Summa Th. III EN Qu.22 a.5
Objection: 1. It would seem that the priesthood of Christ does not endure for ever. For as stated above (Article , ad 1,3) those alone need the effect of the priesthood who have the weakness of sin, which can be expiated by the priest's sacrifice. But this will not be for ever. For in the Saints there will be no weakness, according to Is 60,21: "Thy people shall be all just": while no expiation will be possible for the weakness of sin, since "there is no redemption in hell" (Office of the Dead, Resp. vii). Therefore the priesthood of Christ endures not for ever.
2. Further, the priesthood of Christ was made manifest most of all in His passion and death, when "by His own blood He entered into the Holies" (He 9,12). But the passion and death of Christ will not endure for ever, as stated Rm 6,9: "Christ rising again from the dead, dieth now no more." Therefore the priesthood of Christ will not endure for ever.
3. Further, Christ is a priest, not as God, but as man. But at one time Christ was not man, namely during the three days He lay dead. Therefore the priesthood of Christ endures not for ever.
On the contrary It is written (Ps 109,4): "Thou art a priest for ever."
I answer that In the priestly office, we may consider two things: first, the offering of the sacrifice; secondly, the consummation of the sacrifice, consisting in this, that those for whom the sacrifice is offered, obtain the end of the sacrifice. Now the end of the sacrifice which Christ offered consisted not in temporal but in eternal good, which we obtain through His death, according to He 9,11: "Christ is [Vulg.: 'being come'] a high-priest of the good things to come"; for which reason the priesthood of Christ is said to be eternal. Now this consummation of Christ's sacrifice was foreshadowed in this, that the high-priest of the Old Law, once a year, entered into the Holy of Holies with the blood of a he-goat and a calf, as laid down, Lv 16,11, and yet he offered up the he-goat and calf not within the Holy of Holies, but without. In like manner Christ entered into the Holy of Holies---that is, into heaven---and prepared the way for us, that we might enter by the virtue of His blood, which He shed for us on earth.
Reply to Objection: 1. The Saints who will be in heaven will not need any further expiation by the priesthood of Christ, but having expiated, they will need consummation through Christ Himself, on Whom their glory depends, as is written (Ap 21,23): "The glory of God hath enlightened it"---that is, the city of the Saints---"and the Lamb is the lamp thereof."
2. Although Christ's passion and death are not to be repeated, yet the virtue of that Victim endures for ever, for, as it is written (He 10,14), "by one oblation He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."
3. Wherefore the reply to the third objection is clear.As to the unity of this sacrifice, it was foreshadowed in the Law in that, once a year, the high-priest of the Law entered into the Holies, with a solemn oblation of blood, as set down, Lv 16,11. But the figure fell short of the reality in this, that the victim had not an everlasting virtue, for which reason those sacrifices were renewed every year.
Objection: 1. It would seem that Christ's priesthood was not according to the order of Melchisedech. For Christ is the fountain-head of the entire priesthood, as being the principal priest. Now that which is principal is not . secondary in regard to others, but others are secondary in its regard. Therefore Christ should not be called a priest according to the order of Melchisedech.
2. Further, the priesthood of the Old Law was more akin to Christ's priesthood than was the priesthood that existed before the Law. But the nearer the sacraments were to Christ, the more clearly they signified Him; as is clear from what we have said in the SS, Question , Article . Therefore the priesthood of Christ should be denominated after the priesthood of the Law, rather than after the order of Melchisedech, which was before the Law.
3. Further, it is written (He 7,2-3): "That is 'king of peace,' without father, without mother, without genealogy; having neither beginning of days nor ending of life": which can be referred only to the Son of God. Therefore Christ should not be called a priest according to the order of Melchisedech, as of some one else, but according to His own order.
On the contrary It is written (Ps 109,4): "Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech."
I answer that As stated above (Article , ad 3) the priesthood of the Law was a figure of the priesthood of Christ, not as adequately representing the reality, but as falling far short thereof: both because the priesthood of the Law did not wash away sins, and because it was not eternal, as the priesthood of Christ. Now the excellence of Christ's over the Levitical priesthood was foreshadowed in the priesthood of Melchisedech, who received tithes from Abraham, in whose loins the priesthood of the Law was tithed. Consequently the priesthood of Christ is said to be "according to the order of Melchisedech," on account of the excellence of the true priesthood over the figural priesthood of the Law.
