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  • Did you know that SCF has a “Doctrinal Statement?”

    Did you know that SCF has a “Doctrinal Statement?”

    https://settingcaptivesfree.com/about

    Every once in awhile, someone will ask us about what we believe about certain theological positions that are found in a variety of denominations, non-denominations around the world. We had such an inquiry this week and would like to share our response:

    • What is your take on [a particular theological position]?

    We don't try to make any "point" concerning theological systems. Our ministry is focused on presenting and showing others how to apply the Gospel (Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection - 1 Corinthians 15:3-4) to all of life. We believe that the message of the Cross is not merely for salvation, but for all of life. Paul's ministry was evident, and his message was "Jesus Christ and Him crucified." (1 Corinthians 2:2).

    "But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness," (1 Corinthians 1:23 NKJV)

    "O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?" (Galatians 3:1 NKJV)

    "But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." (Galatians 6:14 NKJV)

    "Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ (9) and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; (10) that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death," (Philippians 3:8-10 NKJV)

    Paul used that Gospel message of the death, burial, and resurrection, and utilized this Gospel to "spinoff" and point to other doctrinal and life application. Look at the book of Romans; Paul points to the death, burial, and resurrection throughout. Paul applies the Cross to sin throughout the whole book. Paul shows what was accomplished in dealing with sin and how to now live as believers. In the light of this Gospel of the Cross and the power of the resurrection, we live.

    The Lord has called us to focus this ministry on the application of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, to all of life.

    Others are called to focus on other aspects of theology like eschatology, ecclesiology, systematic theology, ordo salutis, etc. But we desire to have only one message, Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

    One thing I have personally found, the common bond I have with Christians. All Christians from all sorts of denominations, non-denominations, differing theological perspectives have the Gospel, Jesus' death on the Cross for sins, burial, and resurrection in common. All agree that a person needs to believe and put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ and the substitutionary death for their sins. We all believe that Jesus was buried and rose on the third day, according to scriptures. We all believe that Jesus was the God/Man and was the only mediator between God and man.

    I recently listened to Ravi Zacharias at the Mormon Tabernacle on YouTube. I like listening to Ravi's answers to questions, and he is a wonderful apologist. I was very curious as to what he would say from the pulpit of "a church" that I feel misrepresents the Gospel and the deity of Christ. Without "attacking," he presented an Old Testament history lesson of two kings. One destroyed the nation of Israel (Manasseh – 2 Kings 21), leading the nation into idolatry and another king (the grandson, Josiah – 2 Kings 22-23) who lead the nation back to the Lord and His word. Then Ravi gave an unambiguous presentation of Jesus crucified, pointing the audience to the Cross, challenging the people to read John 14 and consider the person of Jesus Christ. He did this with grace and humility, pointing to the crucified Jesus.

    When I keep my focus on the Cross, I can see how many other "doctrinal" issues that do not lead me to the Cross – is foolishness. I don't have to "argue" and point out errors and heresies. No, I need to keep pointing to the Cross and the One who bled and died for me. Then I remind myself that I have been buried with Him and raised with Him. I am a new creature in Christ, I have been crucified with Jesus and am now so in love, that I only want to focus on the crucified Christ. I am learning that all "good" theology will spinoff from a proper understanding of Jesus' death on the Cross, His burial, and resurrection. If I lose sight of the Cross, I will be wandering in a labyrinth of endless dead-end paths that will only "tickle the ears" and lead to destruction. There is no power in "points of theology." The power of the Gospel, (Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection), points me to Himself and there I find that my heart has been changed by the blood that was shed on the Cross.

    I trust this is helpful and that you understand what we hold to dearly as our only hope – Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

    posted in Gospel Quotes
  • RE: Adding accountability emails after sign-up?

    @Jerem-Lee Yes, there is. If you go to your enrollment page and click on settings, you can then scroll down and add email addresses there. I hope this helps.

    posted in Purity
  • RE: Will anyone mentor me...

    @Josef-Kruppenbacher, I would be honored to mentor you. I will "adopt" you and begin to look at your lessons. You will be receiving an email that will introduce myself to you.

    posted in Purity
  • RE: The Gospel and the Church

    @Adam-Hartman Here is a good reference point to start: This is the information found on the Hebrew word: תּוֹלָע tôwlâʻ

    https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H8438&t=NKJV

    Here are some interesting articles in reference to this "worm."

    http://omegazine.com/spiritual/worthystudy/worm.html

    https://www.discovercreation.org/blog/2011/11/20/the-crimson-or-scarlet-worm/

    posted in Specific Course Discussion
  • A mother and son

    Romans 5:17 ESV For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

    A mother who loved his son paid the debt her son owed to be released from prison. The love of a mother and son is so wonderful. She no doubt remembers carrying her son long ago in her womb as she sang, talked to, touched, rubbed and loved him well before he took his first breath.

    Then once that day came she was overjoyed to see her son being born. What a wonderful and powerful “love connection” these two had immediately upon his birth. Unfortunately the son was full of sin and evil flowing from his heart that he murdered his mother—he took her life! How sad that the mother had no idea she was paying for her own death! The one she loved so much and paid to have released from prison would pay her back by taking her life.

