Sermon: Genesis 25:19-34: The Older Shall Serve The Younger

Old Testament Reading: Genesis 25:19-34

“These are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham fathered Isaac, and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife. And Isaac prayed to the LORD for his wife, because she was barren. And the LORD granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. The children struggled together within her, and she said, ‘If it is thus, why is this happening to me?’ So she went to inquire of the LORD. And the LORD said to her, ‘Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.’ When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb. The first came out red, all his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau. Afterward his brother came out with his hand holding Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them. When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents. Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob. Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted. And Esau said to Jacob, ‘Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!’ (Therefore his name was called Edom.) Jacob said, ‘Sell me your birthright now.’ Esau said, ‘I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?’ Jacob said, ‘Swear to me now.’ So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.” (Genesis 25:19–34, ESV)

New Testament Reading: Hebrews 12:1–17

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? ‘My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.’ It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no ‘root of bitterness’ springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.” (Hebrews 12:1–17, ESV)


Introduction

A theme that has been developing in the book of Genesis ever since the account of the fall of man into sin is that God will accomplish his purposes in the world, not through the strong and powerful, but through those who are weak. Put differently, God determined to provide a way of salvation for fallen humanity, and this he would accomplish, not though those people and institutions that seem strong and impressive from the point of view of the world, but in and through those that the world esteems as small and insignificant. God’s established mode of operation is to use “what is foolish in the world to shame the wise… what is weak in the world to shame the strong… what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in” his presence… (1 Corinthians 1:26–31, ESV).

Consider the story of Cain and Able. Cain was the firstborn. According to the way of the world, he should have been the favored one. But God was pleased with Able, the younger of the two. When Cain rose up out of jealousy and pride and killed Able his brother, God rose up Seth to take his place so that the righteous line would be preserved through him. God used “what [was] weak in the world to shame the strong.”

Consider Noah. He alone was righteous in his day. He must have seemed so small and insignificant to the world around him. In fact, he must have seemed a bit odd as he invested so much into the construction of that ship, being warned by God of the impending watery judgement. They mocked him, I’m sure. He seemed like a fool to them. But it was through him that the human race was preserved, as well as the righteous line. God used “what [was] foolish in the world to shame the wise.”

Abram and Sarai were also unlikely candidates to be used of the LORD to fulfill his plans for redemption. They too were small and insignificant. They lived in the midst of an idolatrous people. Sarai was barren. And yet God choose them as his conduit of blessing to the nations. Through them and though their offspring the Savior of the world would come. God used “what [was] low and despised in the world, even things that [were] not, to bring to nothing things that are.”

If we were look ahead a bit in the story of redemption we would notice that this theme continues. It would be through Joseph, the youngest of Jacobs 12 sons that Israel would be preserved. Moses was to be put to death as an infant because he was a male born to the Hebrews while they were in bondage within Egypt. But God preserved him, raised him up, and used him despite his weakness to bring about that great act of deliverence that we now call the exodus. Consider King David. He too was the youngest of his brothers. He, unlike King Saul, was small in stature. And yet he was chosen by the LORD to be king.

And finally, consider Jesus the Christ himself. He was born to poor and insignificant parents. He lived a very common life. In fact his life was marked by trial and tribulation. When it came to his death, he died in a most inglorious way. Of course, here I am speaking of Christ as he seemed to the world. “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not” (Isaiah 53:3, ESV).

It is very important that we recognize this paradigm, friends. This is God’s way. When God carries out his purposes concerning the salvation of sinners, his mode of operation is to do so in and through the weak and the lowly. This is to show that it is he who is at work. This is to show that what he does, he does by his grace, and not because of something deserving within the creature.

And the very same thing is true in this New Covenant era. This is why Paul wrote to the Corinthians, saying, “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong…” etc. This was not a new idea that Paul came up with. Instead, he noticed that God’s way of operating in ages past was being continued in the last days. “God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God…” Indeed, this exhortation stands true: “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:26–31, ESV).

This theme is clearly at the heart of the story of Jacob and Esau which we are beginning to consider today. What we will discover is that neither of these men were paradigms of virtue who were worthy, in and of themselves, to serve as conduits of God grace to the world. Esau was a man driven by fleshly passion. Jacob was crafty and cunning. But the Lord, by his grace, determined to fulfill his redemptive purposes through Jacob, who was the most unlikely of the two, as it is written, “the older shall serve the younger.”


Twins Born To A Woman Once Barren

Let us begin by considering the story of the brith of Esau and Jacob. As we do we will learn that these twins were born to Rebekah, who was once barren.

In verse 19 we read, “These are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham fathered Isaac, and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife” (Genesis 25:19–20, ESV).

