Genesis 46-47 / Psalm 50 / Romans 3-4
What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God.
The advantage of being a Jew was why Paul was chosen to become one of the foundations of the new covenant. Within the words that were preserved by the Jews about their heritage is the truth about being a son of God as Paul knew it, by the promises that were declared by the sons of God in the OT era, to whom God spoke about the secret family He was creating, though the humans never understood even to today what's been happening and is continuing to happen.
The newly created/united Father/Son being who was just created after Jesus went to the Father lived in Paul's body to teach him the truth of what the OT sons—Paul's true brothers, the true Israel of God—said about his new condition of being not in some animal herd, the privileged chosen people that the Jews considered themselves, but within the secret family of God's hidden sons. This reality was disclosed by the metaphor of Israel, but undisclosed in the reality of its being known except as such. Those who became that promised Israel of God in the 1st century—those to whom the unseen Son of God came back and inhabited, who actually believed that the infamous dead man Jesus was the only way to the Father and was living inside them to show them the way—were not publicly disclosed or validated in any significant way. And their group wasn't recognized or disclosed until it became significant enough for the humans to take it over so they could control it for their own gain, like they do with everything. Then within a few hundred years that abominable thing which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet came into the world and turned what was true into what it is now all the various forms of christianity that have existed since about 400 a.d. or so. That is, lies made up by the humans for their own sake.
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised.
Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin (what their nature truly is; of an animal, not of a son).
Paul was writing to the believers about how to become sons. The law was merely a way to show them about their fundamental nature, which is evil because it is designed to keep them unclean and away from God. It is His desire and purpose so that only those whom He chooses are able to see and comprehend that condition of being a helpless, unclean animal who by being defined as an animal is unable to ever know God because it's kept in a loop of self-love and preservation so that it is kept far away from Him and cannot ever become as a son must become—totally given over to His purpose and will.
"Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" Pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."
That will and purpose of God isn't about the individual sons, but the collective that they become an integral part of, which is the secret family that only they know about because it is they who are the chosen, what the nation of Israel only pointed to as metaphor, but is disclosed secretly and quietly to the sons who fade into obscurity within the sights of the humans and their animal culture that is opposed to the culture of the Father and His hidden family. The dilemma of the sons is that first they recognize their condition as one of the humans, then they begin the slow march away from that, toward becoming aware of the Father's intention with those He has chosen to become a part of that secret family. As they become blighted and repulsive to the humans because they don't fit into their culture, they are becoming clean and right according to their new Father. Before they're called and when they first begin the journey they don't know the Father at all, because they are 100% separated from Him. The more they become transformed in the new way, the more they begin to know Him, and the more they are encouraged to choose Him instead of the animal instincts that live inside them. That is what the humans can't help choosing all the time because it's the nature that drives them, but what the sons are moving away from.
For every shepherd is abhorrent to Egypt.
As they move toward the Father and away from that other nature that the humans have, they are also moving away from the humans because being around them only reinforces what is bad in them—what they're trying to deny, not relearn. Because of that the humans think they're pompous and above them, because the sons claim to have what none of them have. That is the definition and working of true faith, that which Abraham was commended for—that they believe that what is happening inside them is true, even though it is unseen and therefore denied by the humans around them.
What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."
Did Abraham merely "believe" that God was more powerful than the other "gods" that were "believed in" by the humans at the time? That is the modern definition of belief as defined by the religious groups, and why I put the word "belief" in quotes, because that is not belief as the sons knew it but merely thinking one thing is truer than another, that one set of gods is more powerful than another.
Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be." Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
Abraham, on the other hand, believed that God told him things, that He spoke to him even though obviously it wasn't an easy thing to believe because the natural existence he endured pointed to everything *but* that being even a possibility, not to mention a likelihood. In retrospect it's easy to believe, but to Abraham it was hard because the specific promise hadn't yet happened. And that's one crux of belief, that in order to be genuine it cannot be some generic thing as the christians pose—that their gods are stronger than the evil gods (the devil and his army of fallen angles who became demons)—but it must be a specific thing that one is asked by God to believe has happened against overwhelming odds, which is not validated by any group of humans to make it easier to believe (churches full of humans who confirm the lies to one another).
This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness." The words "it was credited to him" were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.
