The Power of the Cross: 190th Edition, July 25, 2021


Mike Cleveland
 

The Power of the Cross: 190th Edition, July 25, 2021

 

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.

 

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Teaching:

To be under the Law as a covenant is to experience the power of sin. To be under the influence of the gospel of Jesus Christ is to experience freedom from sin’s penalty and power.

Today we are considering Galatians 4:29 to 5:1. Verse 29 says, "At that time the son born according to the flesh persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now."

Some of you are being persecuted right now by people telling you that you must do this or do that to be right with God. Some of you remain trapped in sin because those guiding you have a "Do this, do that" law mindset.

And why do those under the Law persecute believers in Jesus? This passage tells us that putting yourself under Law cuts you off from Christ and His grace. As Galatians 5:4 says, "You who are trying to be justified by the law have been cut off from Christ, you have fallen away from grace." 

Do you remember some of the older horror movies? You know, where they showed headless people walking around? Paul says that's what it's like to be under the Law. Separated from the head, you fall from grace, and people who have no grace are persecutors of God's people.

The Pharisees of Jesus' day said that they were upholding the Law when they persecuted Jesus. And Paul says this same spirit is in all who seek to be justified by the Law, just like when Ishmael persecuted Isaac, when the Pharisees persecuted Jesus, and when Saul persecuted the early church. And some of you are today enduring this same opposition from those who think they are upholding the Law. 

Now, what is the temptation for those who are enduring persecution from legalists? Well, it's to give in and go back and submit and put themselves back under the burden and bondage and slavery of the Law.

That's why Paul writes chapter 5 verse 1: "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."

Paul calls us to remember that Jesus' body was nailed to a tree to free you from the curse and penalty of the Law and the power of sin. Jesus freed you from guilt under the Law, freed you from all condemnation. Look to the cross to see that Christ is the end of the Law for our righteousness (Romans 10:4). It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. 

You are free from judgment, free from condemnation, free from sin's power and penalty because Christ became sin for you and broke sin's power and took the punishment for it. You are free from guilt because Jesus assumed all your guilt and made it His own. You are free from striving to be accepted by measuring up to God's standard because Jesus met it for you, and you are accepted in Him. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. 

So what is the conclusion? Don't let yourself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Jesus calls us to live like gospel Christians, not Old Covenant Jews. Live in the freedom that Jesus died to give you. Do not allow others (no matter how well-intentioned) to put you back under the Law that Jesus fulfilled for you. Let's honor Christ and His cross and stand firm in the gospel!

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Setting Captives Free has free, interactive Marco Polo studies that correspond to the teachings in this newsletter. If you’d like to join the discussion, click one of the following links on your smartphone: 

To join one of the men’s groups, click this link: https://onmarcopolo.com/groups/Va6HzPIPDxWU/4-scf-mens-group   

To join the female (only) group, click this link: https://onmarcopolo.com/groups/Zv8WlxPaMZuu/scf-womens-group-1  

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Testimonies

Rick writes, "One of the things I saw throughout the Fruit of the Spirit course is how the Fruit of the Spirit is connected to the cross of Christ. We belong to Christ, and our sins have been crucified with Christ on the cross. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

 

These lessons have helped me to continue coming to the cross, laying my sins at the foot of the cross, knowing that I have been washed clean by the blood of Jesus.

 

I recommend this study. It is an extensive course that goes into detail about the Fruit of the Spirit and how these were exhibited in our Lord Jesus while He lived here on earth the 33 years of His life and that they are the same fruits that we can display in our own lives to as we grow and walk by the Spirit."

Patti writes, "After taking the Weight Loss Bootcamp course, I have seen the following changes in my life:

 

When I started this course, I was only reading the Scripture in the study. However, I now see how important it is for me to open the Bible every day and feast on His Word. What Truth I am finding there! I have a renewed desire for God's Word.

I am more sensitive to the Holy Spirit and am hearing His leading when temptation comes. 
This course has helped me to see my bitterness and pray for God to take it from me. 

This course has uncovered idols and sins in my life that I hadn't seen before. Some "dots" have been connected, and I see how to escape from habitual sin in a new way.

In the past, I have doubted God's goodness, that He is for me. Through this course, I have been reminded of who He is and how He loves me. He wants me to be free more than I do! I have hope that, by walking free from habitual sin, my life will move forward from the suffering of these past three years. 

I have peace, and my focus has changed in regards to my appearance. I have begun to focus on my heart appearance rather than my physical appearance. I want a beautiful heart regardless of how I look on the outside. Jesus wasn't the perfect human specimen physically, but His heart was beautiful. I want to be more like Christ!

 

Physically, my clothes are feeling looser. I have more energy; my skin is clearer and more healthy-looking. Jesus has removed my guilt and shame, so I'm not grieving about it anymore.

 

I recommend this course! This world, our flesh, and the evil one lie to us. The ONLY way to counteract the lies is to experience the power of the cross and the truth of the gospel. This course is filled with the message of the cross!"

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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?  www.settingcaptivesfree.com/donate. Thank you in advance. 

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Sincerely,

Mike Cleveland
Volunteer for Setting Captives Free