The words, “These are the generations of…” indicate that we are entering into a new section of the book of Genesis. After the prologue, Genesis is organized into ten family histories. A prolonged section was devoted to the family history of Terah, Abraham’s father (11:27-25:11). After that the family history of Ishmael, Abraham’s first born son, was briefly presented to us (25:12-18). And now we are considering the family history of Isaac, the son of promise. This section begins at 25:19 and will run all the way through to the end of chapter 35. The thing to notice is that Genesis highlights the righteous and chosen line through whom Israel, and ultimately the Christ, would come, and minimizes the non-elect lines. Their family histories are very brief, whereas the family histories of those chosen of God are expanded. Clearly, the point of the book of Genesis is to reveal our origins — the origin of the heavens and earth; the origin of men and angels; the origin of sin; and the origin of our redemption in Christ Jesus. This is why the book is called Genesis. It is a book about beginnings. Again, verses 19 reads, “These are the generations of Isaac…”, and there we learn that “Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah… to be his wife.” It would be through Isaac, and not Ishmael, that the promises of God concerning salvation for the nations would be fulfilled.

In verse 21 we read, “And Isaac prayed to the LORD for his wife, because she was barren. And the LORD granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived” (Genesis 25:21, ESV). It is important to remember that Sarah, Isaac’s mother, was barren. She struggled with her barrenness for many years. It wasn’t until she was 90 that she conceived and bore a son to Abraham. Great attention was drawn to Sarah’s barrenness in the Abraham story. Here we learn that Rebekah was also barren. And in verses 26 we learn that here barrenness lasted for 20 years! Moses does not give us the details, but we are to assume that those were difficult years, and that Isaac and Rebeka struggled to believe that God would keep his promises, just as Abraham and Sarah struggled with their barrenness.

A question that we should ask is, why the barrenness? Why did God ordain that the patriarchs marry women who were unable to bear to children? Certainly, the LORD could have had them marry women with fruitful wombs. And certainly, the LORD could have overturned their barren condition much sooner than he did — either immediately, after a month or two, or perhaps after a few years. But take special note. The LORD’s will was that Sarah remain barren until she was 90, and he left Rebekah in her barren condition for 20 years after her marriage to Isaac. Why did the LORD choose to do things this way?

Well, we should begin by admitting that the plans and purposes of God are oftentimes mysterious to us. When we ask questions like, why did God allow this or that to happen? The answer is often, we don’t know for sure. God has clearly revealed many things to us, but there are some things that remain a mystery.

But in this instance I believe it is safe to say that we know something of his purpose for the barrenness of Sarah and Rebekah. On a personal level, I’m am sure that the trial of barrenness was a test to their faith. We know this was the case for Sarah and Abraham, and it is safe to assume that the same was true for Isaac and Rebekah. Their faith was tested as they awaited the fulfillment of the promises of God concerning offspring. And when I say that their faith was tested, I mean that it was strengthened by the testing over time. These couples were drawn into a closer dependence upon God as they waited long for their promised offspring.

But it seems that the barrenness of Sarah and Rebekah were also permitted by God in order to send a message to those who would look in upon their stories. They were barren, so that their barrenness might be overcome by God. They were barren so that the power of God might be put on display as the he overcame their weakness.

When Sarah gave birth to Isaac after being barren till the age of 90, it was abundantly clear that it was the LORD who was at work. Humanly speaking, it was impossible for her to conceive. And yet the LORD visited her and enabled her to conceive so that his promises might be fulfilled. And the same was true of Rebekah. After 20 years barrenness in the marriage relationship, “Isaac prayed to the LORD for his wife… And the LORD granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived.” This was to show, among other things, that it was indeed the work of the LORD.

And this is purpose of miracles, isn’t it? To demonstrate that God is at work? When Christ made the lame to walk and the blind to see, it was to show that he was from God. When the Apostles healed the sick, it was a validation of their authority. They were uniquely sent from the LORD and their miricele workings testified to this. Miracles were signs indicating that it was God who was working in and through his people, and such was the case with Sarah and Rebekah. They were barren, but the LORD gave them offspring, in fulfillment to his promises.

[APPLICATION: Brothers and sisters, in some respects you and I are not at all like Sarah and Rebekah. They had a very special role to play in the outworking of God’s plan of salvation. Through them the nation of Israel, and ultimately the Christ, would come into the world. But in other respects we are very much like them. We, like they, know what it is to experience difficulty in this life and to ask the question, why, LORD? Why have you ordained that this thing happen? Or, why have you permitted this suffering? And while many of our questions will likely go unanswered in this life, one thing we can know for sure — if we belong to God through faith in Christ, our suffering, whatever form it may take, is not for nothing.

For one, it will be for God’s glory. Concerning some suffering Paul once wrote, “Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:8–10, ESV). God is glorified when we rely upon him in the midst of hardship.

