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The Power of the Cross: 72nd Edition, March 24, 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 writings and testimonies from Setting Captives Free students. We hope you will find the newsletter helpful and encouraging.

This week we have a powerful writing by one of Setting Captives Free’s mentors, Kelly Dorsey, on “God’s First Sermon”. Then we have two testimonies, one from the weight loss course and one from the Purity Bootcamp course.

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God preached the first Gospel sermon and the audience was Satan.

Genesis 3:14-15 The LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life;And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel."

What an astonishing decree God has made here! Picture the scene; God in Christ had finished all the works of Creation; Man had been created in His glorious image and enjoyed perfect unity and fellowship with God. But now something terrible, disastrous and catastrophic has happened. Adam feil! He turned from God to himself, giving in to temptation with the forbidden fruit, and in doing so he has brought the entire human race crashing down with him from its place of happiness and bliss to misery and death.

Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, so also death was passed on to all men, because all sinned.

It's on the stage of this dark and gloomy scene that God stands at the eternal podium of Heaven to preach the first Gospel sermon, and His audience is Satan. Do you see the Gospel here? In this decree we see the virgin birth of our Lord [the seed of the woman];His death on the Cross and Resurrection from the dead [you shall bruise His heel];the over turn of sin, Satan and His minions[He shall bruise your head];and the creation of the kingdom of God [And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed]. God deals directly with Satan here and He deals with him with the Gospel. Making the Gospel that which is of first importance, 1 Corinthians 15:3 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.

Right from the dawn of time God demonstrates his love for us through the Cross; Revelations 13:8 . . .the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.He demonstrates His Grace towards us through the Cross by making the first step towards us to repair what had been broken and bring reconciliation to what was severed. 2 Corinthians 5:19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people's sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.

Before there was ever a people of God, before there was the Law, before there was the Church, there was the Cross and the message of the Gospel. When GOD stood to preach there is much that He could have proclaimed to Satan. Such as the beauty of His Glory, His infinite power and divine majesty. He could have preached the wisdom of the Law or the mysteries of the end times. Yet in that moment, when history had changed, when it seemed all was lost and Satan had prevailed, the message GOD brought forth was the Gospel. He preached what mattered most and what was of first importance, Christ crucified, thereby unveiling to us His love, His glory and His power. Making plain what is most necessary and paramount to us in our times of defeat, hopelessness and despair. Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes:

Maybe you are like Adam or Eve right now: having disobeyed God and taken of the “beautiful”, but forbidden, fruit, you find yourself trapped, enslaved to sin, hurting because of the fall. Then you need to hear God’s first sermon and take it to heart:

God has bruised Christ for you, has wounded Christ for your transgressions, has put Christ to death in your place. In so doing, He has set you free from the penalty of sin and has provided power over sin through His Holy Spirit. You need to now believe this message, trust it, and use it to defeat Satan’s accusations of your past life.

Let us not only be as the Apostle Paul who determined to know nothing except Christ and Him crucified, but as GOD Himself who determined to preach nothing but Christ and Him crucified to our own heart, to our family and to a dying world.

1 Corinthians 2:2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

Kelly Dorsey

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Susan writes, "Through the Setting Captives Free Weight Loss course, I found peace with Christ. I now feel empowered to share the gospel message with others and to encourage others in their faith.

I had a stroke almost a year ago, and when I woke up in ICU afterward, I knew that God had a plan, and my life was going to change. I am just so thankful that this course was part of God's plan for me.

Before taking this course, I had a long-standing addiction to food. Food was controlling me; it consumed my thoughts. Even my ministry to others was focused on food, but this course put everything into perspective. Now Jesus controls my life, not food.

I have not only been released from my obsession with food, but I have also experienced significant spiritual growth. My spiritual life has been taken to a whole new level of knowing what God wants for me. I now enjoy the freedom that I have to savor Jesus and to sacrifice for Him.

I just feel like I ve learned so much in all aspects of my life. It feels so good to be walking in the Spirit confident that God is leading me. I have also lost over 20 pounds, and I feel much better."


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Ken writes, "The biblical principles that I learned in the Setting Captives Free Boot Camp course have rejuvenated my commitment and love for Christ. I needed to be reminded of these truths as I fight for my purity and relationship with God.

This course was exactly what I needed to get back to winning the battle for my purity. Though it is tough to fight against my flesh when temptations come, I was reminded that though I have to make decisions to be a man of purity, ultimately Jesus has won the battle for me. I need only to remain in Him. Personally, I set boundaries of protection up in my life and have fought to be a man of integrity. Jesus restored me to fighting status and helped me to get back into the battle."

I recommend this course because of the appropriateness of this course. For people to be free from habitual sin, they must come back to looking at Jesus. We cannot be free unless the Son set us free. I am thankful that this ministry is here to help men like me get free with Jesus.”


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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
Volunteer for Setting Captives Free