The Power of the Cross: 90th Edition, July 28, 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.


Special Announcement: I’m so very excited to introduce to you our newest course called “The Gospel and the Church”, written by Erick Hurt to help the church rediscover the power of the gospel. This is a powerful course, focused like a laser on the message of the cross, its effects in people’s hearts and lives, and is a clear call to the church to return to it! Check it out when you can. You’ll find it here:


Are you finding freedom through believing the message of the cross and implementing in to your daily life? Then if so you want to tell this message to others; it’s a natural outflow of what you are taking in. May I encourage you to pray about becoming a mentor with Setting Captives Free? It’s something you can do to share the amazing power of the cross with others, taking on one student or one hundred, however God leads you. 

This week I wanted to share with you our weekly teaching for mentors. Every Saturday one person on our board of directors sends out a teaching and our mentor groups interact with the teaching. The following is the teaching for this week. Feel free to respond to me with the answer to the question below, and if I have time I will get back with you on your answer.


It’s my turn for the check-in this week, and just as a quick reminder, our message to our students is the gospel of Jesus Christ, because the gospel is the power of God for both salvation (Romans 1:16-17) and sanctification (1 Corinthians 1:18).

And so we put the gospel in every single sentence if we can, every time we “add a response”, every time we answer a multiple choice question, every time we respond to a fill in the blank or free text answer—we tell our student the good news of Christ’s death for them, of His burial and resurrection for them.

It would not be right to keep this good news to ourselves and not share it with our students. The lepers who found the great treasure knew they should share it! "Then they said to each other, “What we’re doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves...” (2 Kings 7:9).

This message is so powerful, we want to give it out over and over and over again. Through the death of Jesus we are saved from God’s wrath (1 Thessalonians 1:10), set free from sin’s power (Romans 6:10) and established and strengthened in our daily lives (Romans 16:25). This is the power of the message of the cross!

We are here to call people simply to “turn and look at the cross” (Galatians 3:1), for one sight of that mighty cross explodes our entire world apart, as the gospel is the power “dynamos/dynamite” of God. Just as Jesus died on the cross, even so our sin and self-sufficiency die there! Even as Jesus was crucified on the cross, the cross crucifies us to the world and the world to us, so we should boast about it (Galatians 6:14).

The message of the cross is accompanied by the power of the Spirit to work miracles in people’s hearts and lives (Galatians 3:1-5). Looking at the cross cuts their hearts and heals their hearts. It crucifies their old self and raises them as a new creation. This is why we look at the cross ourselves and why we constantly point others to it—it has miracle working power!

Do you want to see your students hearts and lives exploded by gospel power? Focus your message to the crucified Christ, the suffering Savior, the dead and risen King. Make His cross the subject of your every waking moment, your every sentence, your every thought, and your every answer.

1 Corinthians 2:2-4 (NIV) For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power.

Question 1. According to 1 Corinthians 2:2-4, the message of the cross is united with what?



Anna writes, "Since taking the Setting Captives Free Weight Loss course, I have noticed some definite changes with my clothes being looser, and my belt going tighter! 

More importantly, the Bible study helped me to grow spiritually. I have learned the importance of suffering with Christ, savoring Christ, and walking with the Spirit, which has helped me develop a closer relationship with Jesus Christ! 

Diets fail, and they don't change the heart. But God does. It is through the strength I receive by walking with the Spirit that I can deny the cravings of my flesh and instead turn to Jesus and His Word for filling! 

This course is an amazing Bible study focusing on Jesus, the cross, and the gospel all while helping you lose weight! I love that you don't need to eliminate certain foods from your diet and how the focus is on denying our fleshly desires by walking in step with the Spirit, suffering with Christ, and savoring Christ! I have thoroughly enjoyed this course, and I highly recommend it! "

John writes, "I found the Setting Captives Free Purity Boot Camp course when I was desperately seeking help after an arrest revealed my deep-seated roots of impurity and sexual sin. God has been transforming my heart over the last 30 days. I am grateful for this ministry and for the many people who are serving our Saviour through mentoring.

God is restoring my marriage, I am finding new truths in His word, and He is killing the impure desires that have always been a part of my life.

Now, when I feel the weight of my sin, and the guilt and shame that comes with it, I go to the cleansing fountain at the cross. God is faithful every time I approach that He reminds me of His cleansing.

I'm still in a time of preparing for battle, as I feel like the temptation holds little allure right now since the discovery of my sin is so recent. I pray this desire stays dead, but I am preparing my battle plans and putting defense measures in place. My secrets are no longer hidden, and I now have men I can seek for help when the temptations come.

I am learning to walk in the Spirit as well. I've had so many years of quenching and grieving the Spirit's presence in my life, but by God's grace He hasn't given up on me, and I'm starting to sense His leading again.
Thank you, Lord!”


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. Thank you in advance.


Mike Cleveland

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