The Power of the Cross: 85th Edition, June 23, 2019

Mike Cleveland
 

Greetings friends,

Welcome to the new subscribers just joining us. We publish once per week on Sunday. The newsletter shares short gospel teachings and testimonies from Setting Captives Free students. We hope you will find the newsletter helpful and encouraging.

Teaching:

The power of the cross, alone, sets captives free from sin and shame, from guilt and condemnation. Every believer down through history has experienced the power of the cross. Notice Moses:

Hebrews 11:24-26 (ESV) By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.

Moses turned away from both the treasures of Egypt and the pleasures of sin. Why? He considered the “reproach of Christ” greater wealth. What is the “reproach of Christ?” The reproach (shame, disgrace) of Christ is a subtle reference to the cross of Jesus Christ. This is what had value for Moses. The estimation of the cross, the reproach Christ would endure for him, the shame and suffering Jesus would experience as He hung on the tree, was worth more than all the treasures of Egypt and all the pleasures of sin. 

And so Moses would gladly take up his own cross, bearing its shame and disgrace, associating with God’s people rather than grow up in a palace and be heir to all the world. He knew that to embrace the cross is to receive a crown.

Moses could have written these words:

To the old rugged Cross, I will ever be true
Its shame and reproach gladly bear
And they'll call me some day to my home far away
Where His glory forever I'll share


And I'll cherish the old rugged Cross
Till my trophies at last I lay down
I will cling to the old rugged Cross
And exchange it some day for a crown


Friend, sin is pleasurable, and this world has treasures that can capture our attention. It is easy to become trapped in pleasure or captive to this world. And only the cross, the “reproach of Christ” has the power to extricate us from it. See the cross in all it’s terrible beauty, in all of it’s painful glory, and by faith it will set you free!

I encourage you to take just a few minutes and watch this, and let the words really sink in: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQy4NUZKIeM 

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Testimonies:

Brian writes, "The past 30 lessons of the Purity Boot Camp course have helped me think in a new way and to experience transformation by the renewing of my mind with God's Word. The main way this has changed my mind is through the first part - washing at the cross. Jesus waits for me to come to Him to be forgiven and cleansed, and the work has truly already been done by Jesus on the cross. This boot camp has helped me to experience and realize that God’s grace is sufficient for my sins, and He already knows them (even before they happen). Grace is the opposite of law, so there is no condemnation if we walk in The Spirit. The last piece, warring against the flesh, is the hardest for me...but with the Lord’s help, my battle plan for purity in covenanting my eyes to Him, and looking to His work in me as the source of freedom (not of myself - Eph. 2:8-9) is the key to walking it out.”

Ann writes, "So much has changed in my life since I began the Setting Captives Free A United Front course. My marriage was in a complete shambles after my husband confessed his unfaithfulness, but now, it has improved significantly. We are both in the process of growing together and growing in our walk with the Lord. God is mending our marriage day by day.


This study has been beneficial at generating conversation between us to help us to heal. This study has pointed me to the truth of the Gospel and reminded me of the promises of God, who He is and why Jesus came - the work that He has done and is doing in and through each of us. The lessons helped reorient my focus off of myself, my pain, and my husband's sin and onto the Lord and His love, provision, calling on my life, strength, sovereignty."

Claudia writes, "I was helpless and hopeless when I first found the Setting Captives Free A United Front course. My head was full of confusion, I saw how my husband broke in repentance and took full responsibility for his actions, and at the same time I saw "brothers and sisters in the faith" who did not want me to forgive him "so quick and easy." Living among Christians is no guarantee that everyone will advise you in a Christ-like way. 


In the middle of despair, this course not only gave me help and hope but also made me focus on the Only One I should be honoring with my behavior and decisions: Christ. After being aware of what He did at the cross for me, I have no excuses to be bitter, resentful, and angry. My goal now is to be Christ-like, and do unto others as the Lord has done unto me.”


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Friend if you find you are in agreement with the mission of Setting Captives Free, to see the gospel of Jesus Christ change hearts and lives, would you please consider helping us to continue reaching people with the gospel? Please pray for us, and also consider setting up a monthly tax-deductible donation of any amount. https://settingcaptivesfree.com/donate. Thank you in advance.


Sincerely,

Mike Cleveland

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