• 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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