Not willing to resist the Holy Spirit’s calling to pick up my quill and write, I humbly submit A Tale of Two Faiths for those curious souls who ponder the truth of the eternal question, ‘What’s faith got to do with it?’ Christian: Hello there, friend. I see by the color of your cloak, the golden cross around your neck and the thick black Bible book under your arm that you are a Christian Preacher Man. Preacher Man: Indeed, that is true. You have large discernment, friend. Christian: I also take it you have had years of professional Bible training, whereby you have earned a diploma signifying you are an approved Preacher and Teacher of God’s Holy Word……a man to be trusted. Preacher Man: Top of my class with honors, sir. Christian: And yet you believe and teach that your faith was not the gift of God? Preacher Man: All men have faith. Faith is innate in all men. Therefore, it cannot be God’s gift to men. Christian: The question is not whether unregenerate men have fleshly faith. That is a given. It is the only faith possible for them. The question pertains to saving faith…..righteous faith which justifies. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness. It is this righteous, justifying faith which is in contention. You dare to confess that you were born again after you believed. Preacher Man: I proudly confess it. Christian: You claim to have produced righteous, justifying saving faith as an unregenerate, dead to God, blind and deaf to the truth-idolatrous-whoremongering rebel? Preacher Man: That’s right. So? Christian: Then God must be a liar. For Jesus teaches the impossibility of unregenerate man producing anything good which is pleasing to God. Have you not heard that they that are in the flesh cannot please God? To prove His point Jesus uses many metaphors including this parable: And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. 37 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. 38 But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. 39 No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better. Preacher Man: So? What has this to do with me? Christian: You claim God accepted your profane fleshly faith and patched it into His glorious regal robe of righteousness which you now presume to wear? Preposterous. Have you never heard the expression: ‘Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape.’ God is holier than Charlton Heston. He will not tolerate His perfect righteousness patched with your flawed filthy faith. Furthermore, your unregenerate heart is the old bottle which cannot hold the fruit of the Spirit. The new wine of the Spirit must needs a new heart/bottle. Only the gracious power of God can make such a change. Have you not heard of Jesus changing the water to wine? That, my friend, is not only the first miracle performed by Jesus, but it was the first miracle which anticipated the miracle of His Elect Bride’s regeneration. The last verse of this parable is particularly telling: 39 No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better. The natural unregenerate man does not desire the new wine of a holy God. He prefers his old wine: the stinking wine of his old sinful, rotten fleshly fruit. What say you now, Preacher Man? Preacher Man: I say you are interpreting the Scriptures as allegory created by the heretic Origen. Good day, sir!