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The Power of the Cross: 73rd Edition, March 31, 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.

The teaching for this week is a “Scripture Snippet”, which you can watch here: https://settingcaptivesfree.com/forum/topic/985/freedom-through-substitution-leviticus-4-3-4 

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Sometimes we get testimonies that are fairly short, “just the facts”, and other times we get more of a story. Neither is better or worse than the other, sometimes it’s good to read both kinds. Today I have one of each to share with you. These show the miraculous power of the cross:

Patricia writes, "The Setting Captives Free Weight Loss course enabled me to give up this bondage to food that I have had for 40 years!!!

In 30 lessons I have learned that being hungry is something to be embraced and not something to be feared. I've learned to be patient and wait for the hunger to come, and that exercise is something I can do not something that has to be done. I don't have to be so hard on my body, and it may take time to lose all the weight I want since I have abused my body for a long time.

I went to my doctor recently and found out that my cholesterol level is down to normal now, and I've lost 10 lbs of excess weight.”


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Adam writes: "I was involved with pornography and self-gratification for about 35 years. It started as a curiosity, but even at a young age, the hooks of lust got hold of me, drawing me deeper and deeper into perversion. I knew it was wrong, but I could not stop. The guilt and shame were immense. I tried being a good person, but I was a "white-washed sepulcher." On the outside, I may have seemed like a nice person who knew a lot about the Bible and the Christian religion, and I would even preach it, but I did not practice it. I was dead on the inside.

My sin made me angry and full of self-loathing, and this infected my relationships with my family, friends, and colleagues throughout my life. My sin separated me from society, making me uncomfortable in society. I was a hypocrite.

I did try to get free. I tried self-will, keeping God's commandments, psychology, psychiatric medication, prayers, confessions, etc. I failed every time, and after every failure, I just became more hopeless and more hardened in my sin. I thought I had overstepped the line; that I was going to be stuck in this condition till I die and spend eternity in hell. In short, sin got hold of me, overcame me, beat me to a pulp. I was dying by the side of the road, and it was a lonely and painful time.

Someone did eventually come to help, but initially, I looked at Him like I looked at everyone and everything before. I did not trust Him because I thought I was doomed. Then He spoke to me a message I heard before but never really paid attention to because I was too self-absorbed and hardened in my sin to care. But this time was different.

God showed me much grace and led me to the Setting Captives Free Purity course, and the LORD used brothers to interpret this message I never really grasped. It was here that I understood the message was the gospel of Jesus Christ, the God-Man who came into my life and rescued me.

Jesus came to me in a way like nothing, and no one had before. I always knew that Jesus could save but never understood how. I always thought I had to keep the commandments and be religious for Jesus to work in me but that never worked. I thought I had to prove to Him that I wanted to be set free from this bondage by staying pure for at least some time, and then He would come and save me for good, but that didn't work.

Jesus came when I surrendered to the fact that I was helpless. When the only thing I could do was cry for help, Jesus came and took the burden of sin off me. Jesus removed my filthy sin-stained robe and put it on Himself, was found guilty of my sin, and executed on the cross in my place.

Jesus died for me, for my years and years of bondage to porn and self-gratification and all the other sins I committed. He paid the price for me. He settled my sin debt. I was acquitted of all my sins, washed, and given a pure, new robe of His righteousness. My sins are gone; my guilt, shame, and condemnation removed and taken to the grave with Jesus.

With this forgiveness and lifting of my condemnation, Jesus gave me something completely new. He gave me a new life with new desires that are pure and right. Suddenly, I have no fear of condemnation but an ever-increasing desire to live for Jesus and tell others about the living hope He gives and the miracle work that He does.

I have been crucified with Christ and resurrected with Him into a brand new life of love, hope, and joy which is something I always wanted but thought was not possible.

I am not the same person since Jesus came into my life. I would not have thought I could even speak like this, or that I would be able to say that I, possibly the worst of the worst of sexual sinners, have been forgiven, given hope, freed to live at peace with God, am longer enslaved to this horrible, sickening, filthy, deathly corpse of sin and the condemnation it deserves.

Unlike the past where I HAD to live for myself and my sexual sin; now, I cannot but help leave that behind. I am free and able to chose to live for Jesus. Now, I WANT to serve Jesus by the power of His Spirit.

If this can happen to me, it can happen to you. Believe me. I know what I am saying. No amount of sin can outdo the grace of God through Jesus Christ who took that sin and paid the penalty for it on the cross so that we can be forgiven and set free; and through His resurrection, we can know that our hope and salvation is real. We are set free by Jesus to live a whole new life in His grace and in His kingdom of light.

It's a whole new life given to us sinners by a sinless Saviour who gave His life for our sins. It's crazy, and it's true. I am proof of that, and you can be too. Stop looking at yourself, or anywhere else for a solution to your sin problem. There is only one place to find it lifted from your shoulders, and that is at the cross where Jesus took it and died for it and gave you His new clean robe of righteousness out of pure love for you. You and I do nothing to deserve it, and yet he gives it. What amazing grace from an amazing God.

You might be in a bad place, but you only have two choices: continue struggling against this sin by yourself and lose every time (don't fool yourself otherwise), or you can turn to Jesus and cry out to Him and let Him save you. I urge you to come to Jesus; He is faithful and mighty to save.

I could go on and on and on to lift His Holy name and declare His praise for He is righteous, gracious and true forever and ever and ever.”


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The Setting Captives Free Weight Loss book is now available. If the link is not clickable in your email program you can copy this link and paste it in your browser: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/1733760903/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_kr-NCb9XDC923. The leader’s guide for group study will be available shortly. 


Sincerely,

Mike Cleveland