Paul Circumcises Timothy
Acts 16:1-3 (NIV) He came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was a Jewess and a believer, but whose father was a Greek. (2) The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. (3) Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.
When the apostle Paul took on Timothy as a son in the faith there was concern about how the Jewish audience would receive him. Paul circumcised Timothy in order that he might receive a better hearing among the Jews in that area. This seems to be quite a step to take in order to share the gospel.
Timothy made a sacrifice in order to be more pertinent among the Jewish culture of that time period. He was far more likely to gain a hearing being circumcised than he would have if he had remained uncircumcised. Should we be asking ourselves what we can do in the church to become more culturally relevant and gain a better hearing from today’s society?
Take a look at Paul’s words in 1st Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 9:19-23 (NIV) Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. (20) To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. (21) To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. (22) To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. (23) I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
Paul says that he became, “all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.”
For the Sake of Christ
Paul and Timothy were able to do things to become culturally relevant without compromising the Gospel of Jesus or the Christian walk. They made themselves “likeable” to those around them without sacrificing the word or values of God. This is a vital aspect to note. The church can do things to become culturally relevant to contemporary society without compromising biblical teaching. When we concede the Lord’s moral law, we lose.
There are many churches throughout this great nation of ours who have sacrificed Scriptural integrity to be more acceptable in today’s social climate. I think we need to find more ways to make church enjoyable without sacrificing Christian values and sound doctrinal teaching.
What are some things that we can to do make church more desirable to the unchurched without compromising the Gospel? I would love to hear some of your thoughts and experiences on this!
Until next time…may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him.
Thanks for reading! God Bless!