Men bring the gospel unto lost sinners and thus present it to them EXTERNALLY. God uses such instruments to bring the gospel knowledge UNTO men. However, no instrumental means can CREATE the "light of knowledge" within a darkened heart. Only God can operate in that INTERNAL sphere of man. In my exposition of Ephesians 2:8-10 I attempt to establish that saving faith involves human messengers bringing the gospel UNTO the lost but it is God that CREATES faith within the darkened heart of the elect by His own will. Ephesians 2:8 and the phrase "by grace are ye saved" represents a particular Greek construction that grammarians call a "periphrastic construct" which involves the use of a regular verb with a present tense linking verb. In this case the regular verb is a perfect tense verb translated "saved" and demands a completed action already completed and continues to stand completed up to the present time. So a more literall interpetation of this perfect tense verb would be "having once been saved and continues to be saved. This perfect tense is then joined with a present tense linking verb translated "are" which intensifies the present completed state of salvation. In context, this phrase "by grace are ye aved" has been introduced in verse five to describe the act of quickening: 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved). Again verse 5 is further descriptive of verse 1 where the same contrast was made between previous dead in sins to divine quickening: And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Therefore, "saved" in verses 5 and 8 refers to the act of divine quickening. Furthermore, this same "saved" completed action in verse 5 is negatively defined to be "not of yourselves...not of works" but then positively defined to be a "gift of God" and "his workmanship created in Christ Jesus in verses 8b-10a. Thus quickening is an act of grace, it is being "saved" as a completed action, and is divine quickening which is a creative work of God. All these other verbs are Aorist in tense denoting a punctilliar completed action thus complimentary with the perfect tense completed action. It is this perfect tense completed and punctillar action that was accomplished as a creative work of God "through faith" demanding that "through faith" was contemporaneous or simeltaneous with that completed action or it could not have occurred "through" it as the "it" was not a progressive action. This corresponds with 2 Cor. 4:6 describing the necessary "substance" (Heb. 11:1a) of faith as a creative work of God. God called into existence light by a divine command according to Paul in 2 Cor. 4:6: 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, TO GIVE the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Here is a direct and explicit statement by Paul that explains how "the light of knowledge" which is the "substance" and "hope" of which faith consists comes into the darkened heart of a lost person. It comes by divine fiat or by an express creative command of God and therefore "we are HIS WORKMANSHIP CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS" (Eph. 2:10). Hence, faith is a created act of God within the darkened heart called quickening as the very "light of knowledge" spoken into existence by the creative act of God is the "substance" and is the "hope' of which faith consists. Thus, when Jesus told Peter, "flesh and blood hath NOT REVEALED" the substance of saving knowledge "but my Father which is in heaven." He is not denying the use of external means but He is denying that this internal revelation to Peter was produced by external human means, and he is saying that faith is "a gift of God" as a creative act by God that quickens the dead sinner and thus a supernatural divine revelation by God that brings life out of death and reverses the unregenerate condition as described in Ephesians 4:18. This creative act is called QUICKENING as this is the creation of inner light of knowledge which is "life" (Jn. 1:4) eternal (Jn. 17:3) and thus quickening and faith are inseparably in this creative action by God. No human being can create anything much less put such knowledge into a darkened heart. __________________ To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. - Isa. 8:20 Isa 48:8 Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened: for I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb. Acts 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.