How do you read Romans 1:16?

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes . . . Romans 1:16

How you read Romans 1:16 tells a lot about you. Which of the following best resembles how you interpret the text?

For I am not ashamed of the gospel (the death burial and resurrection of our Lord and Savior), for it (the preaching of that gospel and absolutely nothing else) is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (not a superficial shallow mental ascent, but a complete dependence and trust upon Christ) . . .

– Christian

For I am not ashamed of the gifts of the spirit, for they are proof of the power of God and proof of your salvation to everyone who believes . . .


For I am not ashamed of pleading for money, for sowing your faith seed offering is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes . . .

-Word of Faith Charismaniac

For I am not ashamed of Mary, the Pope, and the Mother Church, for they are the power of God and the only way to salvation to everyone who believes and receives the sacraments, attends meritorious masses, is baptized, keeps the law, does good works, purchases indulgences, endures purgatory, etc. . . .

– Roman Catholic

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of the New Earth that we peddle door to door, for the Watchtower is the only ones who speak for God and is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes and exhaustively works their tails off for the Watchtower almost every waking hour of the day for their entire life to obtain Jehovah’s favor, which is not guaranteed . . .

– Jehovah’ Witness

For I am not ashamed of the restored gospel, even though I am ashamed and embarrassed about our church history and the things our church prophets have said (that was just their opinion and they were not speaking for God when they said all those awful things) for the Melchizadek Priesthood which only we have is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes and follows the following conditions as outlined in Gospel Principles pages 303-304 (1997 edition): 1.) We must be baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. 2.) We must receive the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. 3.) We must receive the temple endowment. 4.) We must be married for time and eternity.In addition to receiving the required ordinances, the Lord commands all of us to– 1. Love and worship God. 2. Love our neighbor. 3. Repent of our wrongdoings. 4. Live the law of chastity. 5. Pay honest tithes and offerings. 6. Be honest in our dealings with others and with the Lord. 7. Speak the truth always. 8. Obey the Word of Wisdom. 9. Search out our kindred dead and perform the saving ordinances of the gospel for them. 10. Keep the Sabbath day holy. 11. Attend our Church meetings as regularly as possible so we can renew our baptismal covenants by partaking of the sacrament. 12. Love our family members and strengthen them in the ways of the Lord. 13. Have family and individual prayers every day. 14. Honor our parents. 15. Teach the gospel to others by word and example. 16. Study the scriptures. 17. Listen to and obey the inspired words of the prophets of the Lord. Finally, each of us needs to receive the Holy Ghost and learn to follow his direction in our individual lives.

– Mormon

For I am not ashamed of the value found in all religions regardless of whether or not they conflict with one another on core issues , for whatever truth is for you, it is the power of God, gods, goddess, no god, or whatever you believe for a better world to everyone who believes or chooses not to believe . . .

– Universalist Unitarian

For I am not ashamed of shameless church marketing, for the end justifies the means and pragmatism is the power of God for filling seats on Sundays to watch our awesome worship rock band followed by our hip and and oh, so cool pastor and we’re also giving away free gas cards to everyone who attends our local campus . . .

– Seeker-Friendly

For I am not ashamed of supporting any socialist cause or liberal issue, for a woman’s right to choose and a homosexual’s right to marry is the power of selfempowerment for salvation from the oppressive chains that the white, Anglo-Saxon, Capitalist, fascists have placed on the backs of everyone in this nation . . .

– Liberal

Romans? Is that in the Bible?

– Emergent / Emerging

** Update ** This post was picked up by Todd Friel and featured on Way of the Master Radio. To find out more, click here.

33 thoughts on “How do you read Romans 1:16?

  1. Pilgrim,

    You forgot one.

