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Phone: (888) 602-3456
Phone: (888) 602-3456
“And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD. And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.” – (Genesis 25:21-23)
In this 25th chapter of Genesis, we’re given a clear picture of God’s work of grace in regeneration. God saves sinners by giving them life in Christ, according to His purpose. Three aspects of this great work are illustrated in this chapter:
Christ Our Mediator
First, Isaac’s intercession for Rebecca as a faithful husband shows us the love and devotion of Christ our Mediator. Rebecca’s womb was barren. The seed of the appointed heir could not conceive in her and grow, because she was dead on the inside. But Isaac effectually entreated the LORD for her, and God quickened her womb to conceive and bear fruit.
Regeneration is the result of the Savior’s effectual intercession for His people at God’s right hand. Sinners are spiritually dead by nature with no interest or desire to hear and believe the Gospel of God’s grace. Truth cannot take root in the natural heart (1 Cor 2:14). Faith is never conceived in a barren, lifeless soul (Jn 3:3). But God’s elect are married to the Son of God by covenant grace. He’s the Heir of all things and the Head over all things to His Church. And Christ ever lives to intercede for His bride, so that God is entreated of Him in righteousness. Therefore, through the infinite merit and efficacy of His sin-atoning blood, the Holy Spirit is sent forth in irresistible power and unconditional mercy to conceive life in and give faith to every sinner for whom Christ died (Eph 1:19-23; 2:1-9). God reveals Christ in chosen, redeemed sinners, and through the knowledge of our Divine Mediator, a new life begins (2 Pt 1:1-4).
The Struggle Within
Second, we’re shown the experience of every child of God in this new life of faith. When God gave Rebekah life to conceive, there was a struggle inside of her. She was perplexed and asked, “Why am I thus?” The LORD told her, “Two nations are in thy womb.” There were two manner of people fighting against each other inside of her!
A believing child of God has two distinct, separate natures warring inside himself, struggling against each other for control. “The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Gal 5:17). The old man of the flesh, like Esau, is red all over and covered with hair (v 25). He has that fallen, beastly nature of Adam. He only cares about his natural senses and carnal appetites. With his senses, he hunts! With cunning, he seeks to satiate his lusts (v 27). That old man has no appetite for the things of God. He lusts against the Spirit of God, just as Esau despised his birthright (vv 30-34). But God has created a new man in the child of God; Christ in you, the Hope of glory! This new man is perfect and upright, dwelling in the heart by faith. He loves God and thirsts for righteousness. He causes the believer to come to Christ by faith, confessing his sin, seeking God’s mercy. By God’s sovereign grace, the old man is supplanted and made irrelevant, just as Jacob spoiled Esau. The Spirit of God dwells inside that new man of grace and fights against the sin and unbelief of the flesh. So, there’s a constant struggle inside, causing the believer cry out, “Why am I thus?”
The Word of Promise
In this mighty work of regeneration and new life in Christ, God makes this promise: “The elder shall serve the younger” (v 23). The old man shall only serve the interest of that new man, for these reasons: first, God’s purpose of grace in election shall stand; and second, God’s calling of grace is not according to our works (Rom 9:8-12). Because Christ lives, we live! Grace reigns and supplants the old man! Christ took our sins and gave us His righteousness, and the faith that He gives overcomes the world.