I am often frustrated with the Calvinistic overview that people bring nothing to the table as to salvation because no one disagrees with this concept. I have long used the analogy that we have to get ourselves to the table, but it is God who has prepared and will serve the feast. People have to be willing to be saved … at least that is my contention. Calvinists, on the other hand, are adamant that people can’t ‘locate’ the table much less realize that everything we need is on that table due to total depravity and unconditional election. That is, Calvinists believe people are so depraved that they are unable to seek out God. And therefore, Calvinists believe that it is God who must decide who will sit at the table and subsequently steer people toward the table.
I saw the below post on a FB forum. It makes so much logical sense and, to me, ties the apparently discordant scriptural references together into a cohesive and persuasive argument.
Salvation: Our Choice but Not Our Doing
That salvation is not our doing is frequently conflated in Christian circles to mean the same thing as not our choice. This conflation is more commonly found with Calvinists as they seek to deny human freewill to choose moral good in any form.
Scripture clearly teaches that salvation is not our doing, meaning it’s not our work. It however does not teach that it is not our decision to make.
Everyone lost is required to express the desire to be saved before he would be saved. This is what freewill is about. It is what the divine requirement for us to repent and believe is all about.
As sick persons, to be treated and get well is a choice within our right to embrace or reject. No physician has the right to override a patient and make this decision for them. God similarly has chosen not to exercise himself for lost persons in this regard.
Making the choice to be treated has no power of itself to get one well. The treatment that makes us well is the work and administration of another. This is what really saves.
If we have the desire to be treated (saved) but lack the treatment (salvation) potent enough to treat us and have no physician (Savior) willing to administer the treatment, it matters not the intensity of our desire or willingness to be treated, we [will] die in our sickness.
This is what Scripture means when it says:
Rom 9:16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.
In other words, while we have to express a desire or willingness to be saved and actively demonstrate this desire toward God for him to save us, our being saved by God is not down to our willingness or our demonstration of it. God has to show merciful regard for our willingness if we would be saved. If we are willing to be saved, but God is not willing to save us, [then] our willingness is nothing but a vain thing.
Attribution: Boluwade Kujero wrote this in the FB forum Soteriology 101 Discussion