    I am not ashamed of the Purpose-Driven Life, or Rick Warren’s PEACE plan. For it is the power to drag people away from the need for repentance while doing “good things” and heaping up wrath for themselves, all the while thinking they are earning brownie points and gold stars from God. Salvation? What’s that? That has to do with doctrine, and doctrine only divides. We shouldn’t worry about whether or not people follow the true Christ. Just so long as they are happy and content on their way to Hell, that’s what the Purpose-Driven Life is all about.

    Uh oh.

    Pilgrim, get ready. I have a feeling WordPress is going to get a threatening letter if you don’t remove this comment 🙂 🙂 🙂 .


  2. Pretty awesome!

    Reminds us that the focus should be the Gospel… the REAL GOSPEL.

    It also makes clear the “false doctrines” of other religions.



  3. Pilgrim,

    Ha Ha, too funny and dead on truth at the same time. This is a masterpiece, although you’ll need to add in fourpointer’s piece.

    I needed this at lunch on a Monday!!!


  4. this should be the starting point of all conversations especially with mormons. Then you can dialogue about what the gospel is ? and why there was a need for it ? and then what people did or needed before the Gospel came.
    On this solid rock i stand, all other ground is sinking sand.
    If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.
    Good post !!! but u should have wrote some more on liberals like : Have u ever seen a liberal hockey game ?,,, no?
    Well both teams win !
    u mean a tie?
    NO !!! both teams “WIN”


  5. Kudos!

    But what about the Unsaved version (with no apoology to Richard Dawkins)?

    For I am deeply offended at the gospel! For it is the delusion that there is a power greater than I to which I must be held accountable for all my actions. And don’t dare try and tell me I’m not a good person! You can’t judge me! Your own bible which is nothing but fiction says that! And, no! I’m not afraid to die! Why would I be afraid of turning into dust? That’s all that happens. No, I’m not sweating and getting nervous. You are delusional! Your god can’t heal amputees! There! See! Your god isn’t real! I can’t hear you! LALALALALALA! It is all a random accident! TRA LA LA! I reject your reality and substitue my own! Life on this planet came from another planet! Evolution is not a fairy tale! Your god is a fairy tale! You are wrong and intollerant! Eats babies!

    (CONFESSION: That was me before I got saved. Only worse and with bad words.)


  6. Whew! Those were all excellent ones — even the ones from the comments! I think I clung to my parents’ coattails so positive I was headed for heaven because they went to church. Maybe you should have had one for children in Christian homes. Let’s see:

    For I am not ashamed of my parents’ salvation (unless you ask me) because I know I’m going to heaven since we go to church every Sunday. After all, I’ve been saved all my life and my parents know that because they always say, “Look at her example and follow her.” I’m a very good, moral, upstanding kind of person so therefore nothing else matters to me!

    Thankfully, I am a Christian today!


  7. That was SOOOO funny – loved the seeker friendly one and the emerging one. What ? The Bible ? Whats that? LOL !!!!


  8. Pilgrim, I’m kinda sad about it, maybe a bit disappointed to see that you wrote this post. Was it clever? OH yeah, I thought it was clever. True? Absolutely. But….

    When I first started visiting this site, it was because you were contending for the faith, defending it! That’s something close to my heart.

    I don’t know any of you fellows personally, but I had noticed a ..? a..maturity? strength? (not sure exactly what to call it) consistent in responses that were written by you. I’m thinking you are a solid, decent, older Christian man with a lot of wisdom and unafraid to stand by his convictions.

    I avoid WOTM for the same reason that this post disturbs me, and until I re-checked, I thought this post must have originated there. I love that those guys get the gospel out. I do. But they are just so smug about it, so cynical, so (and I know this sounds harsh) but, self-righteous sounding.

    I know I probably sound like a terrible wet blanket. But oh, it grieves me! I may have the above conversation with some of my friends at the park and not feel a twinge of guilt about it. But this is not the park is it? The audience is unlimited.

    Probably I have not explained it very well, and chances are you will think I am just another one of the crack pot crazies out there in internet land. But I wrote (possibly more coherently) a post on it a day or so ago, (before reading this) in case your interested.