    Jesus was born to die—paying for His own death and for the release of those captives who murdered Him by nailing Him to the tree! But unlike the sinful son who took his innocent mother's life, Jesus, the innocent One would give His life for His mother and lay down His life for the sins of the world—and take it up again on the third day! He paid for His own death and with his blood for the sinful ones who nailed His hands and feet.

    Mary, no doubt remembers carrying her son long ago in her womb as she sang, talked to, touched, rubbed and loved Jesus well before he took his first breath.

    Mary did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?
    Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
    This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you…

    Romans 5:18-19 ESV Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous.

    posted in Gospel Teachings
  • RE: Scary passages

    @Luke-Howard You are right on all points. I was thinking about that 4th point a few days ago (but didn't write it out). 🙂 The Father looks at us through Christ. We "appear" perfect because of the blood. We look at ourselves and see the mess, but the Father looks at us and sees Jesus.

    There is one who will always point out "the mess" in our lives: the devil, the accuser of the brethren. "Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. (11) "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death." (Revelation 12:10-11 NKJV)

    Yes, BUT Jesus... Yes, the accuser is right, I have messed up, I have sinned, BUT Jesus has covered that sin with His blood, and I am no longer condemned (Romans 8:1).

    So how do we overcome those accusations? Verse 11 says, by the blood of the Lamb. The blood is our first "go-to" when we are accused of past and current sins. When those accusations come, I remind myself, "I am under the blood of righteousness and have been made righteous by that blood of Jesus."

    This response to accusations leads us to the second "go-to," our testimony. That testimony is merely reminding myself (and whoever I might tell) that I am under the blood of Jesus, who died for me and took upon Himself ALL of my sins. I have been buried with Him and have risen with Him as righteous. By faith, I believe Jesus died on the Cross for me, and I am now a new creature in Christ. And a part of our testimony to telling others what Jesus has done.

    "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (18) Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, (19) that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. (20) Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. (21) For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Corinthians 5:17-21 NKJV)

    And the final "go-to" is not loving our lives to the death. Paul said it this way:

    "But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. (8) Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ (9) and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; (10) that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, (11) if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead." (Philippians 3:7-11 NKJV)

    Whatever we might think was import in our lives, is rubbish in comparison to what we have gained in Christ. Paul held on to this attitude to the very end of his life. "For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. (7) I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (8) Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing." (2 Timothy 4:6-8 NKJV)

    posted in Purity
  • RE: Scary passages

    @Luke-Howard I appreciate you asking and wrestling with these passages. Let's examine a few more scriptures.

    "and come forth--those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation." (John 5:29 NKJV)

    Consider again that those who have been redeemed at the Cross can do good. This comparison in John 5:29 is not some scale of justice that God weighs out the bad vs. good. No, for we would always be wanting and without hope, if it was based merely on our “good deeds.” But by God’s grace, He gave us His Son on the Cross to redeem and purify for Himself a people.

    "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, (12) teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, (13) looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, (14) who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works." (Titus 2:11-14 NKJV)

    Those who believe (putting their trust and faith in the finished work of the Cross) are those “special people.” And we will not only be doing good works; we will be zealous for good works to God’s glory.

    That “resurrection of life” is for those who believe and have put on the Lord Jesus as their righteousness. The blood that Jesus shed is the only thing that will cleanse and make us whole. It is not by our works, but by grace through faith. We have now become His workmanship for good works in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

    We learn to take up that Cross daily and follow Him (Luke 9:23). It is learning to die daily and live in the shadow of the Cross. Paul continued to have this mindset. "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)

    We live with the Cross, being crucified with Christ – and being buried with Christ – and being raised with Christ. In Him, we are free and will be raised up on that last day to the resurrection of life.

    posted in Purity
  • RE: Lesson 8 Hearing the Message of the Cross -

    @Mike-Cleveland Yes! Absolutely!

    posted in Purity
  • Purity Follow-up Lesson 57

    My heart rejoiced when I read this answer. This student was in terrible bondage when he first started the Purity Boot Camp course and then continued in the Follow-up course. Listen to the joy and freedom of one who was once in bondage and now has found freedom through the Cross:

    Question 2. What has it been like for you to come to the cross and drink in the good news?

    I must say it has been refreshing and the statement "our thirst is quenched” is really true.

    My thirst for porn is being quenched, it’s not appealing anymore, by God's grace and not any effort of mine.

    I don't look of it anymore or scheme ways to gratify my flesh.

    The cross is the sole solution and it’s given me liberation to serve God more. I enjoy Him now more than before, and I am very grateful. I've stopped counting the days of freedom. Because I know I’ve been satisfied with Him and He is going to keep me from stumbling or falling.

    Notice what he said: "By God's grace and not any effort of mine." and "I've stopped counting the days of freedom." Here is the testimony of a changed heart that has found freedom. "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." (John 8:36 NKJV)

    posted in Purity Course
  • Lesson 8 Hearing the Message of the Cross -

    Question 7. Please state what you learned from this lesson today:

    Victoria writes
    Hearing the message of the cross is integral to my believing. I'm a forgetful person, and if I go too long without hearing and affirming my belief in the Gospel of Christ, it slips from my mind onto a back burner. It's not longer my center of attention and everything does not revolve around Jesus. So the advice "we must come often to the cross and believe the message." is priceless!

    posted in Purity