Two, it will be for our ultimate good. “We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, ESV). This is why James says that we are to “Count it all joy… when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2–4, ESV).

Trials and tribulations are not naturally pleasant and joyful. But the one who is in Christ is able to step back from the tribulations of life to consider them with eyes of faith and in light of what God has revealed to us in his word. And having considered the trial from God’s point of view, the Christ follower is able then to count it joy, knowing that God will use the trial for his glory and our good.]

These twins, Esau and Jacob, were born to Rebekah who was once barren. But the barrenness was for a purpose. She and Isaac were tested and strengthened in the waiting, and the power of God was put on display, as he demonstrated that he is able to bring life from death, something out of nothing.


The Older Shall Serve the Younger

Let us now briefly consider the description of the birth of these twins, for what is said of them here sets the stage for the rest of the story of Esau and Jacob. As we do we will learn that older of the two was predestined to serve the younger.

In verse 22 we learn that “The children struggled together within [Rebekah]”. By the way, the word struggled is a strong word. It means to break, crush, or oppress. And so she said, “If it is thus, why is this happening to me?’” The NET Bible translates this odd phrase a little differently, saying, “But the children struggled inside her, and she said, ‘If it is going to be like this, I’m not so sure I want to be pregnant!’”. Either way, it is clear that the pregnancy was unusual and extremely uncomfortable for Rebekah. It felt as if there was a war raging within her womb! Snd so she went to inquire of the LORD.

And when she did, she received this oracle (verse 23): “And the LORD said to her, ‘Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger” (Genesis 25:23, ESV).

Notice that this was determined before the children were even born. As you know, Paul highlighted this fact as he presented his teaching on unconditional election. In others words, as he taught that God does in fact chose to save some and not others, and this, not on the basis of what those people will do or be, he used this passage to illustrate his teaching.

Listen carefully to Romans 9:6-16: “But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but ‘Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.’ This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. For this is what the promise said: ‘About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.’ And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— she was told, ‘The older will serve the younger.’ As it is written, ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.’” This little remark, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated”, is a reference to Malachi 1:2-3, where the LORD speaks to Israel through the prophet saying, “‘I have loved you,…’ But you say, ‘How have you loved us?’ ‘Is not Esau Jacob’s brother?’ declares the LORD. ‘Yet I have loved Jacob but Esau I have hated. I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert’” (Malachi 1:2–3, ESV). The teaching is plain. God set his love upon Jacob and his disfavor upon Esau before they were even born — before they themselves had done any good or evil. In other words, they were predestined. Paul anticipated the protest that would come from sinful men and women when he wrote in verse 14, “What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part?” In other words, was it wrong for God to predestine in this way — that is, not on the basis of what the twins would do, but according to his will only? Paul’s reply is very strong. “By no means! For he says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’ So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy” (Romans 9:6–16, ESV). God was merciful to Jacob when he set his predestinating love upon him. But he determined to leave Esau to himself and in his sin, to act according to his own desires only.

I would imagine that being pregnant with twins is always a bit uncomfortable. But Rebekah was especially uncomfortable because these twins were at war with one another even in the womb. This she learned, not by ultrasound, but by the word of the LORD. And she also learned that this conflict would not come to end at birth. These two would continue to have conflict. They would become two nations. One would be stronger than the other. Strangely, and contrary to the way of the world, the older would serve the younger.

This little prophesy concerning Jacob and Esau, and the older serving the younger, is very important to the rest of the story contained within holy scripture. The nation of Israel would come from Jacob, and the nation of Edom would come from Esau. And these two nations would be locked in perpetual conflict with each other.

Notice that the twins wrestled with one another even in the moment of birth. Verse 24: “When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb. The first came out red, all his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau. Afterward his brother came out with his hand holding Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them” (Genesis 25:24–26, ESV).

Esau was red in color and hairy. The color red will be important to the narrative that follows. Esau, the red one, will be driven by a craving for his brothers red, red soup and will sell his birthright for a bowl of it, and, in due time, will become the people of Edom, which comes from the root of the word meaning “red”.

Jacob, though he is the second born, is a heal snatcher. He emerged from the womb second, but right on Esau’s heals, as if he were attempting to wrestle Esau from the first born position right up to the moment of birth. In the narrative that follows we will learn that this characteristic of Jacob remained even unto adulthood. He was a heal snatcher, a wrestler, a cunning and crafty fighter all the days of his life.


Esau, A Man Driven By His Appetites

Verses 27 through 34 provide us with a glimpse of the twins in adulthood. Their character in adulthood is typified by the story that is told here.

Let us briefly consider the character of Esau. Notice that Esau is portrayed as a brutish man, one who was driven by his appetites.

Remember that Esau was red and hairy, and here we learn that he was a man of the field. He was animal like.

