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Summa Theologica by Aquinas

Whether in Christ there was the gift of fear?

Objection 1: It would seem that in Christ there was not the gift of fear. For hope would seem to be stronger than fear; since the object of hope is goodness, and of fear, evil. as was said above (FS, Q, A; FS, Q, A). But in Christ there was not the virtue of hope, as was said above (A). Hence, likewise, there was not the gift of fear in Him.

Objection 2: Further, by the gift of fear we fear either to be separated from God, which pertains to |chaste| fear -- -or to be punished by Him, which pertains to |servile| fear, as Augustine says (In Joan. Tract. ix). But Christ did not fear being separated from God by sin, nor being punished by Him on account of a fault, since it was impossible for Him to sin, as will be said (Q, AA,2). Now fear is not of the impossible. Therefore in Christ there was not the gift of fear.

Objection 3: Further, it is written (1 Jn.4:18) that |perfect charity casteth out fear.| But in Christ there was most perfect charity, according to Eph.3:19: |The charity of Christ which surpasseth all knowledge.| Therefore in Christ there was not the gift of fear.

On the contrary, It is written (Is.11:3): |And He shall be filled with the spirit of the fear of the Lord.|

I answer that, As was said above (FS, Q, A), fear regards two objects, one of which is an evil causing terror; the other is that by whose power an evil can be inflicted, as we fear the king inasmuch as he has the power of putting to death. Now whoever can hurt would not be feared unless he had a certain greatness of might, to which resistance could not easily be offered; for what we easily repel we do not fear. And hence it is plain that no one is feared except for some pre-eminence. And in this way it is said that in Christ there was the fear of God, not indeed as it regards the evil of separation from God by fault, nor as it regards the evil of punishment for fault; but inasmuch as it regards the Divine pre-eminence, on account of which the soul of Christ, led by the Holy Spirit, was borne towards God in an act of reverence. Hence it is said (Heb.5:7) that in all things |he was heard for his reverence.| For Christ as man had this act of reverence towards God in a fuller sense and beyond all others. And hence Scripture attributes to Him the fulness of the fear of the Lord.

Reply to Objection 1: The habits of virtues and gifts regard goodness properly and of themselves; but evil, consequently; since it pertains to the nature of virtue to render acts good, as is said Ethic. ii, 6. And hence the nature of the gift of fear regards not that evil which fear is concerned with, but the pre-eminence of that goodness, viz. of God, by Whose power evil may be inflicted. on the other hand, hope, as a virtue, regards not only the author of good, but even the good itself, as far as it is not yet possessed. And hence to Christ, Who already possessed the perfect good of beatitude, we do not attribute the virtue of hope, but we do attribute the gift of fear.

Reply to Objection 2: This reason is based on fear in so far as it regards the evil object.

Reply to Objection 3: Perfect charity casts out servile fear, which principally regards punishment. But this kind of fear was not in Christ.

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