• Bootcamp Day 27 Q8

    From Richard, I loved this.

    Question 8. Please take a moment and list what you can learn from God putting to death a substitute in the place of Adam and Eve and then clothing them with the skin of the substitute:

    God's sacrificing the substitute animal in the place of the guilty parties, Adam and Eve, pictures how He did the same for me, crucifying His own Son in my place. Like A and E, I am helpless to make myself acceptable in His sight. But He accomplished what I could not. This allowed Him to come near and embrace us, to gather us up and hold us close to His heart. This experience of grace is so overwhelming that it compels me to live for Him, and it empowers me to do so. Not just in the compulsion created by my gratitude, but from the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit whom He placed within me.

    posted in Purity Course
  • 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: Heart change

    @Eric-Mockaitis Hi Eric, I appreciate your reply, and loved your thougths here brother! I'm so glad you are receiving what God's Word says about you and your future, believing it over the lies the enemy would try to sell you.

    When it comes to Hebrews 3:1, what, specifically are we to focus our thoughts on about Jesus? When it says "therefore", I see the following 4 things based on what was previously taught:

    1. His love in taking on a body, to die, so as to break the power of Satan in our lives:

    Hebrews 2:14 (NIV) Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil —

    2. The freedom we have because He was crucified:

    Hebrews 2:15 (NIV) and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

    3. That through His death He has made atonement for our sins:

    Hebrews 2:16-17 (NIV) For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.

    4. His suffering temptation and crucifixion, as the grounds, or basis for Him helping us when we are tempted.

    Hebrews 2:18 (NIV) Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

    Eric, fix your thoughts on Jesus who took a human body so He could die to break Satan's power in your life. Think of Him dying to purchase your forgiveness and freedom, your pardon and power to live differently. Dwell on the atonement that He made, as the Lamb of God who has taken away your sin. Consider often His suffering when Satan tempted, His suffering when God laid your sins on Him, His suffering nails and a crown of thorns, His suffering when His soul was made an offering for sin, His suffering when God's wrath lay heavy on Him and He became Ichabod for you.

    See Him raised and lifted up to die, and yourself in Him. See the sign above His head as recording your name and crimes committed. See His death as your death, His burial as the burial of your sins and His resurrection as the beginning of your new life. Fix your thoughts on Jesus!

    posted in Purity
  • RE: Heart change

    @Eric-Mockaitis Hi Eric, thank you for letting us know of your role and your experience and enjoyment of the sermon by Tim Keller.

    Yes, I've experienced the dehydration you refer to, the dryness of soul, the emptiness; almost like I'm a mixture of the Tinman with no heart, the lion with no courage and the scarecrow with no brain, and all the while trying to minister to others from this spot of total emptiness and powerlessness.

    It's a common experience, as you know. This dual life has been the cause of believers crying out for rescue:

    Romans 7:21-24 (NIV) So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?

    When we find ourselves in this situation, we remind ourselves of the good news of Jesus entering the darkness to rescue us, of Jesus' receiving condemnation and punishment in our place to free us, of Jesus' loving sacrifice of atonement and powerful resurrection from the dead, and our deliverance through Him:

    Romans 7:25 (NIV) Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

    We should contemplate deeply this rescue and deliverance finished by Christ. We should dwell long and often on His blood that atones for our every sin, on His wounds which heal us, His death that frees us. We should endeavor to see Him suffering capital punishment for us, hanging on a tree under the condemnation and wrath of God, taking the curse of the Law for us, and purchasing the blessing of the Holy Spirit for us.

    Can you see Him now, Eric? Hanging on a cross so that you can stand in the judgment? Can you see Him being punished in your place? Do you see He is taking your guilt and shame so that you can be free from condemnation? Do you see His heart has been pierced in order to mend your broken heart? Do you see Him being crushed for your iniquities?

    He has gone to the cross willingly for you, Eric, and not just willingly but it was for the joy set before Him that He endured the cross for you. He became the man of sorrows that you could experience the joy of pardon and complete forgiveness.

    Then He rose on the third day, in powerful resurrection from death to life, and so your payment has been made by the Son and accepted by the Father, and you are now accepted in the Beloved Son, Jesus.

    If you can see Jesus undergoing punishment and being made your sacrifice of atonement as He hangs on the cross, then you need to go further and see yourself hanging with Him. You were in Christ on the cross, paying for sin, and you have been crucified with Christ. Your old man has been impaled on a tree and has suffered death for sin, and has been buried with Christ. Your identity as being impure, as continually falling, as one powerless before the enemy, is now completely dead. It does not exist.

