We exist to help men and women find freedom in Christ through the gospel.
But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
Setting Captives Free was established in 2000 by Mike and Jody Cleveland and was revised in 2017 to more clearly communicate the gospel's power in the transformation of hearts and lives.
Our Board of Directors
Setting Captives Free is under the oversight of a board of directors and is a ministry of Gospel Growth Ministries, a 501C3 non-profit organization founded by Mike and Jody Cleveland.
Though I had a profession of faith in Christ, I lived in sin for many years, hurting myself and others. Then one day God opened my eyes to see Jesus on the cross setting me free from sin’s penalty, along with His resurrection from the dead freeing me from sin’s power. I put faith in that message, received the gift of the Holy Spirit, and have been learning how to walk by the Spirit so that I don’t gratify the lusts of my flesh ever since. My wife, Jody, and I founded Setting Captives Free to help others enjoy the same freedom that we have found.
For many years I worked hard at pleasing God by my own works. Despite becoming more and more legalistic in my faith, my bondage to sin only increased. Then in my most desperate hour, Jesus finally got through to me. He alone could do, no, had done, what I never could - live the perfect life, die the perfect death, and He gave me His righteousness as a gift. In His grace, He pieced this shattered man back together, new, free, at rest, and in love with the gospel. "In [Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace." Ephesians 1:7
I have been a Christian for over 50 years. And as a Christian, a leader of Bible studies, being called to minister as a Navy Chaplain and later a pastor, I had "secret sins" that I could not find freedom. I would pray, read my Bible, make promises to God, but none of these things brought freedom from my bondage. After doing several Setting Captive Free courses in 2013, I saw for the first time how the Gospel was not merely for my salvation, but the Gospel was for all of life. It was like finding the "missing key" that was in front of me the whole time. As the Gospel's message became my focus, I understood the power of dying to self and being alive in Christ by faith. It was not by what I did, but what Jesus had already done. "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (21) "I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain." (Galatians 2:20-21 NKJV) When Jesus was crucified, I was crucified. When Jesus rose from the dead, I rose from the dead. Now by faith, I live not by my works but by the power of the Gospel working in and through me. (Romans 1:16-17)
The gospel of Jesus Christ saved our marriage from many sins; impurity, disrespect, adultery, bankruptcy, anger, rage and so much more. When God revealed the gospel’s love and power to us by faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection our sins were forgiven and our old lives were put to death on the cross with Jesus. And when we rose from the tomb with Christ we were given power through the Holy Spirit to live and love again. “This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” (1 John 4:10 NLT).
We hold tight to the gospel that has been preached for 2000 years. It alone holds the power for salvation and the power to overcome sin. For more information, see our doctrinal statement.