This was not a generic belief that Paul spoke about, nor just a thought that one could persuade another about being more right than another thought about what was truer, stronger, better—the modern day version of what "belief" has degenerated into. If that reality of the unseen life of the Father and Son was not living in the bodies by the specific intention of God, being purposely initiated by Him to do it, then it would be as christianity is and has been since 400 or so a.d—just another made up religion that one can join to fulfill the craving for the animal agreement that they will survive eternally, a fitting cap of hope to their life-long struggle to survive to and for themselves as animals in a hostile world full of the same.
The sons are chosen and they know it because of the presence of the life, but they're the only ones who do so that it's not validated by the humans, which makes believing that which seems improbable a genuine thing since their belief isn't being propped up by the consensus they can find from the humans that what they're being asked to believe is actually true. On the contrary, the humans will not validate the life of the Father in the sons because it's not happening in them—it's not a generic deal—so even though they try in vain to get validation from the humans (a significant craving of instinct of the animal nature that still lives in them), they won't get it because by doing that comes instead a call for separation from those humans, not a validation, by the choice for the hidden Father instead of anything/everything else that is appealing to the animal because it's disclosed and therefore considered valid.
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.
The sons leave everything behind, all the things the humans love and run after and by doing so define themselves as mere animals, to do the one solitary thing they were chosen to do—become a son, be transformed, walk on the solitary path to the Father that few ever find, and where none can walk unless they've been shown it. Walking away from the humans is the sign that the son believes the Father's call. Staying with the humans, getting their validation and agreement from them is the sign that he is too afraid to choose, or doesn't believe that what the Father has called him to is valid like the seen reality is.
As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."
The idea of being separated from the humans Paul gets from the OT words, and the many urgings of God that the Israelites come away from the nations around them and be separate from them, because they could only pollute them by reinforcing what God hated, and pulling His people away from Him and toward His enemy, the lies and myths of the made up gods of all the humans except that group who had been chosen to know and believe the truth, that there was only one God, and He had chosen them to become His people. But for what end? To be the natural copy of the spiritual reality, and God's desire to have a family of sons who are all brothers and have one Father, who aren't led astray by His enemies, but stay close to Him because they love Him and know their life is with Him and not anywhere else.
Gather to me my consecrated ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.
What is our sacrifice if not everything—our very lives, all we could be or have or attain to, whatever the humans run after, that which they find their fulfillment and identities in. We give all that up as the ultimate sacrifice we can make, as it's all that we actually have to give. It's a lot, but it's just a little because it only lasts a little while then all of it is gone, and then there is nothing. We will soon find that it is no sacrifice at all, but we become increasingly willing to let it go because we get our agreement from the same place the calling came from. We understand that all that stuff just gets in the way in our quest to find what is the valuable treasure, the love of a son to his Father, that which the humans consider rubbish, ironically the thing of fools, because they aren't apprised of its existence so they just don't know like the sons know.
There is nothing higher than having an actual relationship with our Father and the Lord that is real, not conceptual. It has nothing to do with the things that the humans run after or even some misdirected idea about "spirit gifts," by which their lives might become enhanced. The misdirection, due to the ego component of the animal nature, is that these gifts are such and such—usually some outwardly miraculous thing that will prove our validity or authenticity to other men, that we are right and acceptable to them. But the sons don't get their validation from men, so that is invalid for them. What is alive inside them only they will know, and the validation comes from that continuing to be there, and grow.
The human sentimentality about "loving God" is so used up and tattered that it doesn't mean anything but some far-removed idea in someone's mind who says it. It cannot mean anything unless the specific intention exists on God's part to enable the particular human to do it. In that case that one has been chosen to be one of the secret sons of God, and that becomes that one's sole purpose in life—to find and know the Father's love, and to serve the family of brothers who also have His name. It's what they read in the Bible and decided was something they needed to do, or at least pretend to do in order to be right with God. They may even genuinely desire to love God. However, they too often and easily believe those who tell them they can just automatically assume they love God, because He must love them. That is based on the lie, though, that He loves everyone, and in turn everyone who wants to "go to heaven," or "be in the kingdom" can, and so they should just assume they love God even if it doesn't seem like they do. In reality it's just another way the humans get through life, by thinking they'll have something when it's all over. In that sense it's perfectly good for them to do it or any other thing that makes it easier. The sons have to know what' real, though, because they need to be able to choose and not be bamboozled by any of the zillions of lies in the world, amongst the humans, about the truth of God. The morphine drip is for the humans, according to God's mercy—not for the sons.
