Paul wanted to take him (Timothy) 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. (ACTS 16:3)
While Paul's circumcision of Timothy may appear legal, it really, has nothing to do with legalism. Paul circumcised Timothy for the sake of effective ministry, not for salvation.
As we read through ACTS and Epistles, we understand Paul's missionary strategy. His strategy of preaching the Kingdom of Heaven was, to go first to the local synagogue and to preach to the Jews. If they knew that his main assistant, Timothy, was uncircumcised, they would scorn Paul and disregard his gospel.
In actuality, they would reject the message because of the messenger. In the eyes of the Jews, an uncircumcised man was a spiritual reject. Paul would not have circumcised Timothy if it would have compromised the gospel to do so. Paul was not in favor of circumcision as a practice to be right with God.
In fact, he wrote to the Galatians to argue that those who were circumcised to make themselves acceptable to God were falling away from grace
Paul had passionate convictions about two things: First, don't let anything compromise the gospel; and, Second; don't let anything block the advance of the gospelIt is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Mark my words! I Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. (Galatians 5:1-6)
Therefore, Paul circumcised Timothy to avoid unnecessary barriers to the preaching of the gospel among the Jews.Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the Law I became like on under the Law (though I myself am not under the law); so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's ;aw but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of gospel, that I may share in its blessings. (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)
God bless you all
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the LORD Jesus Christ. (Philemon 1:3)
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