• Evil Lurking Close at Hand Devotional

    Romans 7:21

    In his commentary Romans, Dr. R.C. Sproul writes, “[Paul] identifies himself not with the one who wills to do evil but with the one who wants to do right.” The desire to love and please God, granted to us by the Holy Spirit, signifies who we really are in Jesus. When the Christian sins, he is in a real sense acting out of character, for God has changed him. When we face temptation, let us remind ourselves that we have put on Christ and cannot “wear” Adam any longer. View Resource

  • Our True Identity Devotional

    Romans 7:18-20

    John Calvin comments, “The Holy Spirit so prepares the godly that they are ready and strive to render obedience to God; but as their ability is not equal to what they wish, Paul says, that he found not what he desired, even the accomplishment of the good he aimed at.” Christians are to be realists, not defeatists. We are not to expect perfection in this life, but neither are we on the losing side of the battle with sin. By the Spirit, we do progress in holiness as we aim for conformity to Christ. View Resource

  • The Believer’s Struggle Devotional

    Romans 7:14-17

    John Murray, in his commentary on Romans, writes that “the more sanctified [a Christian] becomes the more painful to him must be the presence in himself of that which contradicts the perfect standard of holiness.” Though the power of sin has been broken in our lives, its presence remains, and the holier we become, the darker and more wretched this sin appears. A growing understanding of the depth of our sin is what we should expect as the Spirit does His work in our lives. View Resource

  • Slaves to Righteousness Devotional

    Romans 6:16-19

    In his commentary Romans, Dr. R.C. Sproul discusses the relationship between justification and sanctification: “We are not going to make it on the basis of our righteousness, but only on the basis of faith. If the faith is genuine, the fruit of that faith will be real righteousness.” Declarative righteousness—God’s pronouncement that the merit of Christ is imputed to our accounts—is what gives us peace with God. But through His Spirit, the Lord will sanctify His people. View Resource

  • Defeating the Devil Devotional

    2 Corinthians 11:14

    Because the Son of God came to destroy the devil, we need not fear the devil. We also need not wonder too much if there is a demon behind specific temptations that confront us. What we should do is become fully grounded in God’s Word. As we grow in our knowledge of Scripture, our discernment improves, and we find it easier to identify as sinister things that might at first glance appear to be good. Let us train our minds by the Word of God. View Resource

  • Fighting the Flesh Devotional

    Romans 8:1-11

    Only as we understand the enemy of the flesh can we begin to please God. The Lord is not content for mere external holiness. He wants our hearts, and he measures holiness based on what lies within (1 Sam. 16:7). Fighting the flesh means, primarily, fighting against those attitudes of the heart that are opposed to the Lord. As we focus on the inward man, our external obedience will improve, but external obedience is of little value if we do not love God with our whole hearts. View Resource

  • Warring Against the World Devotional

    John 7:7

    First Peter 3:15 gives us the prescription for dealing with the world. We are not to be recluses but are to be ready to give an answer for the hope that is within us. That presupposes that we are in the world and that the world has reason to ask us about our hope because our manner of life is attractive. We should be ready to confront the world with God’s truth, but we should not do so in a cantankerous or caustically confrontational manner. View Resource

  • The Christian’s Chief Goal Devotional

    Luke 16:16

    Our Lord does not want people who enlist in His army only to quit after the first battle. Instead, He is seeking soldiers who press on in even the most difficult circumstances, men and women who spend their whole lives seeking to please Him. We cannot work up such zeal and strength in ourselves, but we must ask God to grant it to us, knowing that only those who persevere to the end are saved and that only those who are truly saved persevere to the end. View Resource

  • Living Under Grace Devotional

    Romans 6:14

    John Calvin notes that we are no longer under the law for justification: “We are no longer subject to the law, as requiring perfect righteousness, and pronouncing death on all who deviate from it in any part.” While old covenant saints were not saved by keeping the law, it nonetheless was a heavy burden that reminded them of God’s demands while giving no power to fulfill them. This is the burden we all feel before grace, but Christ releases us from the burden to serve Him in freedom. View Resource

  • Instruments of Righteousness Devotional

    Romans 6:12–13

    We work with God to make sanctification an experiential reality in our lives, but we must not lose sight of the fundamental truth that the Lord makes us holy. Because He has made us holy, we are to become holy by presenting ourselves wholly unto the Lord for righteousness’ sake, relying on the means of grace such as Bible study and preaching, the sacraments, and prayer to draw on the strength we need to obey Him even when things get tough. View Resource

  • Considering Ourselves Properly Devotional

    Romans 6:11

    If we look at sanctification as making ourselves holy, we will be driven to despair, for how can we make ourselves pure? We do cooperate with God in sanctification, but we do not make ourselves holy. He has made us holy, and we live out that holiness. We become in our experience what we already are in Christ. When temptations come, we are to say, “No, I am holy and I am in Christ. To sin would not be in line with what God has made me.” View Resource

  • Living to God Devotional

    Romans 6:8–10

    We must live in the power of what Christ has done. Christ has put sin’s power to death, so we are to mortify our remaining sin, denying ourselves to serve God. And because we died to sin decisively in Jesus, we can truly grow in sanctification. John Calvin writes that though we continually die to sin throughout our lives, “we are yet said properly to die only once … when Christ, reconciling us by his blood to the Father, regenerates us at the same time by the power of his Spirit.” View Resource

  • Teaching Oneself Devotional

    Romans 2:17–21a

    Today’s passage reminds us how seriously God takes the principle that we must apply the same judgment to others that we apply to ourselves. We should never condemn others according to a standard that is higher than that to which we hold ourselves accountable, and we should especially never judge others for an action not condemned in God’s Word. Let us know His Word and take care to judge ourselves by it long before we evaluate others. View Resource

  • Foolish Priorities Devotional

    Haggai 1:2-11

    The Bible warns us not to make a one-to-one correlation between God’s favor and our success. However, that does not mean that we should not be alert to disobedience being a potential reason for why we might find ourselves in trouble. Failure is an opportunity to reflect on faithfulness. When we are struggling, we must not automatically assume that it is because the Lord is displeased with us, but neither must we immediately discount it as a possibility. View Resource

  • In the Den of Lions Devotional

    Daniel 6

    John Calvin comments on today’s passage that true piety is both internal and external. It is “not only the duty of offering to God the sacrifice of prayer in our hearts, but that our open profession is also required, and thus the reality of our worship of God may clearly appear.” Daniel was recognized for his piety, so when his piety was outlawed, he was easy to find. Though we should not be cantankerous, the world should know by our actions that we love the one true God. View Resource