The Power of the Cross: 198th Edition, September 19, 2021


Mike Cleveland
 

The Power of the Cross: 198th Edition, September 19, 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.

----------

Announcement: New course just released: Marriage and the Gospel! Come join Erick and Sylvia Hurt as they share how the gospel of Jesus Christ saved their marriage from impurity, disrespect, adultery, bankruptcy, anger, and rage. See how Jesus raised them up from their dead marriage and were given the power to live and love again. Our prayer is that you will likewise experience the gospel's power in your marriage and fall in love all over again.

Announcement: Mike Cleveland is going live on Facebook today, Sunday, at 10:30 AM Pacific (West Coast) time: https://www.facebook.com/scfggm/live_videos/ He will be teaching on “The Word Became Flesh and Tabernacled Among Us” from John 1:14.

 

----------

 

The audio version of this newsletter can be found here.

 

----------

 

Announcement: The Setting Captives Free podcast is growing! Listen in on Sundays for the newsletter, join us on “Testimony Tuesday” and “Worship Song Wednesday” (where we discuss worship music, make recommendations, and give cautions). Thursdays are now our regular podcast days.

----------

Setting Captives Free’s blog page. Check out all our authors (volunteers with Setting Captives Free) who are writing for our gospel blog. It will be a feast for your soul!

----------

Teaching:

Would you rather have to always put fences around your behavior (accountability software, diet programs, 12-step groups, etc.) because your heart longs to sin, or experience a heart change so that you hate to sin and love the Lord Jesus?

The false teachers in Galatia pointed the church to the Law to justify themselves before God and perfect themselves in the flesh. But the Old Covenant is external and can only attempt to curtail the behavior of the flesh by placing laws around it, so Paul responded with the gospel of Jesus Christ, who transforms hearts. He guided the church to walk by the Spirit who works in our hearts, changing us internally and eternally. 

In his explanation, Paul compares and contrasts the two - the Law and the Spirit. Galatians 5:19-21 show the result of turning to God's Law to try to justify, mature, or perfect yourself. It produces the acts of the flesh.

Galatians 5:19-21 (NIV) "The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."

Here is the list of things we have struggled with our whole lives, right? But turning to the Old Covenant Ten Commandment Law attempting to make ourselves right with God or free ourselves from sin only produces more of this type of behavior. Plus, it also condemns us ("those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God"). But the gospel applied by the Spirit of God leads us into the freedom we desire. 

As we think about the work of the Spirit in our lives, let’s consider some of the lyrics of this worship song written by Matt Boswell, Michael Bleecker, and Matt Papa.

Come behold the wondrous mystery
He the perfect Son of Man
In His living, in His suffering
Never trace nor stain of sin

See the true and better Adam
Come to save the hell-bound man
Christ the great and sure fulfillment
Of the law; in Him, we stand

Come behold the wondrous mystery
Christ the Lord upon the tree
In the stead of ruined sinners
Hangs the Lamb in victory

See the price of our redemption
See the Father’s plan unfold
Bringing many sons to glory
Grace unmeasured, love untold

As we come to behold the Lamb hanging in victory, the Lord upon the Tree, we see the sure fulfillment of the Law, and as we believe we receive the Holy Spirit, the fulfillment of the gospel. And how does that work out for us?

Galatians 5:22-26 (NIV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking, and envying each other.

Question: According to Galatians 5:22-26, how can we experience love, joy, peace, self-control, etc.? 

----------

 

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  

----------

Testimonies

Solly writes, "Taking this journey came at the opportune time when I needed it the most. My wife had tested positive for COVID-19, and we were isolating from each other for two weeks. Being alone most of the time, I knew I was vulnerable. Starting the Setting Captives Free Purity Bootcamp course was like finding water in a desert.

 

Learning about the cross helped me focus on and appreciate what Jesus has done for me on the cross.   The Bible says that we need to fix our eyes on Jesus; this was practical and real for me.

 

The cross helps to remind me of where I come from, what Jesus has done for me, and the price he paid. I need the Spirit in my life to walk side by side with me, daily transform me and get me back to the path when I veer off by the temptation to gratify the flesh.

 

The lesson that impacted me the most is praying God's word back to Him. That was powerful and has stayed with me. The battle plan helped me to review and refine my boundaries. I feel very much alive (spiritually) and looking forward to the Purity follow-up course.

 

I've encouraged others to take the course; they have all found it valuable. Purity Bootcamp is a life-changing course as it helps us reflect on who we are, where we are, and centers us on Christ daily.

----------

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. 

----------

For wonderful, powerful, gospel-full writings, we recommend subscribing to http://theperfectoffering.com/

New course just released: Marriage and the Gospel! Come join Erick and Sylvia Hurt as they share how the gospel of Jesus Christ saved their marriage from impurity, disrespect, adultery, bankruptcy, anger, and rage. See how Jesus raised them up from their dead marriage and were given the power to live and love again. Our prayer is that you will likewise experience the gospel's power in your marriage and fall in love all over again.

Sincerely,

Mike Cleveland
Volunteer for Setting Captives Free