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Functions of These Gifts. 20 [a]Brothers, stop being childish in your thinking. In respect to evil be like infants, but in your thinking be mature.(A)

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Footnotes

  1. 14:20–22 The Corinthians pride themselves on tongues as a sign of God’s favor, a means of direct communication with him (2:28). To challenge them to a more mature appraisal, Paul draws from scripture a less flattering explanation of what speaking in tongues may signify. Isaiah threatened the people that if they failed to listen to their prophets, the Lord would speak to them (in punishment) through the lips of Assyrian conquerors (Is 28:11–12). Paul compresses Isaiah’s text and makes God address his people directly. Equating tongues with foreign languages (cf. 1 Cor 14:10–11), Paul concludes from Isaiah that tongues are a sign not for those who believe, i.e., not a mark of God’s pleasure for those who listen to him but a mark of his displeasure with those in the community who are faithless, who have not heeded the message that he has sent through the prophets.

III. Warnings Against False Teachers[a]

A General Admonition. I say this so that no one may deceive you by specious arguments.(A)

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Footnotes

  1. 2:4–23 In face of the threat posed by false teachers (Col 2:4), the Colossians are admonished to adhere to the gospel as it was first preached to them (Col 2:6), steeping themselves in it with grateful hearts (Col 2:7). They must reject religious teachings originating in any source except the gospel (Col 2:8) because in Christ alone will they have access to God, the deity (Col 2:9). So fully has Christ enlightened them that they need no other source of religious knowledge or virtue (Col 2:10). They do not require circumcision (Col 2:11), for in baptism their whole being has been affected by Christ (Col 2:12) through forgiveness of sin and resurrection to a new life (Col 2:13; cf. Col 3:1 and Rom 6:1–11). On the cross Christ canceled the record of the debt that stood against us with all its claims (Col 2:14), i.e., he eliminated the law (cf. Eph 2:15) that human beings could not observe—and that could not save them. He forgave sins against the law (Col 2:14) and exposed as false and misleading (Col 2:15) all other powers (cf. Col 1:16) that purport to offer salvation. Therefore, the Colossians are not to accept judgments from such teachers on food and drink or to keep certain religious festivals or engage in certain cultic practices (Col 2:16), for the Colossians would thereby risk severing themselves from Christ (Col 2:19). If, when they accepted the gospel, they believed in Christ as their savior, they must be convinced that their salvation cannot be achieved by appeasing ruling spirits through dietary practices or through a wisdom gained simply by means of harsh asceticism (Col 2:20–23).

See to it that no one captivate you with an empty, seductive philosophy according to human tradition, according to the elemental powers of the world[a] and not according to Christ.(A)

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Footnotes

  1. 2:8 Elemental powers of the world: see note on Gal 4:3.

Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teaching.[a] It is good to have our hearts strengthened by grace and not by foods, which do not benefit those who live by them.(A)

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Footnotes

  1. 13:9 Strange teaching: this doctrine about foods probably refers to the Jewish food laws; in view of Hb 13:10, however, the author may be thinking of the Mosaic sacrificial banquets.

But he should ask in faith, not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind.(A)

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