  9. beyondbluestockings,

    If I may I’d like to comment briefly on your obviously heartfelt and thoughtful concern.

    Although we all would agree that The Pilgrim’s post is not inspired scripture given to him directly by God Himself, nevertheless I think it’s valuable to note that the Bible does use examples of satire and ridicule when making points against erroneous teaching.

    For example in 1 Kings 18 Elija ridicules the frantic prophets of Baal in verse 27 by stating that perhaps they aren’t shouting loudly enough, sarcastically suggesting that Baal may be meditating, or on a journey, or perhaps asleep.

    In Galatians 5:12 Paul sarcastically ridicules the error of the Judaizers who claimed that Christians must observe circumcision by wishing they would “mutilate themselves” which was an unvarnished reference to making themselves eunuchs (i.e. going beyond circumcision to castration).

    There are other examples as well, but knowing The Pilgrim as I do I’m fully persuaded that his intent here is to heap scorn and ridicule upon false teaching, not merely to pile on graceless and uncharitable contempt or take cheap shots.

    Clearly The Pilgrim is more than able to speak for himself on the matter, but this is my assessment of the situation. While I fully realize that my opinion doesn’t invalidate your opinion, I hope you can appreciate another viewpoint and why I believe this piece is consistent with scriptural precedent.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

    In Christ,


  10. Dear BBS:

    Thank you for your comment.

    I appreciate you taking the time to voice your concerns. I am not above error and if there comes a day when I cannot take criticism, then I need to really reconsider what I am doing. We keep checks and balances amongst ourselves here so none of us go too far off the radar. :o)

    Sometimes exposing the false beliefs of cults (and other false organizations and groups) for the people who want to know what those cults truly believe, becomes a daunting task. And those wanting to know what these groups truly believe end up getting confused with the mountains of info available.

    So my intention in the writing of this post was not to inflict ridicule on individual members of each of the false beliefs, instead it was to succinctly point out (in a nut shell) what these other falsehoods teach and to do so in a way that was very easy for the average Joe lacking discernment to swallow and say, “Ohhhh, that’s what they believe, now I get it.

    And with that said, I don’t believe I erred in this matter. I think the piece is bold, apropos, and yes, even a little funny, but not over the line.

    – The Pilgrim

    P.S. I too have stopped listening to WOTMR. I’ve noticed the same thing you mentioned, and I’ve had some concerns.


  11. “And with that said, I don’t believe I erred in this matter. I think the piece is bold, apropos, and yes, even a little funny, but not over the line.”

    Dear Pilgrim,

    I don’t consider myself the Holy Spirit, and as such, if you are fine with the article, and the other gentlemen here at defcon are fine with it, and your readers are fine with it, I can only surmise that I have read it through the coloured glasses of the issues I have been concerned with lately. (in plain speak: I’m happy to accept that I am in error)

    My apologies for putting a damper on things and changing the comment direction, and truly, my sincere thanks for dealing patiently with me.

    ~Beyond Bluestockings~


  12. As a Muslim I take it as it is, “By their fruits shall you recognise them”, “every tree produces fine fruit” this is what Jesus the son of Mary Peace be upon him said, this means these people will be like him, Jesus Peace be upon him also said “It is written” before he quoted from the Blessed holy Scriptures and likewise does the Muslim take it and not as how tom, dick, jonny and sam sees it but just as “it is written”


  13. I take it as it is for Jesus the son of Mary Peace be upon him always said “It is written” before he quoted from the scripture, He also said “By their fruits shall you know them”, “Every tree grows fine fruit” meaning the people with him will be like him. Likewise I take it just as “it is written”


  14. Firstly, Does somebody want to help me out responding to this guy over on his website??!! He writes such terrible distortions of the truth!! (alfaarooq1)

    In response to this post, I think its good that these different beliefs are posted by the Pilgrim. Sometimes we buy into the wishy-washy, lovey dovey/pacifist story when in reality sattire and sarcasm is found in Scripture and it does show just how ridiculous and skewed the cultish beliefs are. We have got to remember that such teachings are the doctrines of demons and are, in essence, evil because they lead people to hell. Although most people don’t want to step up to the mark these days and call evil evil, false false or hertical heretical.