Because they read that Jesus loved the Father so much that he called him "Abba," or "Daddy," they assume the position that it isn't something they even need to search for, quest for, journey for, give up everything they have or could have, or actually "present their bodies as a living sacrifice to God," so that they can get it. If it's merely something we can just assume, then it can't mean very much. If God loves everyone the same, then nobody's particularly desirable or valuable to Him, which also guides their life in response—what they consider their attempt to live for Him, which becomes some generic, run of the mill life. The sacrifice has degenerated into the performing of rituals, and by this they assume to love God, because it's what the experts do, and they believe the experts more than God. This should compel any thinking person to contemplate the dynamics of an actual relationship, and what is required for actual, not theoretical, love to form within the bounds of one.
That is one big dilemma of the human—they want to have what God says is reserved for those who love Him, but they aren't willing to search very hard, nor are they willing to give up the things in this life that they love in order to get it, because the experts say they don't have to (even though the scriptures say they do). They may want to find the treasure of what God has, but don't believe they will find it because they aren't seeing anyone else who seems to have found it; and so they hedge their bets. They believe the serpent, speaking through those who falsely assume the role of 'God lover.' They tell them, just like the serpent told Eve, "That's not what God said, is it? Give up your life—everything you love? God doesn't require that of you, that would be sinful if you did that. Be like us, the normal people who aren't throwing away their lives to be so fanatical about God."
It's like so many who know in their hearts that there is treasure to be found, but it requires much more than they are presently giving, or think is required. They believe that there is much more to a life of following God than the one-sided, unfulfilling, ritualistic life that they are living for God, even if everyone else says that's the only way. When they read the accounts of the first century believers, they say within themselves, "Hey, why am I not more passionate in my desire to know and love God? Why do I have to force myself to do the things that were spontaneous for those guys? Why do I love, in my heart, the things that all men love and run after?"
And then they hear the experts explain how the actual, dynamic life of God, which seemed to live in these men of the first century, just died out. They look around and it seems like they might be right, because the authenticity of those who say they do have it is obviously made up, not at all genuine. So they conclude that the only thing available to them is what they see all around them and they stop thinking that this other life, that which the first century brothers had, is possible.
The reality of that life, though, is different than what the humans assume, and so what they attempt to seek is totally out of whack with what is actually available. What Jesus and Paul, indeed many others contemporary with them, had was not what most assume when they read the accounts. Because of the animal's needs, they think the life of these was all about the miracles, the grand outward displays of power which were observed and recognized by everyone around them.
The reality is that those were gifts from God, aptly named, so that those who received or observed them could believe in this new, difficult way. Once a man could believe the impossible, then those things could fall away, because he didn't need them any more. They are only gifts that help him to believe long enough so that the relationship between that man and his Father could be established. The one who has faith and hope doesn't need all the other things. Faith and hope remain the things that the man has, the evidence to him that he has a relationship with his Father. The thing that matters above all the rest is the love that is established between the man and his Father because of this relationship with Him.
Not a theoretical, assumed relationship but an actual one, which is the real work of the spirit. Unfortunately, this cannot be known or realized until the man is in the relationship, after he is born of the spirit, of God, chosen by Him to be in the hidden and secret family of God. Until that time all he can know is the deception of the animal consciousness. He can't get there by assumption. However, we can assume that those who do not look for the treasure will certainly not find it. We can assume that the words of Jesus, who did find it, are true—that this life is not worth anything compared to the riches of God's love. So if we believe Jesus, and we feel that there is more than what we have, or what the experts are proposing to us, then we should be willing to throw it all away to find that treasure. In the words of Jesus, that would be to sell everything we have in order to find it. Because it is such a true thing he expresses the same truth twice with different variables, to establish the emphasis of the truth even in the tradition of the OT scriptures, which establish the heart of Joseph inside Jesus.
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
And the repeating of the dream to Pharaoh two times, this means that the thing has been fixed by God and God is hastening to do it.