Erick writes, “Although I do not remember how the argument started, or what lead up to my anger that day, I do remember where we were and the details leading up to an anger that would shock even me. I was 15 years old when my older brother and I had gotten into one of our usual arguments. He began poking me in the chest with his finger while asking, “what are you going to do”? I was getting irritated that he was poking me, and I could feel my anger rising within me. On and on it went, “What are you going to do?" as he continued to poke his finger into my chest. My temperature rose with every poke. With every word. “What are you going to do?"
Once my internal temperature reached its boiling point, I tackled my brother to the ground (we were outside on our concrete driveway), venting all the steam that had built up inside me. After a brief skirmish, I got up thinking, “What just happened?" But that thought soon left and I went on about my day as though nothing happened. This initial anger burst would later turn into rage and would seek to destroy all that was important to me. My wife, my family, my children.
Whatever sin has overtaken us as young men and women, will be taken into our adult life. Sin isn’t something that we “get over” or “outgrow". No, that type of thinking will keep us in everlasting chains. So, I took this anger into my marriage, and it would be 17 more years before being set free from its grip. I can not tell you how many times my anger would be out of control, there are simply too many to count. And unfortunately, my wife is the one who received the brunt of my rage. It would always work the same as it did that first day on the driveway with my brother.
My wife and I would argue, and I would explode time and time again, (feeling the temperature of my youth rising) with rage and anger towards her. When she was pregnant with our firstborn child I became so enraged that I took her by the throat with her feet off the ground and pinned her to a wall. On another occasion, I put her head through a wall. Many times I would drag her to the ground by her hair. Of course, all this rage and anger was united with the most intense and vulgar language you could think of. I am writing with tears as I recount all the evil I have poured out onto my precious wife Sylvia.
But it all came to an end when my wife and I were praying desperately for our son. The Lord used the trouble of our oldest son to drive us to our knees, crying out for help. Looking back now its as if the Lord tapped me on the shoulder and said, “it’s you”, not your son. Wow, what a wake-up call. My oldest son was threatening my life and threatened to have me murdered. There were times I would have to wrestle the guns out of his hands.
Jesus Christ was pierced and crushed (Isaiah 53:5) so that our “bodies of flesh” might be brought to nothing, set free from the slavery to sin (Romans 6:6). So my son was right the whole time, his dad needed to die, just not in the way he was thinking, but in Christ, with Christ, so that I could be raised WITH CHRIST, to a new life, a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). I can now say as Paul did, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20) And now flowing from my heart is the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, instead of the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:17-22).
I’m so glad I died with Christ! No longer would I hurt my wife physically or verbally! It was over! IT WAS FINISHED! on the cross (John 19:30) I had truly died with Christ (Romans 6:5), and now I began to live to God (Romans 6:10). The gospel penetrated my heart! (Colossians 2:11). I could not wait to tell my wife the good news! The power of sin in my heart (Matthew 15:19) was truly overcome by “The Blood Of The Lamb” (Revelation 12:11). Of course, she had heard enough from me over the years, and how sorry I was for hurting her both verbally and physically. How could I be trusted that I had indeed been set free? I knew that she would have to see the change herself, and as time went on she did.
Today we live in that change every day of our lives. The Lord has restored our love to new heights. To greater heights, I could never have imagined–if I had not experienced it for myself! Usually, if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Not in this case, my friend! The power and wisdom of God, the gospel of Jesus Christ, is the only hope of changing us from the inside out (1 Corinthians 1:18-19; John 7:38). “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation the old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).”--Erick Hurt, Board Member, Setting Captives Free
Christopher writes, "Erick's main struggle was anger and rage, he lacked the love of Jesus. This anger and rage affected his family. His son wanted to kill him, the anger was transfered to his son."
Mike B. writes, "He learned that he had to die to sin. That the power of the gospel only works in someone that is dead. He realised that he was made new, that he was crucified with Christ, etc. He learned that change comes from the inside out."
Christopher writes, "He learned that his flesh had to die so that he could live in Christ.This means that the gospel changes us and it transforms our life."
Mike B. writes, "Yes, I have hope to be free from habitual sin of sexual impurity. I don't have to be a slave to it. I can be free from it. I tasted 3 years of freedom under the care of Christ. I am currently enjoying freedom as I write this. I have had times where i fall, but the overwhelming power the sin used to have in me has faded. In fact, my life is now marked more by freedom than by slavery to my sin. Since starting the Seting Captives Free purity course in 2014, i have had many more days of freedom than living in sexual impurity. Proof that God is working in my heart. that his power is real to overcome this sin that once was invincible."
Christopher writes, "Erick's story gives me hope because it teaches me that you don't have to be a slave to rage and anger. I believe it starts by reading the Bible and inviting Jesus into your heart."
You might also want to subscribe to our newsletter called "The Power of the Cross" by sending a blank email to main+subscribe@SettingCaptivesFree.groups.io. This newsletter is sent out once a week, on Sunday, and alternates short teachings one week with testimonies the following week. This is our main way of staying in touch with current and former students.