
manner is He predestinated.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[1] R.O. 2 Para. 1/3

Reply OBJ 2: As a gloss [*From St. Augustine, De Praed. Sanct. xv] says
on Rm. 1:4, some understood that predestination to refer to the nature
and not to the Person - that is to say, that on human nature was bestowed
the grace of being united to the Son of God in unity of Person.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[1] R.O. 2 Para. 2/3

But in that case the phrase of the Apostle would be improper, for two
reasons. First, for a general reason: for we do not speak of a person's
nature, but of his person, as being predestinated: because to be
predestinated is to be directed towards salvation, which belongs to a
suppositum acting for the end of beatitude. Secondly, for a special
reason. Because to be Son of God is not befitting to human nature; for
this proposition is false: "The human nature is the Son of God": unless
one were to force from it such an exposition as: "Who was predestinated
the Son of God in power" - that is, "It was predestinated that the Human
nature should be united to the Son of God in the Person."

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[1] R.O. 2 Para. 3/3

Hence we must attribute predestination to the Person of Christ: not,
indeed, in Himself or as subsisting in the Divine Nature, but as
subsisting in the human nature. Wherefore the Apostle, after saying, "Who
was made to Him of the seed of David according to the flesh," added, "Who
was predestinated the Son of God in power": so as to give us to
understand that in respect of His being of the seed of David according to
the flesh, He was predestinated the Son of God in power. For although it
is natural to that Person, considered in Himself, to be the Son of God in
power, yet this is not natural to Him, considered in the human nature, in
respect of which this befits Him according to the grace of union.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[1] R.O. 3 Para. 1/3

Reply OBJ 3: Origen commenting on Rm. 1:4 says that the true reading of
this passage of the Apostle is: "Who was destined to be the Son of God in
power"; so that no antecedence is implied. And so there would be no
difficulty. Others refer the antecedence implied in the participle
"predestinated," not to the fact of being the Son of God, but to the
manifestation thereof, according to the customary way of speaking in Holy
Scripture, by which things are said to take place when they are made
known; so that the sense would be - "Christ was predestinated to be made
known as the Son of God." But this is an improper signification of
predestination. For a person is properly said to be predestinated by
reason of his being directed to the end of beatitude: but the beatitude
of Christ does not depend on our knowledge thereof.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[1] R.O. 3 Para. 2/3

It is therefore better to say that the antecedence implied in the
participle "predestinated" is to be referred to the Person not in
Himself, but by reason of the human nature: since, although that Person
was the Son of God from eternity, it was not always true that one
subsisting in human nature was the Son of God. Hence Augustine says (De
Praedest. Sanct. xv): "Jesus was predestinated, so that He Who according
to the flesh was to be the son of David, should be nevertheless Son of
God in power."

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[1] R.O. 3 Para. 3/3

Moreover, it must be observed that, although the participle
"predestinated," just as this participle "made," implies antecedence, yet
there is a difference. For "to be made" belongs to the thing in itself:
whereas "to be predestinated" belongs to someone as being in the
apprehension of one who pre-ordains. Now that which is the subject of a
form or nature in reality, can be apprehended either as under that form
or absolutely. And since it cannot be said absolutely of the Person of
Christ that He began to be the Son of God, yet this is becoming to Him as
understood or apprehended to exist in human nature, because at one time
it began to be true that one existing in human nature was the Son of God;
therefore this proposition - "Christ was predestinated the Son of
God" - is truer than this - "Christ was made the Son of God."


Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[2] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether this proposition is false: "Christ as man was predestinated to be
the Son of God"?

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[2] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that this proposition is false: "Christ as man was
predestinated to be the Son of God." For at some time a man is that which
he was predestinated to be: since God's predestination does not fail. If,
therefore, Christ as man was predestinated the Son of God, it seems to
follow that as man He is the Son of God. But the latter is false.
Therefore the former is false.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[2] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, what is befitting to Christ as man is befitting to any
man; since He belongs to the same species as other men. If, therefore,
Christ, as man, was predestinated the Son of God, it will follow that
this is befitting to any other man. But the latter is false. Therefore
the former is false.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[2] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, that is predestinated from eternity which is to take
place at some time. But this proposition, "The Son of God was made man,"
is truer than this, "Man was made the Son of God." Therefore this
proposition, "Christ, as the Son of God, was predestinated to be man," is
truer than this, "Christ as Man was predestinated to be the Son of God."

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[2] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Augustine (De Praedest. Sanct. xv) says: "Forasmuch as
God the Son was made Man, we say that the Lord of Glory was
predestinated."

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[2] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, Two things may be considered in predestination. One on
the part of eternal predestination itself: and in this respect it implies
a certain antecedence in regard to that which comes under predestination.
Secondly, predestination may be considered as regards its temporal
effect, which is some gratuitous gift of God. Therefore from both points
of view we must say that predestination is ascribed to Christ by reason
of His human nature alone: for human nature was not always united to the
Word; and by grace bestowed an it was it united in Person to the Son of
God. Consequently, by reason of human nature alone can predestination be
attributed to Christ. Wherefore Augustine says (De Praedest. Sanct. xv):
"This human nature of ours was predestinated to be raised to so great, so
lofty, so exalted a position, that it would be impossible to raise it
higher." Now that is said to belong to anyone as man which belongs to him
by reason of human nature. Consequently, we must say that "Christ, as
Man, was predestinated the Son of God."

