For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
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Augustine of Hippo
Just as a man would not have wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of God unless, according to the prophet’s words, he had received “the spirit of wisdom and of understanding, of counsel and of fortitude, of knowledge and of godliness, and of fear of God,” and just as he would not have power and love and sobriety, except by receiving the Spirit of whom the apostle speaks, “We have not received the spirit of fear but of power and love and sobriety,” so also he would not have faith unless he received the spirit of faith. .
Of fear. Of a cowardly fear, and want of courage.
Of sobriety. Though the Protestants here translate of a sound mind, yet they translate the same Greek word by sobriety in divers other places, as in Acts xxvi. 25; 1 Timothy ii. 9 and 15. and chap. iii. 2; Titus i. 8. (Witham)
Therefore there are two degrees of fear. The one is for beginners—that is, for those who are still under the yoke and under servile dread. In regard to this it is said, “The slave shall fear his master.” And in the Gospel, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know what his master is doing.” And consequently he says, “The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever.” For he is instructing us to pass from the fear of punishment to the fullest freedom of love and to the confidence of the friends and sons of God. And the blessed apostle, who had long since passed beyond the degree of servile fear, thanks to the power of the Lord’s love, disdains lower things and professes that he has been endowed with greater goods. –.
That is, we did not receive the Spirit, that we should shrink from exertion, but that we may speak with boldness. For to many He gives a spirit of fear, as we read in the wars of the Kings. A spirit of fear fell upon them. Exodus 15:16? That is, he infused terror into them. But to you He has given, on the contrary, a spirit of power, and of love toward Himself. This, then, is of grace, and yet not merely of grace, but when we have first performed our own parts. For the Spirit that makes us cry, Abba, Father, inspires us with love both towards Him, and towards our neighbor, that we may love one another. For love arises from power, and from not fearing. For nothing is so apt to dissolve love as fear, and a suspicion of treachery.
For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind: he calls a healthy state of the soul a sound mind, or it may mean sobriety of mind, or else a sobering of the mind, that we may be sober-minded, and that if any evil ...