Reply to Objection: 1. Christ is said to be according to the order of Melchisedech not as though the latter were a more excellent priest, but because he foreshadowed the excellence of Christ's over the Levitical priesthood.
2. Two things may be considered in Christ's priesthood: namely, the offering made by Christ, and (our) partaking thereof. As to the actual offering, the priesthood of Christ was more distinctly foreshadowed by the priesthood of the Law, by reason of the shedding of blood, than by the priesthood of Melchisedech in which there was no blood-shedding. But if we consider the participation of this sacrifice and the effect thereof, wherein the excellence of Christ's priesthood over the priesthood of the Law principally consists, then the former was more distinctly foreshadowed by the priesthood of Melchisedech, who offered bread and wine, signifying, as Augustine says (Tract. xxvi in Joan.) ecclesiastical unity, which is established by our taking part in the sacrifice of Christ [*Cf. Question , Article ]. Wherefore also in the New Law the true sacrifice of Christ is presented to the faithful under the form of bread and wine.
3. Melchisedech is described as "without father, without mother, without genealogy," and as "having neither beginning of days nor ending of life," not as though he had not these things, but because these details in his regard are not supplied by Holy Scripture. And this it is that, as the Apostle says in the same passage, he is "likened unto the Son of God," Who had no earthly father, no heavenly mother, and no genealogy, according to Is 53,8: "Who shall declare His generation?" and Who in His Godhead has neither beginning nor end of days.
We must now come to consider whether adoption befits Christ: and under this head there are four points of inquiry:
(1) Whether it is fitting that God should adopt sons?
(2) Whether this is fitting to God the Father alone?
(3) Whether it is proper to man to be adopted to the sonship of God?
(4) Whether Christ can be called the adopted Son?
Objection: 1. It would seem that it is not fitting that God should adopt sons. For, as jurists say, no one adopts anyone but a stranger as his son. But no one is a stranger in relation to God, Who is the Creator of all. Therefore it seems unfitting that God should adopt.
2. Further, adoption seems to have been introduced in default of natural sonship. But in God there is natural sonship, as set down in the FP, Question , Article . Therefore it is unfitting that God should adopt.
3. Further, the purpose of adopting anyone is that he may succeed, as heir, the person who adopts him. But it does not seem possible for anyone to succeed God as heir, for He can never die. Therefore it is unfitting that God should adopt.
On the contrary It is written (Ep 1,5) that "He hath predestinated us unto the adoption of children of God." But the predestination of God is not ineffectual. Therefore God does adopt some as His sons.
I answer that A man adopts someone as his son forasmuch as out of goodness he admits him as heir to his estate. Now God is infinitely good: for which reason He admits His creatures to a participation of good things; especially rational creatures, who forasmuch as they are made to the image of God, are capable of Divine beatitude. And this consists in the enjoyment of God, by which also God Himself is happy and rich in Himself---that is, in the enjoyment of Himself. Now a man's inheritance is that which makes him rich. Wherefore, inasmuch as God, of His goodness, admits men to the inheritance of beatitude, He is said to adopt them. Moreover Divine exceeds human adoption, forasmuch as God, by bestowing His grace, makes man whom He adopts worthy to receive the heavenly inheritance; whereas man does not make him worthy whom he adopts; but rather in adopting him he chooses one who is already worthy.
Reply to Objection: 1. Considered in his nature man is not a stranger in respect to God, as to the natural gifts bestowed on him: but he is as to the gifts of grace and glory; in regard to which he is adopted.
2. Man works in order to supply his wants: not so God, Who works in order to communicate to others the abundance of His perfection. Wherefore, as by the work of creation the Divine goodness is communicated to all creatures in a certain likeness, so by the work of adoption the likeness of natural sonship is communicated to men, according to Rm 8,29: "Whom He foreknew . . . to be made conformable to the image of His Son."
3. Spiritual goods can be possessed by many at the same time; not so material goods. Wherefore none can receive a material inheritance except the successor of a deceased person: whereas all receive the spiritual inheritance at the same time in its entirety without detriment to the ever-living Father.Yet it might be said that God ceases to be, according as He is in us by faith, so as to begin to be in us by vision, as a gloss says on Rm 8,17: "If sons, heirs also."
Objection: 1. It would seem unfitting that the whole Trinity should adopt. For adoption is said of God in likeness to human custom. But among men those only adopt who can beget: and in God this can be applied only to the Father. Therefore in God the Father alone can adopt.
