The Power of the Cross: 82nd Edition, June 2, 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 teachings and testimonies from Setting Captives Free students. We hope you will find the newsletter helpful and encouraging.

For the teaching this week, consider that through Jesus, all believers are rescued, redeemed and forgiven:

Colossians 1:13-14 (NIV) For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

When we are in bondage to sin we are racking up a debt of sin that is unpayable, except through death. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 3:23). This sin-debt becomes a very heavy load on our shoulders, and while captive to sin’s power we add to that load every day. We become burdened down by sin’s load, we become angry or depressed, knowing that we have no power to stop sinning or to remove the present load on our back.

When Jesus Christ came to this earth He took your load of sin and went to the cross with it. He was burdened down by your sin and He paid the wages of your sin, which is death. Now you have been rescued and redeemed, and have “the forgiveness of sins”, meaning you have no guilt anymore, once you believe this message. Through the removal of your guilt of sin Jesus has removed your burden of sin, and you are fully forgiven and set free.

This is a rescue! You have been rescued by Jesus death on the cross! “For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness…” He did this by removing your sin burden and paying your sin debt, thereby forgiving you. See Jesus hanging on the cross with your sin debt on His shoulders, your burden pushing Him clear down into hell, where He lovingly went for you to rescue you!

Once you no longer have your sin weighing you down, you are able to "throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2). 

The whole key is that you were rescued, redeemed and forgiven. 

Here are a few testimonies from people who have completed courses at Setting Captives Free:

Colleen writes, "My Setting Captives Free Weight Loss class at church has 7 members and every one has a unique perspective, but they all agree that this is the best Bible study they have ever taken. All have stated that it is life changing. Many have said that they think it should be named something other than Weight Loss because the profundity goes way beyond that title. We will be offering the class on a regular basis now."

Alyssa writes: "Since taking the Setting Captives Free Weight Loss course, I find I fit much better into my clothes and I feel much more comfortable all around. Previously I was very uncomfortable in my body and often couldn't find ways to sit or stand without feeling wrong. I do not feel that way anymore! I also am thinking more about God and how He wants me to live - and how I can be obedient to His Word. 

I recommend this course.  It is really hard to wait for an audible stomach growl before eating when you first start, and the social pressures to eat were the hardest obstacle for me. But, friend, by the end of your study, everyone knows what you are doing and why and the social pressures melt away! And, just as we learn in the study, we truly can't wait for hunger pangs - it is so rewarding!


LK writes, "As I have studied the Setting Captives Free Depression course, I have been comforted by experiencing the sorrow and grief of Jesus delivered up for my sin. I'm so thankful for such sorrow over Jesus crucified for my sin. It is comforting to me because I know when I'm broken over my sin, then the power of sin is broken in my life. I have found shelter and healing in the wounds of Christ. 

Considering the cross of Christ has become a key for me to experience Jesus in a new and beautiful way. The more I come to the cross of Christ by the Spirit's work, the more I experience the life-changing power of it. This work of God's grace has been gradual, but sure in my life.

I'm thankful to God that after years of seeking a deeper experience of Christ, He has given me thirst and longing to know and experience Jesus through His redemption, death, and resurrection. This hunger is God's gracious gift.

I'm thankful for the Spirit's work of leading me to Calvary in a living way. The cross of Jesus is brought before my eyes again and again. The washing and cleansing at the cross of Christ I have been experiencing these past couple of months has been so precious. My love for the Lord and my consecration has been deepened by seeing Jesus and his loving death and redemption for me.

I have begun to know little by little the cross as an antidote to my anxiety, worry, and low self-esteem. By coming to the cross, I can experience love and forgiveness of Christ that uplifts me and comforts me. There is overwhelming love and acceptance to be experienced at the cross."

P.S. The Setting Captives Free Purity Boot Camp Leader's Guide, for leading small groups, is now available which you can find here: 


Mike Cleveland
Volunteer for Setting Captives Free