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Before and After

Daily Reading: Colossians 2

Scripture Focus: And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses. (Colossians 2.13)

Devotional Thought: Paul wrote to the Colossians that there is a sharp contrast before and after someone comes to know Christ.

Prior to knowing Christ, we are...

Dead in our sins: Our death is the result of our sin: "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6.23). God had told Adam, "In the day that you eat of it [the forbidden fruit] you shall surely die" (Genesis 2.17). The Old Testament prophet affirmed this when he said, "The soul who sins shall die" (Ezekiel 8.14).

Sinful in actions: While not a popular concept, the truth is that there are certain things we do that are sinful. These are 'trespasses' against God's law.

Sinful in nature: We have all inherited a 'nature' from our original parents, Adam and Eve. This is what Paul means by the uncircumcision of our flesh. That nature is bent toward self-will and this leads us to sinful actions and ultimately to death.

But that is not the end of the story! After we come to know Christ, God makes us...

Alive: While the wages of sin is death, God cancels that out and gives us eternal life in Jesus! God breathes that new life into us through the Holy Spirit, the very breath of God!

Forgiven: The Son of God shed his own blood for our forgiveness. We need only accept what has been paid for on the cross of Calvary. 'All trespasses' (sinful actions) are forgiven in his name.

Holy in Christ: But, he goes beyond that. In a process and a crisis of sanctification, God makes us like Christ. 'Together with him' we are holy! We cannot be holy ourselves, but with him we can be!

Thanks be to God for his wonderful work of salvation!

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for forgiveness of sins, for new life in Christ, and for making me holy in union with Christ. Help me today to live out the reality of what you have made me. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 17.13-15

13 Arise, O Lord! Confront him, subdue him! Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword, 14 from men by your hand, O Lord, from men of the world whose portion is in this life. You fill their womb with treasure; they are satisfied with children, and they leave their abundance to their infants.

15 As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.

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