Is Acts Normative?

Note that not EVERY PRACTICE found in the Book of Acts is binding today. For instance, Paul circumcised Timothy in Acts 16.

Acts 16:1-3 (NKJV)

1 Then he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek. 2 He was well spoken of by the brethren who were at Lystra and Iconium. 3 Paul wanted to have him go on with him. And he took him and CIRCUMCISED HIM because of the Jews who were in that region, for they all knew that his father was Greek. 

Vs. 3 explains Paul’s reason for doing so (“BECAUSE OF THE JEWS“). Now, this does not mean that all the Churches must also carry out circumcision simply because Timothy was circumcised, in Acts.

Paul is clear that circumcision profits nothing—it neither adds nor subtracts from a man’s salvation (1 Corin 7:19, Gal 5:6, 6:15). The circumcision God reckons with is the spiritual i.e. that of the heart (Rom 2:28-29, 4:5-12, Col 2:11).

Paul only circumcised Timothy for the Jews’ sake, that his ministry be not hindered amongst them. It was Paul’s culture to find middle ground with his opponents, so he could win some (see 1 Corin 9:19-23). Timothy’s circumcision is therefore not a pattern for us to follow. Not everything in Acts is normative (i.e. for the Church to practice today).


© Josh Banks Ministries. 2022.


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