2. Further, by adoption men become the brethren of Christ, according to Rm 8,29: "That He might be the first-born among many brethren." Now brethren are the sons of the same father; wherefore our Lord says (Jn 20,17): "I ascend to My Father and to your Father." Therefore Christ's Father alone has adopted sons.
3. Further, it is written (Ga 4,4-6): "God sent His Son . . . that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because you are sons of God, God hath sent the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying: 'Abba' [Father]." Therefore it belongs to Him to adopt, Who has the Son and the Holy Ghost. But this belongs to the Father alone. Therefore it befits the Father alone to adopt.
On the contrary It belongs to Him to adopt us as sons, Whom we can call Father; whence it is written (Rm 8,15): "You have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry: 'Abba' [Father]." But when we say to God, "Our Father," we address the whole Trinity: as is the case with the other names which are said of God in respect of creatures, as stated in the FP, Question , Article , Objection ; cf. FP, Question , Article . Therefore to adopt is befitting to the whole Trinity.
I answer that There is this difference between an adopted son of God and the natural Son of God, that the latter is "begotten not made"; whereas the former is made, according to Jn 1,12: "He gave them power to be made the sons of God." Yet sometimes the adopted son is said to be begotten, by reason of the spiritual regeneration which is by grace, not by nature; wherefore it is written (Jc 1,18): "Of His own will hath He begotten us by the word of truth." Now although, in God, to beget belongs to the Person of the Father, yet to produce any effect in creatures is common to the whole Trinity, by reason of the oneness of their Nature: since, where there is one nature, there must needs be one power and one operation: whence our Lord says (Jn 5,19): "What things soever the Father doth, these the Son also doth in like manner." Therefore it belongs to the whole Trinity to adopt men as sons of God.
Reply to Objection: 1. All human individuals are not of one individual nature, so that there need be one operation and one effect of them all, as is the case in God. Consequently in this respect no comparison is possible.
2. By adoption we are made the brethren of Christ, as having with Him the same Father: Who, nevertheless, is His Father in one way, and ours in another. Whence pointedly our Lord says, separately, "My Father," and "Your Father" (Jn 20,17). For He is Christ's Father by natural generation; and this is proper to Him: whereas He is our Father by a voluntary operation, which is common to Him and to the Son and Holy Ghost: so that Christ is not the Son of the whole Trinity, as we are.
3. As stated above (Article , ad 2), adoptive sonship is a certain likeness of the eternal Sonship: just as all that takes place in time is a certain likeness of what has been from eternity. Now man is likened to the splendor of the Eternal Son by reason of the light of grace which is attributed to the Holy Ghost. Therefore adoption, though common to the whole Trinity, is appropriated to the Father as its author; to the Son, as its exemplar; to the Holy Ghost, as imprinting on us the likeness of this exemplar.
Objection: 1. It would seem that it is not proper to the rational nature to be adopted. For God is not said to be the Father of the rational creature, save by adoption. But God is called the Father even of the irrational creature, according to Jb 38,28: "Who is father of the rain? Or who begot the drops of dew?" Therefore it is not proper to the rational creature to be adopted.
2. Further, by reason of adoption some are called sons of God. But to be sons of God seems to be properly attributed by the Scriptures to the angels; according to Jb 1,6: "On a certain day when the sons of God came to stand before the Lord." Therefore it is not proper to the rational creature to be adopted.
3. Further, whatever is proper to a nature, belongs to all that have that nature: just as risibility belongs to all men. But to be adopted does not belong to every rational nature. Therefore it is not proper to human nature.
On the contrary Adopted sons are the "heirs of God," as is stated Rm 8,17. But such an inheritance belongs to none but the rational nature. Therefore it is proper to the rational nature to be adopted.
I answer that As stated above (Article , ad 3), the sonship of adoption is a certain likeness of natural sonship. Now the Son of God proceeds naturally from the Father as the Intellectual Word, in oneness of nature with the Father. To this Word, therefore, something may be likened in three ways. First, on the part of the form but not on the part of its intelligibility: thus the form of a house already built is like the mental word of the builder in its specific form, but not in intelligibility, because the material form of a house is not intelligible, as it was in the mind of the builder. In this way every creature is like the Eternal Word; since it was made through the Word. Secondly, the creature is likened to the Word, not only as to its form, but also as to its intelligibility: thus the knowledge which is begotten in the disciple's mind is likened to the word in the mind of the master. In this way the rational creature, even in its nature, is likened to the Word of God. Thirdly, a creature is likened to the Eternal Word, as to the oneness of the Word with the Father, which is by reason of grace and charity: wherefore our Lord prays (Jn 17,21-22): "That they may be one in Us . . . as We also are one." And this likeness perfects the adoption: for to those who are thus like Him the eternal inheritance is due. It is therefore clear that to be adopted belongs to the rational creature alone: not indeed to all, but only to those who have charity; which is "poured forth in our hearts by the Holy Ghost" (Rm 5,5); for which reason (Rm 8,15) the Holy Ghost is called "the Spirit of adoption of sons."