He was the favorite of his father, for Isaac loved to eat of his game.

The story that is told in verses 29-34 portrays Esau as foolish man who lacked self control. His fleshly appetites went unchecked, and drove him to do foolish things.

Verse 29: “Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted. And Esau said to Jacob, ‘Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!’ (Therefore his name was called Edom.) Jacob said, ‘Sell me your birthright now.’ Esau said, ‘I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?’ Jacob said, ‘Swear to me now.’ So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright” (Genesis 25:29–34, ESV).

In this story we learn how it was that Jacob came to be heir over his older brother, and how the prophesy given to Rebekah at the time of their brith came to be fulfilled: “the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.”

Notice also that though Esau was predestined to this, he did in fact despise his birthright freely and from the heart. Predestination does not turn men into robots, friends. Though it was predestined that Esau the elder would serve Jacob the younger, it was the free and willing choices of the boys that got them there.

Esau was a fool. In that moment he cared more about satisfying his hunger than for living as the firstborn heir of his father.

[APPLICATION: Brothers and sisters, there is application for us here. We must learn from Esau and be sure to develop wisdom and self control. To gain wisdom we must give attention to God’s word. We must ingest it and believe it to the heart. And self controle is developed as we learn to obey the LORD day by day, little by little, in thought, word, and deed. We must learn to say no to the cravings of the flesh, and yes to God’s word and the prompting of his Spirit.

Too many who profess faith in Christ are like Esau. They think little of their inheritance in Christ Jesus, and are driven by their appetites, passions and cravings, instead of by Christ, his word and Spirit. This is why Paul exhorts us, saying, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator” (Colossians 3:5–10, ESV). And this is why the writer to the Hebrews said, “Strive for… holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no ‘root of bitterness’ springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears” (Hebrews 12:1–17, ESV).

Friends, though it is that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone, the scriptures also exhort us to make our calling and electing sure. The one who has true faith will turn from sin, progressively put to the death the deeds of the flesh, and will grow in the knowledge and love for our Savior.]

This moment here was a watershed moment for Esau. By selling his birthright for a bowl of red soup he showed that he cared more about satisfying his physical cravings than for being the one through whom the promises made to his grandfather Abraham, and father Isaac would be fulfilled. Because he was “immoral” and “unholy” he “sold his birthright for a single meal.”


Jacob, The Crafty Heal Snatcher

We already know that Jacob would be the one to inherit the promises of God given to his father Isaac, for this was prophesied concerning him before his birth. But here we see clearly that this favor was shown to Jacob, not because of some good in him, but by the free grace of God alone. In other words, Jacob doesn’t come off much better than Esau in this narrative. Whereas Esau was man driven by his fleshly appetites, Jacob was a crafty and cunning heal snatcher even into adulthood. Jacob was ruthless towards Esau in this episode. He took advantage of his hunger. He capitalized upon his brutishness.

Esau came in from the field and said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red, red [that is what the text says in the Hebrew], for I am exhausted!” Jacob could have shown kindness to his brother in that moment. Instead, he dealt treacherously with him. “Jacob said, ‘Sell me your birthright now.’ Esau said, ‘I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?’ Jacob said, ‘Swear to me now.’” When Esau swore, this made the matter legal and binding. “So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob” (Genesis 25:31–33, ESV).

The narrative of Genesis will focus upon Jacob from this point all the way until the end of chapter 35. We will learn a lot about Jacob in those chapters. One thing we be clear: he too was a flawed individual. Not only did he wrestle with his brother, but also with God. He would remain a crafty, cunning, and deceptive heal snatcher for many years after this, until the LORD would humble him.


Conclusion

Brothers and sisters, the book of Genesis describes to us the beginnings of our redemption in Christ Jesus. And one thing is very clear. It is all by God’s grace. God showed unmerited favor to the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And he worked in a through them in such a way so as to prove that it was he who was at work. He brought life from barren wombs, and choose that which was weak according to the world to shame the powerful.

Jesus the Christ would not be born into the world for another 1,900 years from the events that are recorded for us here. But when he was born, he came into the world in like manner. He was born, not to a barren women, but to a virgin. His parents were poor. He was utterly unimpressive according to the standerds of the world. When he died, he died a brutal and humiliating death. But note this: on the third day he rose again.

Friends, let us learn from the scriptures how it is that God works in the world. He works, not through what seems powerful and wise, but through what many might consider weak and foolish. And let us not be ashamed to identify with those things. Let us not be ashamed to identify with Christ and with his gospel, which the world calls foolish. Paul knew that this was a temptation, and so he wrote, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16, ESV). And let us not be ashamed to identify with his church, though she might seem so very unimpressive to the world. “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord… but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel…” (2 Timothy 1:8–10, ESV).

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