Scripture Reading: Rom. 9:15-16; John 1:12-13; 3:16
Dwight Lyman Moody once said that "the whosoever wills are the elect, and the whosoever wont's are the non-elect!" This is certainly true. The human will does play an important part in personal salvation. But the problem which ultimately must be faced when one deals with the sovereignty of God must touch on this matter of what place man's will plays--if any.
Now there are two extremes to avoid. One is that since God is sovereign, and since man cannot save himself at all, then man has no part at all in salvation. That is, God will save him without any action on his part. The other extreme is that God cannot and will not save anyone unless he is willing to be saved.
In between these extremes we believe the truth lies. It is true that the sinner is "dead in trespasses and sins" therefore cannot, of himself, take one step toward God and salvation. It is also true that God has given man a will, and He respects that will. Yet due to the fact that the depravity of the human nature has also crippled the will, God must first move and work in the sinner to make him willing to be saved! This is what Christ meant when He said, "No man can come unto me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him" (John 6:44). This is also what is meant in John 1:12-13: "But as many as received Him (Christ), to them gave He power, (authority) to become the sons of God (children of God), even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." Therefore, as Romans 9:16 states, "it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy."
Hence, how beautiful it all works out. Of my own will, I did not want God or His salvation (Christ). But He wooed me and drew me, with love and power and gave me the willingness to receive Christ into my life! Bless the Lord, oh, my soul!
In the total expanse of human life there is not a square inch of which the Christ, who alone is sovereign, does not declare, "That is mine!" -- Abraham Kuyper