Come Follow Me - New Testament
“The Power of God unto Salvation”
- “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.”
- True discipleship is found in our inward commitment, not just
in our actions.
- “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”
Scripture references for study:
Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked
to the Scriptures at LDS.org.
Lesson Handout (PDF)
“I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel of Christ”
"During Paul's day, Rome was the largest and most
important city in the world. But Paul had not yet been to Rome when he wrote his
letter to the Roman Saints during his third missionary journey. The overall
theme of this letter is that justification--being reconciled to God and declared
righteous--comes through faith in Christ, not through the works of the law of
Moses. Paul began by teaching that since everyone sins, no one can be justified
by works alone. Once he had established this, Paul taught how justification does
come: as a gift bestowed by Christ's grace on those who have faith in him. Paul
then reviewed the promised blessings that come through justification: peace with
God, hope of receiving His glory, and dominion over sin.
"In the last few chapters of his letter to the Romans, Paul discussed the
moral obligations of Christians, stressing that the righteous live by faith." (Gospel
Doctrine Teacher's Manual ©1989, p34)
"To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be
saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans
- Paul's epistle to the Romans was specifically addressed to the Saints.
- WHAT ARE SAINTS?
- Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "Faithful members of the
Church and kingdom of God on earth are called saints." (Mormon
- HOW DOES A PERSON BECOME A SAINT?
- "And he also said unto him: If thou wilt turn
unto me, and hearken unto my voice, and believe, and repent
of all thy transgressions, and be baptized, even in water, in the
name of mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth, which is
Jesus Christ, the only name which shall be given under heaven, whereby
salvation shall come unto the children of men, ye shall receive the gift of
the Holy Ghost, asking all things in his name, and whatsoever ye shall ask,
it shall be given you." (Moses 6:52)
- "And we know also, that sanctification through
the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is just and true, to all those
who love and serve God with all their mights, minds, and strength." (D&C
- ARE ALL MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH CONSIDERED SAINTS?
- "The word saint is a translation of a Greek word
also rendered 'holy,' the fundamental idea being that of consecration or
separation for a sacred purpose; but since what was set apart for God must
be without blemish, the word came to mean 'free from blemish,' whether
physical or moral. In the N.T. the saints are all those who by baptism have
entered into the Christian covenant." (Bible Dictionary)
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is
the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first,
and also to the Greek." (Romans 1:16)
- "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of
my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son
of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy
- HOW DO SOME CHURCH MEMBERS DEMONSTRATE THAT THEY ARE ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL
OF JESUS CHRIST?
- WHY DO YOU THINK THEY ARE ASHAMED?
- HOW CAN WE SHOW THAT WE ARE NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL?
- "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be
ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the
hope that is in you with meekness and fear." (1 Peter 3:15)
- Elder Ezra Taft Benson: "Let
us never be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us
never be afraid to do what is right. Let us trust in God and keep His
commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. I
know, and so do you who have testimonies of the divinity of this work, that
without God's help we cannot succeed, but with His help we can accomplish
anything He asks us to do. And we can do it with a feeling of assurance,
confidence, and with a spirit of serenity which can be a joy and blessing to
all of us." (General Conference, April 1954)
- Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf: "I am not asking
that you stand on a street corner with a megaphone and shout out Book of
Mormon verses. What I am asking is that you always look for opportunities to
bring up your faith in natural and normal ways with people—both in person
as well as online. I am asking that you 'stand as witnesses' of the power of
the gospel at all times—and when necessary, use words.
"Because 'the gospel of Christ … is the power of God
unto salvation,' you can be confident, courageous, and humble as you share
it. Confidence, courage, and humility may seem like contradictory
attributes, but they are not. They reflect the Savior’s invitation not to
hide gospel values and principles under a bushel but to let your light
shine, that your good works may glorify your Father in Heaven."
(General Conference, April 2019)
- Elder Delbert L. Stapley: "If we are not
ashamed of the gospel of Christ, then we should not be ashamed to live it.