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[2] R.O. 1 Para. 1/2

Reply OBJ 1: When we say, "Christ, as Man, was predestinated the Son of
God," this qualification, "as Man," can be referred in two ways to the
action signified by the participle. First, as regards what comes under
predestination materially, and thus it is false. For the sense would be
that it was predestinated that Christ, as Man, should be the Son of God.
And in this sense the objection takes it.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[2] R.O. 1 Para. 2/2

Secondly, it may be referred to the very nature of the action itself:
that is, forasmuch as predestination implies antecedence and gratuitous
effect. And thus predestination belongs to Christ by reason of His human
nature, as stated above. And in this sense He is said to be predestinated
as Man.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[2] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Something may be befitting to a man by reason of human
nature, in two ways. First, so that human nature be the cause thereof:
thus risibility is befitting to Socrates by reason of human nature, being
caused by its principles. In this manner predestination is not befitting
either to Christ or to any other man, by reason of human nature. This is
the sense of the objection. Secondly, a thing may be befitting to someone
by reason of human nature, because human nature is susceptible of it. And
in this sense we say that Christ was predestinated by reason of human
nature; because predestination refers to the exaltation of human nature
in Him, as stated above.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[2] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: As Augustine says (Praedest. Sanct. xv): "The Word of God
assumed Man to Himself in such a singular and ineffable manner that at
the same time He may be truly and correctly called the Son of Man,
because He assumed Men to Himself; and the Son of God, because it was the
Only-begotten of God Who assumed human nature." Consequently, since this
assumption comes under predestination by reason of its being gratuitous,
we can say both that the Son of God was predestinated to be man, and that
the Son of Man was predestinated to be the Son of God. But because grace
was not bestowed on the Son of God that He might be man, but rather on
human nature, that it might be united to the Son of God; it is more
proper to say that "Christ, as Man, was predestinated to be the Son of
God," than that, "Christ, as Son of God, was predestinated to be Man."


Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[3] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether Christ's predestination is the exemplar of ours?

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[3] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that Christ's predestination is not the exemplar of
ours. For the exemplar exists before the exemplate. But nothing exists
before the eternal. Since, therefore, our predestination is eternal, it
seems that Christ's predestination is not the exemplar of ours.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[3] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, the exemplar leads us to knowledge of the exemplate. But
there was no need for God to be led from something else to knowledge of
our predestination; since it is written (Rm. 8:29): "Whom He foreknew, He
also predestinated." Therefore Christ's predestination is not the
exemplar of ours.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[3] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, the exemplar is conformed to the exemplate. But Christ's
predestination seems to be of a different nature from ours: because we
are predestinated to the sonship of adoption, whereas Christ was
predestinated "Son of God in power," as is written (Rm. 1:4). Therefore
His predestination is not the exemplar of ours.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[3] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Praedest. Sanct. xv): "The Saviour
Himself, the Mediator of God and men, the Man Christ Jesus is the most
splendid light of predestination and grace." Now He is called the light
of predestination and grace, inasmuch as our predestination is made
manifest by His predestination and grace; and this seems to pertain to
the nature of an exemplar. Therefore Christ's predestination is the
exemplar of ours.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[3] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, Predestination may be considered in two ways. First, on
the part of the act of predestination: and thus Christ's predestination
cannot be said to be the exemplar of ours: for in the same way and by the
same eternal act God predestinated us and Christ.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[3] Body Para. 2/2

Secondly, predestination may be considered on the part of that to which
anyone is predestinated, and this is the term and effect of
predestination. In this sense Christ's predestination is the exemplar of
ours, and this in two ways. First, in respect of the good to which we are
predestinated: for He was predestinated to be the natural Son of God,
whereas we are predestinated to the adoption of sons, which is a
participated likeness of natural sonship. Whence it is written (Rm.
8:29): "Whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be made conformable to
the image of His Son." Secondly, in respect of the manner of obtaining
this good - that is, by grace. This is most manifest in Christ; because
human nature in Him, without any antecedent merits, was united to the Son
of God: and of the fulness of His grace we all have received, as it is
written (Jn. 1:16).

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[3] R.O. 1 Para. 1/2

Reply OBJ 1: This argument considers the aforesaid act of the
predestinator.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[3] R.O. 1 Para. 2/2

The same is to be said of the second objection.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[3] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: The exemplate need not be conformed to the exemplar in all
respects: it is sufficient that it imitate it in some.


Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[4] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether Christ's predestination is the cause of ours?

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[4] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that Christ's predestination is not the cause of
ours. For that which is eternal has no cause. But our predestination is
eternal. Therefore Christ's predestination is not the cause of ours.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[4] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, that which depends on the simple will of God has no
other cause but God's will. Now, our predestination depends on the simple
will of God, for it is written (Eph. 1:11): "Being predestinated
according to the purpose of Him, Who worketh all things according to the
counsel of His will." Therefore Christ's predestination is not the cause
of ours.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[4] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, if the cause be taken away, the effect is also taken
away. But if we take away Christ's predestination, ours is not taken
away; since even if the Son of God were not incarnate, our salvation
might yet have been achieved in a different manner, as Augustine says (De
Trin. xiii, 10). Therefore Christ's predestination is. not the cause of
ours.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[4] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, It is written (Eph. 1:5): "(Who) hath predestinated us
unto the adoption of children through Jesus Christ."

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[4] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, if we consider predestination on the part of the very act
of predestinating, then Christ's predestination is not the cause of ours;
because by one and the same act God predestinated both Christ and us. But
if we consider predestination on the part of its term, thus Christ's
predestination is the cause of ours: for God, by predestinating from
eternity, so decreed our salvation, that it should be achieved through
Jesus Christ. For eternal predestination covers not only that which is to
be accomplished in time, but also the mode and order in which it is to be
accomplished in time.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[4] Body Para. 2/2

Replies OBJ 1 and 2: These arguments consider predestination on the part
of the act of predestinating.

Aquin.: SMT TP Q[24] A[4] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: If Christ were not to have been incarnate, God would have
decreed men's salvation by other means. But since He decreed the
Incarnation of Christ, He decreed at the same time that He should be the
cause of our salvation.





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