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The Power of the Cross: 84th Edition, June 16, 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 Gospel Changes Our Spiritual Tastebuds

When we are captive to sin’s delights and pleasures our spiritual “tastebuds” are fleshly; physical, earthly, sensual. Somehow our tastebuds have to be changed, so that the physical and temporary no longer appeals to us, but instead we have a taste for the spiritual and eternal. 

But how does this happen? 

We can see how it happens by comparing the following passages of Scripture:

Psalm 34:8 (NIV) Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

1 Peter 2:2-3 (NIV) Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

In the Old Testament passage (Psalm 34:8) we are given a command to “taste and see” that the Lord is good, the New Testament passage shows that we already have, past tense, tasted that the Lord is good. 

What happened between these two passages? 

Well, the cross happened, and the resurrection happened! The good news happened! Believing this good news actually changes our tastebuds, making us very hungry for God. 

We read the good news that Jesus Christ came to this earth and went to the cross, like a Lamb led to the slaughter, to forgive you, reconcile you to the Father, rescue you from the power of darkness, redeem you from Satan’s kingdom, put your old self to death and raise you up a new person. 

When we see this happening in the eyes of our heart we are so touched, so hurt, so healed, so cast down and so lifted up, that we continually want more and more of it. This “acquired taste” of the cross grows and grows, to where we begin to desire that “food” more than the fleshly, natural and sensual food. 

Pretty soon we are discovering that we are having a steady diet of gospel food, continually feeding on the good news of the cross:

John 6:35 (NIV) Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

John 6:54-56 (NIV) Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them.

And THAT is how we go from the command to taste and see that the Lord is good, to the statement, “now that you HAVE tasted and seen that the Lord is good.” The cross tells us of the goodness of God, the love of Jesus, the joy and peace He fills us with through believing. What an amazing change in our spiritual tastebuds that happens right at the cross as we look up!

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Testimonies:

Ces writes, "The Biblical principles in the Setting Captives Free Weight Loss course showed me my focus should be on Jesus, obeying Him and loving Him. Diets are the way to frustration, and God is helping me to renounce them. 


After taking this course, I am more focused on God. I have realized that my focus on Him and His Word was missing from all my life. The key is to delight in Him! Yes, I will. 


Only God can change our thoughts and attitudes about food and our bodies. Having issues with weight and food showed me my need for Jesus and the need to keep my focus on Him continually.


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Mark writes: "The most profound change I have experienced since taking the Setting Captives Free Purity Boot Camp course is that I have learned to go to the Cross and wash in the blood of Jesus daily. I see Christ within me now. I understand what faith means in a personal sense. I have not returned to pornography at all, and I do not desire it. My relationships with other people are improving too. I have landed in the right place and the right Solution for me. I recommend this course to anyone that is held prisoner to sexual impurity in any of its forms.

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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