• The Severe Judgment of God Devotional

    Colossians 2:11–13

    Those who do not baptize infants must view the new covenant community as one in which the children of believers take no real part before their conversion. This makes the new covenant community radically different from the old covenant community, and it also makes it hard to see how God can view the children of believers as set apart before their conversion (1 Cor. 7:14). Our views of the church and of baptism are intimately connected. View Resource

  • Faith and the Means of Grace Devotional

    Colossians 2:11-12

    Baptism may, at its administration, mysteriously “increase the grace of God in the heart, if present, but may also be instrumental in augmenting faith later on, when the significance of baptism is understood” (Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology, p. 642). Believers who are baptized for the first time as adults have no doubt received its grace, which bolsters their faith. Baptized infants receive baptism’s grace if and when they later come to faith. View Resource

  • Canceling Our Debt Devotional

    Colossians 2:13-14

    That God no longer regards us as guilty, because of our union with Christ, does not mean that He has overlooked our sin, for He has judged it in the flesh of His Son, whose perfect righteousness is credited to our account. Let us therefore walk in the freedom He has purchased for us, not thinking that we must do things to make Him love us but endeavoring to please Him because of the great love He showed us when we were yet sinners. View Resource

  • Christ Defeats the Powers Devotional

    Colossians 2:15

    John Calvin says that the demons “are disarmed, so that they cannot bring forward anything against us, the attestation of our guilt being itself destroyed.” Demonic powers cannot rightly accuse those who are in Christ of guilt, nor can they possess Christians or separate us from God’s love (Rom. 8:35–39). They are active but mortally wounded, and we need not fear their best efforts, for we do and will share in Jesus’ victory and life. View Resource

  • The Deadliest Form of Legalism Devotional

    Colossians 2:16–23

    John Calvin comments, “The worship of God, true piety, and the holiness of Christians, do not consist in drink, and food, and clothing, which are things that are transient and liable to corruption.” God is not interested in mere externals but in transformation that conforms us heart, mind, body, and soul to Christ. Let us seek not to impose man-made traditions on ourselves or anyone else. View Resource

  • Shadows Versus Substance Devotional

    Colossians 2:16–17

    In addition to a fuller experience of the Holy Spirit, new covenant saints have an advantage over old covenant saints in that we more clearly see God’s work of salvation than those who lived before Christ. Let us be grateful for this and also thankful that we have God’s completed revelation, the Apostolic word that shows us how to understand the Lord’s acts in history. May we study the Apostles’ writings diligently that we might know Christ truly. View Resource

  • Shadow Versus Substance Devotional

    Colossians 2:16-17

    We might envy the old covenant saints because we do not usually see great seas parted, manna falling from heaven, and other “spectacular” displays of God’s power. But we are in a far better position than the old covenant saints, for we see Christ more clearly than they ever did. Let us be grateful for the era in which we live and never try to go back to life under the legal bondage that characterized those who lived before the coming of Jesus. View Resource

  • Ascetism, Angels, and Visions Devotional

    Colossians 2:18

    While it is easy to see that heretics are sinning when they look down in judgment on others, it is more difficult to root out that same sin in ourselves, for the basis of our judgment of others may be something good and true. For example, we may think we are better than other Christians in God’s eyes because we understand the doctrines of grace and other elements of Reformed theology. Let such an attitude never be true of us. View Resource

  • Honoring the Saints Devotional

    Colossians 2:18–19

    One of the most significant achievements of the Protestant Reformation was the recovery of the biblical truth that Christ is the sole Mediator between God and man. When this truth is proclaimed, we have confidence to approach the Lord with humility, to see Him as our Father who loves us and wants us to come to Him with all of our needs, no matter how insignificant we think they happen to be. View Resource

  • God-Given Growth Devotional

    Colossians 2:19

    There is a sinful tendency in all of us to cut ourselves off from Christ, the Head of the body of Christ and only source of life-sustaining nourishment. It may not display itself overtly in false worship as it did with the Colossian heretics, but perhaps through legalism or a sectarianism that is ever on the lookout for the perfect church. May we never be guilty of cutting ourselves off from Christ. View Resource

  • Dead to the World or Alive? Devotional

    Colossians 2:20

    Out of His great love for us, God warns His people against legalism and false religious practices because hoping in rules, astrology, and other false spiritualities only gives Satan and the flesh more influence over us. But when we pursue the pure, undefiled religion revealed in Scripture — the gospel of Christ alone — and treat others in love, refusing to judge them by standards we have created, we render the evil forces in the world powerless. View Resource

  • Human Precepts and Teachings Devotional

    Colossians 2:21-22

    Scripture is actually a repetitive book, and we have seen a glimpse of this in Colossians 2 as Paul reminds us over and over that our obedience to law can do nothing to free us from evil. The Bible needs to be this repetitive because we are thick-headed and prone to try to make ourselves righteous by our own efforts. Jesus alone can make us righteous, and continual turning to Him is the only way to ensure that Satan has no undue influence on us. View Resource

  • Appearances Can Be Deceiving Devotional

    Colossians 2:23

    God’s law is good, but in itself cannot put the flesh to death because the problem is not simply that we do not obey the Lord but that we do not want to obey Him apart from the grace He shows us in Christ Jesus. But even once we have been redeemed, merely keeping the commands does not advance us in holiness if we do not have an inward desire to please the Lord. May we continually ask God to grant us this desire. View Resource

  • Where to Set Our Minds Devotional

    Colossians 3:1-2

    As we recall the great inheritance of the age to come, we will seek more and more to enjoy a greater foretaste of the blessings that will come in that day when sin will be no more. Knowing that sin will be gone in the consummation, we will seek to mortify our transgressions today so that our experience might better approximate how wonderful our lives will be when we no longer have any inclination to evil in the new heaven and earth (Rev. 21:1–4). View Resource

  • Raised Up to New Life Devotional

    Colossians 3:1-4

    John Calvin comments on today’s passage: “No one can rise again with Christ, if he has not first died with him.” If we would enjoy the new life that fuels our sanctification and grants us imperishable bodies, we must die to sin. To be raised with Jesus, we must repent and turn to Him. After conversion, we must walk in repentance to enjoy the Spirit’s power. If we do not die daily to sin, we cannot truly enjoy the new, resurrected life that Jesus shares with His people. View Resource