And if we are not ashamed to live it, then we should not be ashamed to share
it." (quoted by Thomas S. Monson, General Conference, April 1995)
True Discipleship Is Found In Our Inward Commitment, Not
Just In Our Actions
Romans 1:16-17, President Joseph Fielding Smith taught:
"The gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto
salvation and it is absolutely necessary for every man and woman in the Church
to work righteously, to observe the laws of God, and to keep the commandments
that he has given, in order that they may avail themselves of the power of God
unto salvation in this life; and the upright, covenanted people of the Church
should be magnified and increased, until the world shall bow and acknowledge
that Jesus is the Christ and that there is a people preparing for his coming in
power and glory." (General Conference, October 1968)
- The kind of commitment described by President Smith is a result of one's
inward conversion. We cannot be "magnified and increased" just by our works,
but by our true conversion through the gift and power of the Holy Ghost.
- Consider the response of the people to King Benjamin when he asked the
people if they believed his words: "And they all
cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast
spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the
Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in
our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good
continually" (Mosiah 5:2).
2:28-29. Paul writes about being a Jew for outward appearance or inwardly to
receive praise of God.
- WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING A SAINT "OUTWARDLY" AND BEING A
- I recall times when I found a beautiful apple and bit into it only to
find that it was rotten on the inside. The greatest value of an apple,
or any piece of fruit, is not its beauty, but its ability to satisfy our
hunger and nourish our bodies.
- One may display the outward forms of being a Saint by keeping the
commandments and participating in the ordinances of salvation. Such a person
may be diligent in living the letter of law. This is good, but it does not
necessarily define the inward man. Like the apple, our true commitment to
the gospel of Jesus Christ is found deep within us.
- "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in
sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." (Matthew
- HOW CAN AN OBSESSION WITH THE LETTER OF THE LAW AFFECT OUR FAITH AND
- Consider what happened to the ancient Jews. The Law was to be a
schoolmaster to prepare them for the fullness of the gospel. Their
obsession with the Law led many away from the truth and they were unable to
recognize it when it was preached by John and Jesus.
- We have been warned in our day about focusing on specific aspects of the
gospel. The ancient Law became a religious hobby of many. Consider:
- President Joseph F. Smith: "[Religious] hobbies
give to those who encourage them a false aspect of the gospel of
the Redeemer; they distort and place out of harmony its principles and
teachings. The point of view is unnatural. Every principle and practice
revealed from God is essential to man's salvation, and to place any one of
them unduly in front, hiding and dimming all others is unwise and
dangerous; it jeopardizes our salvation, for it darkens our minds and
beclouds our understandings. Such a view, no matter to
what point directed, narrows the vision, weakens the spiritual perception,
and darkens the mind, the result of which is that the person
thus afflicted with this perversity and contraction of mental vision places
himself in a position to be tempted of the evil one, or, through
dimness of sight or distortion of vision, to misjudge his brethren and
give way to the spirit of apostasy. He is not square before the Lord." (Gospel
Doctrine, p. 116)
- Elder Neal A. Maxwell: "Pride,
not meekness, leads to exclusionary hobbies within the Church or the
gospel. Hobbies can give an individual a sense of preeminence, a cause to
be lifted up. There are those in the Church, unfortunately, who like such
an edge. Some such persons resist counsel concerning how they are missing
the balancing dimensions of the gospel. Having conscientiously and
effectively pursued a particular doctrine or portion of the gospel, they
may, in fact, have unusual knowledge in that particular thing. (Alma
32:34.) For them, however, the incremental process of verification stops,
and what has been acquired becomes a coveted source of pride."
(Meek and Lowly, p. 63)
6:3-7. Baptism likened to Christ's death and resurrection.
- WHAT COMPARISON IS PAUL MAKING?
- Our baptism is a similitude to the death, burial, and resurrection of
- When we are baptized we bury the sinful person and our "body of sin" is
- As the resurrected man is free from the pain of death, so also is the
truly penitent and baptized man free from the bondage of sin.
- By receiving baptism (and weekly renewing that covenant) we are committing
to follow the Savior and brought forth as a "new man" (see Ephesians 4:24).
This covenant strengthens our inner commitment as we are changed and made
"alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:11).
“Where Sin Abounded, Grace Did Much More Abound”
IN HIS EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS, PAUL SPEAKS OF JUSTIFICATION. WHAT IS
- To be declared righteous, to be reconciled with God.
- Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "What
then is the law of justification? It is simply this: 'All covenants,
contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections,
associations, or expectations' (D. & C. 132:7), in which men must abide to be
saved and exalted, must be entered into and performed in righteousness so that
the Holy Spirit can justify the candidate for salvation in what has been done.
