[avatar user=”mark” size=”thumbnail” align=”right” /]
by Mark Sheldrake
A few weeks ago I was one of a group of 1000 men who gathered at my church for the Free Indeed Men’s Conference. The joy of joining these men to sing, pray, and cry out to God for life change was a real blessing for me. Seeing Christ’s redeeming power at work in the lives of these men is an answer to my prayers.
Now we are approaching the time of year that we reflect on the power of the cross, the power of the blood, and the grace that has been extended to us through Jesus Christ. My prayer this year is that we, as a Precept family, will make known to all the power of God through the Gospel. The study that David Arthur has written is a great way to do that. (a link to the free download is at the bottom of this article) You can gather your saved and unsaved family members or friends together and use this study to talk about the reason for this season.
If you are troubled by some Easter traditions that have moved the focus away from Christ, let that be a reminder that there are multitudes living every day without Christ, just as we too once did. We lived life separated from God, full of pride and selfish ambition. We thought that we were good people because we did good things. And we too justified our sin declaring ignorance of God’s standard of living.
Paul describes life without Christ in Romans 1:28-32,
“and just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.”
Quite the list isn’t it?
Why do people live this way? In Romans 8:7 Paul tells us, “because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God” and Romans 1:18 tells us how God responds to those who are hostile towards Him, “for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.”
Before Christ you were an enemy of God destined for His wrath. Has the sobriety of that fact lost its power because you’ve heard it time and time again?
May it never be! It is time to be reminded of the amazing free gift given to all those who believe in the power of the finished work of Christ on the cross and His resurrection.
Here’s a fun (or maybe not so fun) exercise. Don’t read any further. Go back to the list Paul gives us in Romans 1:28-32 and put a check mark beside all the items on this list you have mastered, go ahead I’ll wait for you.
How did you do? Still struggling with some of those things on this list? Maybe as you focus in on the power of the cross it’s time to officially leave the unchecked list items at the foot of the cross. Why not leave them now, be set free from these sins that separate you from God. Pray, repent, be free, you will have victory through Jesus Christ.
Make John 8:36, “So if the Son makes me free, I will be free indeed” your battle cry! And your victory song will be — Colossians 2:13, “when I was dead in my transgressions and the uncircumcision of my flesh, He made me alive together with Him, having forgiven me all my transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against me, which was hostile to me; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”
Romans 8:1 “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you FREE from the law of sin and death”
The power of the cross is FREEDOM. The blood of Christ shed 2000 years ago allows us to proclaim that, “I AM FREE, FREE INDEED!” Why not scream it from the rooftops? Proclaim your victory over sin and death, let the whole world hear of the freedom you possess through Christ.
Just one more time look back to Romans 1:28-32. See those traits you didn’t put a check mark over? Victory! They don’t own you because of the cross, because of the blood, because the Son has made you free, free indeed. So it’s time to live a life of freedom from the whole list—a life of victory because the sins that enslaved you before Christ have been forgiven.
Now get out there and share the message with others who need to hear the gospel that brings freedom. Pray for your friends and family that God would give you the boldness to share the gospel. Use David’s study as a tool to help you do this. You can download the file on our website to print more copies or request extra copies when you make a donation this month.
When you are done that study move on to one that teaches you of Christ’s freedom and forgiveness. Our New Inductive Study called Free From Bondage God’s Way is a tremendous 13 week study. Grab a friend and journey through the Word of God together.
From my family to yours, may this year’s Resurrection celebrations be filled with loud cheers of victory, may you truly experience the freedom found in Jesus Christ.
It is through your prayers and God's faithfullness that we are on the verge of expanding the work of Precept like never before in the history of the Ministry. God gave us a vision to reach 30,000 new Canadians with Inductive Bible study. And we can see that it is truly His vision.
Have we met our goal? Not yet. But we are well on our way, and I know God will continue to be faithful as we follow His leading. Thank you for hearing God's call and partnering with us in this incredible opportunity.
Blessed by your partnership,
Mark Sheldrake, National Director