In Chapter 10, Section 2 of the Westminster Confession, the subject matter is the effectual calling of God:
This effectual call is God's free and special grace alone, not from anything foreseen in man, who is altogether passive therein, until being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit, he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it.
In his book Truths We Confess, R.C. Sproul expands on this section, laying out the difference between monergism and synergism. Monergistic work is done by one person alone; synergistic work is co-operative. The work of salvation in the believer's heart is a monergistic work according to the Confession. There are those, of course, who do not believe the Confession, but rather believe that the individual demonstrates some sort of co-operation; his co-operation is that final 1%.
Sproul reminds us at the end of the chapter:
We enter the house of God as people who understand that once we were dead, and now we are alive. We were blind but now we see. We had no affection in our heart for the Lord Jesus Christ, and now our heart pants for the Lord even as a deer pants for the water brooks. This is not because we pulled ourselves up by our own bootstraps, but because God, in his great love and mercy that he has poured out upon us, has rescued us from the grave.
I remember distinctly the night I was converted. I had been reading the bible for the past number of weeks. I had questions. I wanted to ask the woman who gave me the bible to answer some questions, but it was only Wednesday and I would not see her until the weekend. I wandered around my house pre-occupied, wrestling with those questions. Finally, later that evening, I could not take it any longer. Questions or not, I wanted to be called one of Christ's. I bent by my bed, and in a very ineloquent prayer asked God to do to me whatever it took to make me belong to Him. I repented of my sinfulness and asked to be acceptable to Him.
I suppose some would say I "co-operated" by praying. But who gave me the desire to pray? Who was compelling me to? I had been thinking about it for quite a while; why that night?
I know spiritually blind people. One whom I've known a very long time is very polite when we talk of spiritual things. She doesn't object, she nods her head, and she is very agreeable. But she is blind. She does not see her need, and she does not become agitated when the reality of sin is discussed. I can see in her eyes that she has no idea what I'm talking about. Perhaps her time is coming. Perhaps she will have her eyes opened somewhere down the line. For now, it is not a matter of her resisting God's grace. She simply isn't seeing or hearing it.
When I look back at what I was like before I was converted, I see my blindness. I knew there was a problem, alright, but I had no idea what it was. I needed to have my eyes opened to what the situation was. That night, twenty-nine years ago, my eyes were opened to my sin. I was blind no longer. I was compelled to believe. Those words in my bible cried out for a response in a way they had not before.
This, like Sproul says, should generate gratitude. It should squash my pride and self-sufficiency. It seems to me that believing that I had some sort of role in my own salvation interferes with real gratitude. From death to life; from blindness to sight. It was all of God.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ -- by grace you have been saved. (Eph. 2:4-5)