    Instead, you have risen with Christ as a new man to a new life. You are alive from the dead, learning now how to walk by the Spirit so that you don't gratify the lusts of the flesh. Halting and stumbling, yes, tripping occasionally, but learning the value of fixing your eyes on Jesus, of trusting His finished work as your finished sin, and of looking away from your performance to His performance for your right standing with God.

    Eric you've seen this before, probably preached on it, but consider again this passage:

    Hebrews 3:1 (NIV) Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.

    We are told to fix our thoughts on Jesus. Not on our sin, our failures, our shortcomings, but on Jesus. We are to look beyond our performance and fixate on Jesus.

    But every pastor knows to look what the "therefore" is there for, so look at the previous statements made about Jesus in Hebrews chapter 2 verse 14-18, and consider these questions:

    What thoughts, about Jesus, specifically, are we to focus on? What did Jesus accomplish for you? What is the basis of Jesus being able to help you when tempted? As you fix your thoughts on Jesus, how does this provide a river of living water to your soul?

    When you have time, write back your thoughts.

    I believe that your future will be one of great drenching in the Spirit of God and great fruitfulness in ministry as you begin to focus like a laser on the thirst Jesus experienced on the cross to quench yours, on the darkness Jesus endured on the cross to bring you into the light, on the rescue He made and the redemption price He paid to set you free and bring you to Himself:

    Isaiah 35:6-7 (NIV) Then will the lame leap like a deer,
    and the mute tongue shout for joy.
    Water will gush forth in the wilderness
    and streams in the desert.
    7 The burning sand will become a pool,
    the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
    In the haunts where jackals once lay,
    grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.

    posted in Purity
  • RE: Setting Captives Free - Weight Loss Leader's Guide is now available in print! posted in Announcements
  • RE: Heart change

    Oh Eric, I almost forgot. If you have a chance, listen to this message. It helps to see how it takes a long time for the seed of grace, buried in our hearts at salvation, to rise up and bear real fruit. Listen to the amazing focus on the good news of Christ crucified for your sins and risen from the dead in this message:

    https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/timothy-keller-sermons-podcast-by-gospel-in-life/id352660924?i=1000446761810

    posted in Purity
  • RE: Heart change

    @Eric-Mockaitis said in Heart change:

    Since there are no available mentors for me, I hope that it is okay to ask the question I would have asked of my mentor here. I have attempted a great many things to be free and none of them worked. And after submitting lesson 1, I understand why: my heart was bound and determined to gratify the lusts of my flesh, and I found ways to do it. So it has been made very clear, I need a heart change. I believe that I am saved, but have abused my relationship with Christ because of my rampant sexual bondage to lust. My question is then, does this mean I still need a new Spirit (Jeremiah 31) or simply that I have treated what I have as common and hence, repeatedly stumble? Is a portion of my heart hard or have I hardened the new heart I received at salvation through repeated sexual immorality?

    Hi Eric, I'm glad to hear from you!

    Yes, we can try anything in the world, every program of man, make determinations and vows, promise to quit and pray to stop, and nothing ever changes -- until God changes our hearts. Hence, the value of the message of the crucified Christ, the wounded and bleeding sacrifice of atonement (Romans 3:25).

    If we are believers we do not need a new Spirit as we have the Holy Spirit. But we have quenched the Spirit through impurity, and though we don't need a new Spirit we need to begin walking by the Spirit, being energized again by the Spirit, following and keeping in step with the Spirit:

    Galatians 5:25-26 (NIV) Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

    The way that we walk by the Spirit and keep in step with the Spirit is by visiting the cross, much and often. Look how intimately the cross and the Spirit are connected, noting that this passage starts and end with the cross:

    Galatians 3:1-5 (NIV) You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? 4 Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? 5 So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?

    What do you make of this passage Eric? Can you see that it was the message that clearly portrayed Christ as crucified that brought the Spirit of God and His miraculous power to the Galatians? And when this message was believed, the Spirit worked miracles among them?

    It's a miracle when you and I are freed from impurity or any sin of the flesh. It is a miracle of the Spirit, and the Spirit energizes us and works in us when we come to the cross.

    I hope this helps even a little. Feel free to follow up.

    posted in Purity
  • RE: Exposition of Forgiven - by Crowder

    I just reviewed this again, and wanted to thank you Kelly! This was such a blessing to read through, and to worship with.

    posted in Exposition of Gospel Music