The Power of the Cross

Mike Cleveland

The Power of the Cross: 213th Edition, January 23, 2022

Greetings friends,
Welcome, new subscribers! This weekly newsletter shares short gospel teachings and testimonies from Setting Captives Free students. We hope you will find it helpful and encouraging.

The audio version of this newsletter can be found here.


You know the gospel is permeating you when you find that you are laying down your rights to benefit and bless others. 

In 1 Corinthians 9, we see Paul detailing all his rights, and then we see him laying them down, one by one. He says he has the right to live in their homes and share their meals, marry a believing wife, and expect financial support from his labors in the gospel. 

Then, he gives four analogies in rapid succession to prove his point:

What soldier has to pay his own expenses? What farmer plants a vineyard and doesn’t have the right to eat some of its fruit? What shepherd cares for a flock of sheep and isn’t allowed to drink some of the milk? 8 Am I expressing merely a human opinion, or does the law say the same thing? 9 For the law of Moses says, “You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain” (1 Corinthians 9:7-9 NLT). 

Paul had the right to expect certain things from the Corinthians, but he willingly laid all those rights down to promote the gospel. He wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:12, “But we have never used this right. We would rather put up with anything than be an obstacle to the Good News about Christ.

Paul looked for opportunities to lay down his rights and give up his freedoms to display the cross more fully before the people. He’s told the Corinthians about Jesus who died for them, gave up all His rights to heaven for them, and now Paul illustrates this truth in his own life so that they will see the gospel in action as well as hear it spoken. 

Question 1: How intensely do you want to give out the gospel to others? Will you only speak it out, or are you also willing to be a living, modern-day example of it in your life? Please share.



Elijah writes, "The Biblical principles of Freedom taught in the Substance Abuse course have been helpful to me. I pray that God will help me remember them.

I wasn't warring with the flesh before. I laid down my weapons and gave in. I wasn't walking by the Spirit; I was suppressing Him. I wasn't washing at the cross; I wasn't even thinking about it. Now I see the principles of washing at the cross, walking by the Spirit, and warring against my flesh as daily necessities.

I did wash at the cross in these lessons. I have been walking by the Spirit to war against the flesh. It has been all through God's power. I have received it, not produced it. The Lord has revealed so many things to me in these lessons. I learned to look forward, not backward - not at what I've done but that God has forgiven me for it and to look forward to how I can grow in the Spirit.

God covered me after I sinned; I had pushed Him away and denied the Lord of my life. I denied my loving Father and, in my actions, cursed at him, yet He covered me in Jesus' righteousness. He loved me when I didn't love Him. I don't deserve this love or forgiveness, but I'm thankful for it."


Friend, if you find you agree 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 would you consider setting up a monthly tax-deductible donation of any amount? Thank you in advance. 


Mike Cleveland
Volunteer for Setting Captives Free