• Love and Assurance Devotional

    Colossians 2:1-2

    Like concern, love is not a mere emotional feeling but must also involve action. We can love other believers in our churches through encouraging them and pointing them to Christ. Contributing regularly to the deacons’ fund or other collections taken up to care for church members is also an expression of love. As we love others in these ways and more, we will be assured that we know the Savior. View Resource

  • All the Treasures of God’s Wisdom Devotional

    Colossians 2:1–5

    At various points in our study of the Wisdom Literature, particularly Psalm 119, we have noted our need for the Holy Spirit’s illumination for the Word of God to make us wise. This Spirit is a gift to us from Jesus Himself (John 14:15–17). The Wisdom Books point us to Jesus, who sends His Spirit so that His people will see Him in this literature. Let us thank God for His gift this day, and may we always pray that the Spirit will give us all the wisdom we need for life and salvation. View Resource

  • Christ Our Wisdom Devotional

    Colossians 2:3

    The gospel is scandalous to unbelievers even though Christ is the wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:18–31). But it is important to note that the message is to be scandalous, not our actions. We must take care not to add to the offense of the gospel by being rude and self-righteous, even though we must always clearly proclaim God’s salvation. Let us pray for unbelievers we know, and even for ourselves, that all might see the sufficiency of Christ. View Resource

  • Paul’s Presence in Colossae Devotional

    Colossians 2:4-5

    Our mystical union with Christ and His people through the Holy Spirit has profound implications for how we pray for believers in other places. Because we are united to the One who transcends all, our prayers are a profound encouragement to other believers, even if they are unaware of our praying. In prayer we are with them and encouraging them through the Holy Spirit, who closes the distance between us. View Resource

  • Walking in Christ Jesus Devotional

    Colossians 2:6-7

    Discontent in our lives and envy of the blessings of others is the opposite of thanksgiving, and these things threaten to plunge us back into the darkness of sin. John Calvin comments, “Ingratitude is very frequently the reason why we are deprived of the light of the gospel, as well as of other divine favors.” Walking in thankfulness for salvation keeps us in the light of the gospel, which reminds us always how grateful to God we should be. View Resource

  • Human Philosophies Devotional

    Colossians 2:8

    God prescribed food laws and other ritualistic observances for old covenant Israel, so we know that these practices are not inherently evil. They only become wrong when they become ends in themselves (1 Sam. 15:22–23). We might not be tempted to follow certain food laws today, but we are tempted to think that real spirituality is tied to specific forms of personal devotions, avoiding certain movies, never gambling, and so on. View Resource

  • Circumcision and Baptism Devotional

    Colossians 2:8–15

    John Calvin writes that baptism does not “intimate that our ablution and salvation are perfected by water, or that [it] possesses in itself the virtue of purifying, regenerating, and renewing.” Neither is it “the cause of salvation, but only that the knowledge and certainty of such gifts are perceived in this sacrament” (Institutes 4.15.2). Baptism confirms that those who have trusted in Christ alone are cleansed of sin and set apart for life eternal. View Resource

  • A Perfect, Eternal Union Devotional

    Colossians 2:9

    Jesus is not a split personality. His two natures are united so perfectly that He can do things that only human beings do and things that only God does without changing the character of His divine nature or His human nature. Ultimately, we cannot fully explain this mystery, as there is nothing else like the hypostatic union in creation. But we do know that believing in Christ as both fully God and fully man is the most reasonable thing we could ever do. View Resource

  • God in Christ Devotional

    Colossians 2:9-10

    To say that all we need is Christ for growth in grace is not somehow to make the Word of God, the sacraments, or the church superfluous. Jesus, by His Spirit, dwells in us, but remaining sin means that we are often deaf to His leading. Through His proclaimed Word, our Savior speaks, teaching us how to discern His direction in our lives. By faith, to have His Word is to have Christ, for it is an expression of Himself. View Resource

  • Baptism and Circumcision Devotional

    Colossians 2:11–12

    Preeminently, repentance and faith are the covenant obligations for those who receive the sacrament. Just as those who were circumcised had to repent and believe, so must those who are baptized repent and believe. If we do not, we will be cut off from God’s people and from eternal salvation. View Resource

  • Dead and Buried with Christ Devotional

    Colossians 2:11–12

    Our old Adamic nature has been mortally wounded, but it refuses to stay buried. Having a new nature in Christ, we must put sin to death when it rises up. This means that we must resist temptation and repent when we give in, for we will not be perfect until we are in heaven. Calvin comments on today’s passage that “burial expresses a continued process of mortification.” Sin is powerless to control us, but it is still dangerous and must be resisted. 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

  • 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

  • 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