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Whether Gratuitous Grace is Rightly Divided by the Apostle?

Updated: Sep 28, 2022

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N.b., most commentators place A4 after A1 and return back to A2 later. I will be following this division.


Collect: O God who dost give unto thy ministers the gifts of gratuitous grace, pour upon us those gifts requisite to defend and propagate the faith, through Christ our Lord. Amen.


In the Sed Contra, St. Thomas merely cites the authority of the Apostle. He treats this text scholastically here as a Locus Classicus on the question, to read it in an exegetical context, see his commentary on the matter:

In the Respondeo, he shows the fittingness of what is presented by the apostle. As a brief note, this article shows par excellence the nature of the scholastic method. It does two things, first, it seeks an understanding of those things received by faith, second, it also shows the harmony of the thing with the entirety of revelation.

First, he recapitulates the nature of gratuitous grace, i.e., that it is something bringing others to God. He then draws a certain conclusion based on the nature of conversion, i.e., that the graces would be directed externally, not inwardly (since God can only move interiorly).

Then, he applies his knowledge of natural teaching in order to draw certain conclusions about divine teaching. In order to achieve his end, man would be required to have the gifts proper to, 1. Knowing, 2. Proving, and 3. Communicating.

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