Reply to Objection: 1. God is called the Father of the irrational creature, not properly speaking, by reason of adoption, but by reason of creation; according to the first-mentioned participation of likeness.
2. Angels are called sons of God by adoptive sonship, not that it belongs to them first; but because they were the first to receive the adoption of sons.
3. Adoption is a property resulting not from nature, but from grace, of which the rational nature is capable. Therefore it need not belong to every rational nature: but every rational creature must needs be capable of adoption.
Objection: 1. It would seem that Christ as man is the adopted Son of God. For Hilary says (De Trin. ii) speaking of Christ: "The dignity of power is not forfeited when carnal humanity [*Some editions read 'humilitas'---'the humility or lowliness of the flesh'] is adopted." Therefore Christ as man is the adopted Son of God.
2. Further, Augustine says (De Praedest. Sanct. xv) that "by the same grace that Man is Christ, as from the birth of faith every man is a Christian." But other men are Christians by the grace of adoption. Therefore this Man is Christ by adoption: and consequently He would seem to be an adopted son.
3. Further, Christ, as man, is a servant. But it is of greater dignity to be an adopted son than to be a servant. Therefore much more is Christ, as man, an adopted Son.
On the contrary Ambrose says (De Incarn. viii): "We do not call an adopted son a natural son: the natural son is a true son." But Christ is the true and natural Son of God, according to 1Jn 5,20: "That we may . . . be in His true Son, Jesus Christ." Therefore Christ, as Man, is not an adopted Son.
I answer that Sonship belongs properly to the hypostasis or person, not to the nature; whence in the FP, Question , Article  we have stated that Filiation is a personal property. Now in Christ there is no other than the uncreated person or hypostasis, to Whom it belongs by nature to be the Son. But it has been said above (Article , ad 2), that the sonship of adoption is a participated likeness of natural sonship: nor can a thing be said to participate in what it has essentially. Therefore Christ, Who is the natural Son of God, can nowise be called an adopted Son.But according to those who suppose two persons or two hypostases or two supposita in Christ, no reason prevents Christ being called the adopted Son of God.
Reply to Objection: 1. As sonship does not properly belong to the nature, so neither does adoption. Consequently, when it is said that "carnal humanity is adopted," the expression is metaphorical: and adoption is used to signify the union of human nature to the Person of the Son.
2. This comparison of Augustine is to be referred to the principle because, to wit, just as it is granted to any man without meriting it to be a Christian, so did it happen that this man without meriting it was Christ. But there is a difference on the part of the term: because by the grace of union Christ is the natural Son; whereas another man by habitual grace is an adopted son. Yet habitual grace in Christ does not make one who was not a son to be an adopted son, but is a certain effect of Filiation in the soul of Christ, according to Jn 1,14: "We saw His glory . . . as it were of the Only-begotten of the Father; full of grace and truth."
3. To be a creature, as also to be subservient or subject to God, regards not only the person, but also the nature: but this cannot be said of sonship. Wherefore the comparison does not hold.
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?
Objection: 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 Ep 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 (Question , Article ). Therefore it is not fitting that Christ be predestinated.
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, Question , Articles ,5. Therefore Christ was not predestinated to be the Son of God.
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."
On the contrary The Apostle says, speaking of Christ (Rm 1,4): "Who was predestinated the Son of God in power."
I answer that As is clear from what has been said in the FP, Question , Articles ,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.
Reply to Objection: 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.
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.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."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.
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.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."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."
Objection: 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.
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.
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."
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."
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."
Reply to Objection: 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.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.
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.
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."
Objection: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.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).
Reply to Objection: 1. This argument considers the aforesaid act of the predestinator.
2. The same is to be said of the second objection.
3. The exemplate need not be conformed to the exemplar in all respects: it is sufficient that it imitate it in some.
Summa Th. III EN Qu.22 a.5