That is not the relationship between God and man.
This gives a problem, of course, for the individual Calvinist, I. e., the question: Is he elected? What gives us the assurance of election? And so the looking for the criteria, the marks, of election starts. And Calvin finds some of them: the first and decisive of course is the inner relationship of God in the act of faith. But there is also the blessing of God, the moral high standing of someone – which are all symptoms.
Now psychologically this brought a situation in which the individual was not able to get certainty except in producing the marks of certainty, namely a moral life and an economic blessing. And this means he tried to become a good bourgeois industrial citizen, and believed that if he were this, then had marks of his predestination. Of course, theology knew that predestination never can be caused by such actions. But if they are there, then you can have certainty. And this was the danger of this theology of the marks of predestination.
It is remarkable how little Calvin has to say about the Divine love. The Divine glory replaces the Divine love. And if he speaks of the Divine love, it is love towards those who are elected. But the universality of the Divine love is denied, and the demonic negation, the split of the world, has in Calvin a kind of eternity, through his doctrine of double predestination. Therefore this is a doctrine which contradicts the doctrine of the Divine love as sustaining everything that is, a doctrine which Dante still knew when he wrote, at the entrance of Hell, in his Divina Comedia., “I also have been created by Divine love.” But if something is created by Divine love, then it is not eternal condemnation.
Now there are many discussions in Calvin about the doctrine of the Christian life. I only want to make a few statements about it. “When they explain vivification of that joy which the mind experiences after its perturbations and fears are allayed, I cannot coincide with them (I. e. , with Luther) since it should rather signify an ardent desire and endeavor to live a holy and pious life, as though it were said that a man dies to himself that he may begin to live to God.” For Luther the new life is a joyful reunion with God; for Calvin it is the attempt to fulfill the law of God in terms of a Christian life. And the summary of the Christian life is self-denial and not love. It is departing from ourselves. “0h, how great a proficiency has that man made who, having been taught that he is not his own, has taken the sovereignty and government of himself from his own reason, to surrender it to God.” Luther’s fragmentary up and down, ecstasy and despair, is not what describes the Christian life in Calvin. The Christian life is a line upwards. exercised in methodical stages. And this gives to the whole type a quite different form.