    In many ways I think this attitude is pervasive amongst evangelicalism because men have lost their trousers (Americans read “pants”!) due to the influence of Feminism. As Bible believing Christians we are going to be increasingly finding ourselves swimming against the tide of our culture, as it becomes more liberal and anti-Jesus and we have got to ensure we keep swimming, even if it means at times taking a stand for truth that seems arrogant or hurtful to others.

    Although I think we should also use common sense when dealing with people in public. Some people require us to be sensitive and gracious, because they are genuinely looking for answers and are lost sheep whereas others are openly arrogant and antagonistic towards the gospel….how we handle both situations will differ.



  15. alfaarooq1,

    The Holy Bible is the One True and Living God’s only true revelation about Himself to men. The Holy Bible teaches us the truth about Jesus Christ, the Word of God made flesh.

    And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?

    And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. (Exodus 13-14)

    God says His name is I AM because He was and is forever from all eternity God alone. This is where the children of Israel derive the name YAHWEH – the root of the word comes from the Hebrew word meaning I AM. YAHWEH is used throughout the Old Testament of the Holy Bible as God’s name.

    In the Holy Bible Jesus Christ declares I AM. In John 4:26 Jesus Christ declared “ego eimi” which is translated as I AM when Jesus responded to the Samaritan woman at the well when she asked Him about Messiah to come: The Holy Bible says: Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

    Maybe we don’t think that we need to believe that Jesus Christ is I AM but He doesn’t think that. In fact He claims that men must believe upon Him for salvation or they will die in their sins and be condemned to hell fire for eternity:

    I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. (John 8:24)

    Again in this passage we find the words EGO EIMI which translated means I AM.

    Are we still unsure? If so Jesus claimed that before Abraham existed He (Jesus) existed. This is because Jesus Christ is eternally the Word of God:

    Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. (John 8:58)

    Jesus prophesied of being crucified and made it clear that all who would come to know the One True and Living God would come to know Him by the work of Jesus Christ on the cross:

    Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. (John 8:28)

    Only Jesus Christ, the Great I AM has the words of eternal life because only Jesus Christ is The Way, The Truth, and The Life and no man comes to the Father but by Him (John 14:6). There is no other way to inherit the kingdom of heaven but by a humble, repentant and simple faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ upon the cross and His glorious conquering of the grave proven by His resurrection.

    In Christ,


  16. Alfarooq,

    It’s nice to see that your not willing to post my comment on your website under your post ‘Moses and Jesus are Muslims!’

    You have terribly distorted what the Bible says in that post and if you were genuinely seeking the truth then maybe you would let a Christian respond to you from Scripture as I sought to do.

    Nevertheless hopefully you can take on board what Coram Deo says.



  17. I don’t debate people here’s something for you to read.

    Muslims believe in the Injeel (Holy Bible) and practice the religion as it is, have more faith in it then you, know more about it then you.

    I leave you to study “The Truth” your so called truth is lies so here’s the truth your truths are lies!


    Submitted on 2008/12/05 at 12:42am

    “I am that I am” meaning I am who I am “Your Allah” in the case of the Almighty and the I am Jesus the son of Mary used does not bring proof that he said he is “god”
    John 4:26 this is a joke see 25 confirming he said he is the Messiah not “god” quote the whole story not a verse to try and justify your claims, John 8:58 you get even more funny John 8:59 is your answer, come I tell you something…
    Don’t come with verses I read the Holy Book the message is clear and the Bible self speaks against you! Fact Proven.

