bobinfaith,Hello brother Ray;
I want to take a step back on this topic and encourage all of us.
What we have been reading in thorndale's thread is mixed with Scripture and from our study can form an opinion of what one believes.
rtm3039, you're asking a lot of questions, discussing what we arrive at from our study of the Scriptures and thank you, brother, for your honesty of being "confused", "distraction", "what am I missing" and "am I getting it?" Yes to all! You are getting there by engaging in this topic and thank you for asking.
In 2019 after reading your many testimonies at Christian Forum Site I'm very blessed that you have this zeal for your relationship with Christ and to follow Him, be the priest of your family, serve our Lord in your ministry at church, prepare for your new job and become a disciple (disciplined student of Christ) of studying His Word.
In some of the posts in this topic I was reading encouragement from one of our members to read the Scriptures and re-read the Scriptures. Another good lead from our member is to write down what you read. For years I wrote and continue to write down Scriptures and take the time to cross reference article teachings of the Old and New Testaments. You don't have to write a novel, but just write notes and add your devotional thoughts.
Pray and allow God to speak to you what you are studying. Share with your Bible study teacher. Continue to ask questions.
You will minimize the "confusion", "distraction", "what am I missing" and "am I getting it?" because its a promise from the Lord, your academic discipline of the Bible will increase and you will begin sharing your knowledge with other Bible students.
As far as Romans 6, In verse 6:2, in Christ we died to our sins but when we study deeper in verses 6:1-8:39, Paul is teaching sanctification. Sin's power is broken. When Jesus rose from the dead, the Father viewed us as rising with Him positionally. But there's more. Our union with Christ in His life, death and resurrection provides the basis of our justification, sanctification and glorification.
In Romans 6:11, "count yourselves dead to sin" means that we should regard our old sinful nature as dead and unresponsive to sin. We no longer have to be forgiven for past sin. Going forward, every part of our bodies may still be vulnerable in sin, but in Christ, for every part we are empowerd to be a tool for service. For example, the tongue and mind of my body can be used to preach the Gospel. My hands and feet can be used for physical service.
Point is, God takes His believers through His process in Romans, not a slam dunk done. The same goes for His promise.
In Absent from the body, Present with the Lord we need to carefully follow the Biblical revelations in 2 Corinthians 5:6-9,
1 Thessalonians 4:16, Hebrews 12:22-24, many more teachings of the Scriptures in between to Revelation 21 - 22, the study of Biblical revelations of physical death and bodily resurrection before we are with our Father in eternity.
God bless you, rtm3039 and your family.
Without question, having "met you" in this forum has been a blessing. Actually, having met all of you has been a blessing, but I truly appreciate the time you take to help me walk through my experiences.
Yesterday, I, my wife, and daughter-in-law had a discussion about faith and my transformation. My wife brought up the fact that, while my decision to accept God as my Savior took place this January, I had been searching for a long time. Who I am today is so different than who I was last last December.
Up until only a couple of weeks ago, I did not look forward to sleep, because I knew that sleep would only last a couple of hours and that I would be up within hours. Lately, I have had no issues getting a full night's sleep. I have noticed; however, that I am either not dreaming or am unable to recall what I dreamt about. I am not sure what that means, as I have always been able to recall my dreams. I know that in the beginning (no pun intended) of this journey, I did start to have dreams that I considered inappropriate and that would shock me awake. It was as if Satan was using the vulnerability of sleep to cause me turmoil. As I fall asleep now, I find comfort in having a conversation with God and going through what I have learned that day,
I now find myself seeing everything from a new perspective. The more I see, the more I see.
I am sitting here typing this, and, at the same time, I have a 5 y/o little girl sitting on my lap and making it almost impossible for me to type. The old me would have been annoyed by this, but the new me is thankful that God has allowed me to re-experience the joy of being a grandfather.
As I might have already mentioned, I resigned by former position because someone took advantage of a situation that made it practically impossible for me to continue functioning as the manager of my office. I am unsure of who this person was, but I have been told by others (those they are still loyal to me) that this was just a way of "getting even" with me for some of the hard decisions my former roll required me to take. I have given this betrayal a great deal of thought and I find it impossible to "hate" this person. The truth is that he (yes, I have a really good idea who this person is) saved me. Had I not been placed in this predicament, I am sure that my decision to accept God into my life would not have happened. It would have eventually happened (I have been searching for a while), but not now and, maybe, not in time. One additional bright light here is how my former deputy chief has conducted himself. He did not agree with how my situation was handled, but it was beyond his control. Not only did he travel across the state, to allow me to clear my office on a Saturday, but he wrote me a reference letter that was impressive to say the least. In fact, he even let me know that he was interviewed as part of the background for my new position and that he believed I would eventually get the job.
I guess I took this very hard, because I just did not see it coming. It was really kind of silly. This past Christmas, I decided to take two weeks off and take the family to Memphis for the holidays (my wife's entire family lives in Memphis). Since I was leaving the area, for the first time in almost five years, I held a meeting to see who was going to stay in the area, as I needed to make sure our office was manned during the holiday time. During the meeting, some of the guys joked that, as I was not going to be in the area, they were going to stay and just not work. We all knew this was a joke. While in Memphis, I took my work computer to make sure that our weekly management reports got done (did not have anyone to delegate this task to). I sent the guys an e-mail to wish them a happy Christmas. In the e-mail, and as part of the comments that were made during out meeting, I joked that I had installed surveillance cameras to make sure they were in fact working during the holidays. Of the six people I made this comment to, five responded and knew it was a joke. One person did not and sent the e-mail to our headquarters. This resulted in an internal investigation and, since it appeared I had lost the confidence of some of the members of my leadership, I decided to resign. No one was actually interviewed, to include myself, but, I decided it was the right thing to do. The really sad thing is that everyone knew why this was done, but we live in politically sensitive times. In fact, since my resignation, my Bureau chief decided to retire and three of the members of my old office have also resigned.
Anyway, this response is long enough. The bottom line is that I am now all into this and am just trying to get as much understanding as possible. I ask a great deal of questions, as I am inquisitive by nature. I hope that my questions do not make it appear as if I am having issues with my faith. I am not, I am just inquisitive by nature.
I am looking forward to taking part in the small group bible study team. I meet with them, for the first time, tonight at 7pm. I continue to ask God to guide me in His direction and am now finding some interest in volunteering with the church's prison ministry. In a law enforcement career that has gone on since October 1980, I have put my share of people in jail, but I have never lost my perspective that these are people that just made the wrong decision. I am wondering it me telling them this, along with my own re-awakening, might help them make the right decision. I guess we will see.
The next step for me is to regain my confidence. I have to admit that all of this has had an impact in my confidence level. In other words, I took a serious hit to my "mojo" and am not sure how to overcome this. Staying positive is not coming easy, but I hope this is just part of the cleansing process.
Anyway, thanks you for your comments and sorry about being long-winded.
God bless you, my brother.