(1 Ne. 16:2; Jac. 2:13-14; Alma 41:15; D. & C. 98;132:1, 62.) An act that
is justified by the Spirit is one that is sealed by the Holy Spirit of
Promise, or in other words, ratified and approved by the Holy Ghost." (Mormon
Doctrine, p. 408)
3:20-28. We are justified freely by the grace of the Lord.
- WHAT IS PAUL SAYING TO THE ROMANS?
- Note: Whenever Paul says "the law" he is referring to the Law of
- "All have sinned, and come short of the glory of
God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in
Christ Jesus." (v23-24)
- WHY CAN'T WE BE JUSTIFIED BY WORKS ALONE?
- All have sinned and our works cannot pay for those sins.
- HOW CAN WE BECOME JUSTIFIED?
- "Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what
law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a
man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." (v27-28)
- President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: "There are
some who believe that because they have made mistakes, they can no longer
fully partake of the blessings of the gospel. How little they understand the
purposes of the Lord. One of the great blessings of living the gospel is
that it refines us and helps us learn from our mistakes. We 'all have
sinned, and come short of the glory of God,' yet the Atonement of Jesus
Christ has the power to make us whole when we repent." (General
Conference, April 2009)
5:1-2. Justified by faith.
- We then can become justified and partake of the redemption of Jesus
Christ as we exercise the law of faith.
- Justification comes not as a result of performing the works of the LAW,
but through faith. In Romans
2:29 Paul talks about the circumcision of the heart. Works are a
manifestation of our faith and change of heart. Good works are an inevitable
result of faith.
- A man may perform good works (live the Law) and will be blessed, but
if he has not had that circumcision of heart (Paul) or change of heart
(Alma) he cannot be justified.
- Good works are an inevitable manifestation of faith. Without good
works, there is no faith.
- Good works may lead one to the obtaining of faith.
- There can be good works without faith, but there is no faith where
there is not good works ("faith without works is dead").
- Elder Gene R. Cook: "It is evident that this
grace, or enabling power, is accessed by faith. No wonder faith in the Lord
Jesus Christ is the first principle of the gospel." (General
Conference, April 1993)
- Joseph Smith: "To be justified before God we
must love one another: we must overcome evil; we must visit the fatherless
and the widow in their affliction, and we must keep ourselves unspotted from
the world: for such virtues flow from the great fountain of pure religion,
strengthening our faith by adding every good quality that adorns the
children of the blessed Jesus, we can pray in the season of prayer; we can
love our neighbor as ourselves, and be faithful in tribulation, knowing that
the reward of such is greater in the kingdom of heaven. What a consolation!
What a joy!" (TPJS, p. 76)
5:3-5. Paul glories in tribulation.
- WHY DID PAUL GLORY IN TRIBULATION?
- Such experiences may help us develop patience and hope.
- WHAT DO YOU THINK IT MEANS TO GLORY IN TRIBULATION?
- We should consider it an opportunity for growth and a means to aid us in
strengthening our faith.
- Elder Neal A. Maxwell: "One of the functions of
the tribulation of the righteous is so that 'tribulation worketh patience.'
What a vital attribute patience is if tribulation is worth
enduring to bring about its development!" (Notwithstanding My
Weakness, p. 67)
- WHAT DETERMINES WHETHER OUR TRIALS STRENGTHEN OR WEAKEN US?
6:16-18. Servants ye are to whom ye obey.
- IN WHAT SENSE DO WE BECOME CAPTIVES WHEN WE SIN?
- This life = we lose personal discipline and we may end up in a downward
spiral. Sin causes us to lose freedom.
- Next life = "For the wages of sin is
death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans
Gospel Doctrine Notebook
Record your thoughts on the teachings of Paul to the Romans. What actions can
you take to more fully follow the teachings of Paul?
Resources Used In This Lesson
Gospel Doctrine by Joseph F. Smith
Teacher's Manual (1989)
Meek and Lowly by Neal A. Maxwell
Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie
Notwithstanding My Weakness by Neal A. Maxwell
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (TPJS)
This outline is provided as supplementary material and is not
intended to replace the official lesson manual. It is not endorsed by The Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am wholly responsible for the content.
I do my best to see that the content is in
harmony with the teachings and doctrine of the Church.
Gospel Doctrine Class
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Changes last made on:
10 June 2019