….. I would like simply to set out several markers where the revealed word on predestination arrests us and in which we perceive once again how election and faith are linked.
The elect ones, the believers in election, are those who are truly on their guard. Not because they could be robbed of God’s election, but because there is always a risk, as was the case for Israel, of transforming God’s election into their possession. They do not watch over their treasure in a miserly manner, they rather look for the Kingdom of God and his righteousness. They make sure that their election is not confused with feeling elected, and that their faith in election does not exempt them from focusing on those things that are above. They are really careful, those who stay upright, looking to the God who elects, so as not to fall, looking downward at themselves. They keep watch, and they never cease to be vigilant. “Happy the servant whose master finds them vigilant.”
The elect ones, the ones who believe in election truly pray. The last word of election is in God. They ask God to deliver his verdict as far as they and others are concerned. Why would they not pray if everything did not depend in the end uniquely on God? How would they not pray if they did not truly believe in God over whom they have no rights nor any authority? They truly pray. And they know that all true prayer is given to them by the Spirit; they know that all prayer given by the Spirit is so that we can ask for the Holy Spirit. They gain no access to God’s counsel apart from their true prayer, and the prayer of Jesus Christ who intercedes. But that access is truly theirs.
The elect ones, the believers in election, truly obey. Not just in singing hymns or by their spirituality, but in a visible concrete immediate manifestation which is a vocation. They only know their election in the call of God to obedience. They only hear the ultimate word, the one that belongs to the Lord, for if this word is the word of a Lord, it is an order that must be straightaway carried out.
Regarding the elect ones, three times I have used the adverb truly—truly watch, truly pray, truly obey. It is in the honesty of this truly that God’s decision joins ours, that God’s election is our faith.
. Translator’s note: Literally “ who truly watch.”