    Allah is the Almighty and He is clear in His messages.
    I take not what you men and women have to say I choose the Almighty over your word!

    For your Blasphemy The Almighty will send you deep into the Depths of Hell where you will burn forever!
    You speak against Jesus the son of Mary not for him, you degrade him by trying to make him equal to The Almighty Jesus the son of Mary Peace be upon him clearly tells you “The Father is greater then the son” meaning The Almighty is greater then His servant!

    “The Father is greater then the son”

    This was true when Jesus was in His flesh as a man, He humbled Himself and submitted Himself perfectly to His Father’s will, and after His death, burial and glorious resurrection He ascended to the glory He had with the Father before the world began.


    You people speak against the Gospels, you don’t live the life the Bible tells you to live you sin openly…

    Learn the Holy Scripture not just to know but learn to understand!

    You are as arrogant and unmindful just as Satan who showed his arrogance when The Almighty said bow down to Adam.
    You fall to prey so easily by what people say The Almighty gave you a brain so question that which does not make sense because all that which comes from the Almighty makes sense.


    Reformed you want to debate? Debate yourself as you study the Holy Scripture!


    How ironic this is you call your blog defending contending you have no devense here for what the Blessed holy Bible says the onlt defense there is, is The Almighty self…
    Therefore The Almighty sent me here to have you think again about it…
    This is not by chance that I came here…
    I too will now leave as I am not from here and it’s a place you can not go,If I tell you I am he!, will you believe? look and open your eyes and clearly you will see you have so many pictures and statues and yet you will not recogniseth, I have come from the southern skies with eys held hard on the East, behold thy heart burning in rage and flame this is a flame from the Devil you are of him, your chains have been lifted… but yet you are in rage just like the Israelites were when he came to them…
    To all the christians how will you recogniseth the Messiah when he cometh to thee, in pure form as before just a man like any other? The Messiah you will shun away for he looks like a Muslim, Speaks like a Muslim, Prays like is Muslim The Messiah is in fact a Muslim. You will not recogniseth the Spirit within him because it lay within his heart sealed from you.
    The Spirit is his faith and beauty which lay within.


  18. alfaarooq1,

    You must repent of your false religion and embrace the Truth, Jesus Christ is The Way, The Truth, and The Life and no man comes to the Father but by Him.

    If you die apart from being found in Jesus Christ you will die in your sins and be condemned by the One True and Living God to eternal punishments in hell fire.

    I’m praying for you.

    In Christ,


  19. Alfaarooq1,

    I am praying for you as Coram Deo is. We do not hate Islam or Muslims. We love you as lost sinners who have been led astray and enslaved by a false religion that threatens to kill you and disown you if you leave it. I pray the the Lord Jesus Christ will reveal himself to you through the working of the Holy Spirit. I do not want to debate with you my friend. Rather I would say dialogue. I want to understand what you believe in the hope that you might seek to understand what we believe. The Bible is the truth my friend because it testifies to Jesus as being the Messiah, not just a prophet and he warned that false prophets would come after him…..your prophet Muhammed came 600 years after Jesus.

    Praying for you also



  20. Enjoyed your website.

    I would like to point out that once you add to the death burial and resurrection, that becomes the focal point of your new religion.

    Because any time you add to the death burial resurrection. That puts you into the equation. When you add water baptism, speaking in tongues, short accounts(confessing of sin), because these things make you feel good when you practice them. Gives you something to brag about.

    The Jesus I worship doesn’t need your help. My Jesus accomplished everything. And the only reward he wants is for me to rest in him. So he can live his life in and through me. I don’t belong to a religion I belong to a relationship.


  21. Hey…I’m a johnnie come lately I guess…what more can I add but bravo & I’m very thankful to the Lord for the saints that allow Him to use them on this blog site! What a treaure & resource…bless the Lord!


  22. Pingback: How Do You Read Romans 1:16? | Puritan Thoughts

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