Acts 16:1-10

Talks for Growing Christians

Paul’s Second Missionary Journey

Acts 16:1-10

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Lesson Number 26

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Sometimes it is right to do what is not required.
  2. Sometimes it is not right to what seems logical.

Practical Application

  1. Thank the Lord for Paul’s Macedonian vision.


  1. Did Barnabas accompany Paul on his second missionary journey?
  2. When and how did Timothy become a believer?
  3. What “decrees” were Paul and his team delivering to the churches?
  4. Why did Paul circumcise Timothy, and yet insist that Titus should not be circumcised?
  5. Why didn’t the Spirit permit Paul to preach in Ephesus or Bithynia?


  1. No. Because of the controversy between Paul and Barnabas concerning John Mark who had quit the team during the first missionary journey, the two preachers split. Paul took Silas and Barnabas took John Mark.
  2. We don’t know for sure. But Paul himself possibly led Timothy to the Lord on his first missionary journey. Or Timothy’s mother and grandmother may have led him to the Lord.
  3. These decrees were the conclusions of the first Jerusalem council. Gentiles did not have to be circumcised before they could be saved, but now as Christians they should abstain from certain things for proper Christian living.
  4. With Timothy his circumcision was a matter of not offending the Jewish community. With Titus, for him not to be circumcised was a doctrinal matter, arguing that Gentiles did not have to be circumcised in order to be saved.
  5. We don’t know for certain. The Lord did not permit them to go where they intended, but led them instead to Troas where Luke, the author, joined the team.


  1. Paul circumcised Timothy so as not to offend the Jews that they were seeking to evangelize. Discuss the principle that it is sometimes right to do what is not required for the sake of the ministry. Refer to 1 Corinthians 9:19-23.
  2. The Lord opens and closes doors in His sovereign ways and sometimes we don’t understand all the reasons. Yet time and again we have seen that God’s plan is better than the plan we made ourselves. Discuss examples of this from your life. Refer to Proverbs 16:9 and Romans 8:28.


  1. We can follow the example of Paul and Timothy practicing on-the-job training for ministry. If you are a more mature believer, is there someone you could train to carry on your ministry? If you are a young believer, is there someone who could mentor you in the ministry?

Key Verses

  • “A certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek.” Acts 16:1
  • “A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’” Acts 16:9

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