“Paul never quoted Jesus” (Romans part 1)

What is the refrain we always hear from the theological liberal or the Emerging guru, or Purpose-Driven™ Pied Piper who is sooooo much smarter than us knuckle-dragging fundamentalists? The same, tired, lame old, “Paul preached a different gospel than Jesus” or “Paul was setting up a religion to compete with Christianity” or–as the title of this post bears witness–“Paul never quoted Jesus!!”

Well, it just so happens that all of these arguments are wrong. Especially the last one. Now, it is true, that save for one passage (1st Corinthians 11:23-26), Paul never quote our Lord word-for-word.


That is not to say that Paul never reiterated the same principles as Christ. This concept dawned on me as I was preparing a lesson on Philippians 3:14I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me. I realized that Paul was simply giving us the flip-side of what Jesus said in John 15:5“For without Me, you can do nothing.” Without Christ we can do “nothing”–with Christ we can do “all things.” It’s two sides of the same coin.

Here is part 1 in what I hope to be a series going through Paul’s letters and showing where he does indeed repeat many of the same principles that Jesus laid down. We begin with Paul’s letter to the saints in Rome.

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

  • Luke 9:26“For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.”

Romans 1:28-32And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality…who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

  • John 3:19“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”

Romans 2:1Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.

  • Matthew 23:3-5“Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do to be seen by men.”

Romans 3:28Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.

  • Matthew 9:2Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”

Romans 3:31Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

  • Matthew 5:17-18“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”

Romans 3:29-30, 4:16Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faithTherefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.

  • John 10:15-16“As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.”

Romans 5:1-2Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

  • John 14:27Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Romans 5:8But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

  • John 3:16“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Romans 5:18Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.

  • Matthew 20:28“Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Romans 7:2-3For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.

  • Matthew 19:9“And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”

Romans 8:5For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.

  • John 4:23-24“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Romans 8:18-19For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.

  • John 14:1-3“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

Romans 8:32He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

  • Matthew 6:33“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

9 thoughts on ““Paul never quoted Jesus” (Romans part 1)

  1. There you go – destroying false assertions by systematic exposition of the Scriptures. Dontcha know you ain’t supposed to do that? can’t we do what John Wesley did and just open the Bible without thought and trust God to reveal its meaning to us?


  2. I agree with Manfred here. It just makes one so unpopular!

    My rhetorical question is this, why is it that so-called men of God, who supposedly love God, live for God and serve God, constantly strive to undermine His love letter to us? if we love God, then why all the attacks against the words He has given us? Quite sad to say the least…


  3. fourpointer:

    Thank you for yet another well-written comparison of how well Paul’s teaching perfectly supports and compliments the words of Jesus when He walked the earth.

    I don’t understand the significance nor relevance of the concept that Paul didn’t quote Jesus verbatim (for the most part). Especially in light of: “For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard FROM US, you accepted it NOT as the word of men, but for WHAT IT REALLY IS, the WORD OF GOD, which also performs its work in you who believe.” (1Thess. 2:13) Is Jesus God? Is Paul speaking the words of God? Did not Jesus say in Jn. 12:48 that His words will judge men in the last day? And what are His words? Merely the words in red? By no means. Since Jesus is God, all Scripture (being God’s words) are His words.

    There seems to be a movement within Christendom which places a higher priority on the specific words of Jesus in red, as if they hold higher authority than the rest of His word. I do not see that concept supported anywhere in Scripture. Nor do I see the logic in the premise.


  4. The Holy Spirit proved that the Gospel which the Apostle Paul preached was authentic, and that the false gospel of the Judaizers was not.

    “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.” (Galatians 1:11) The Greek word translated as “certify” is “gnorizo,” and it comes from the same root word from which we get the English word “recognize.” The Holy Spirit is saying that, if you are familiar with the teaching of Jesus Christ Himself – the true Gospel – then you must recognize that Paul is preaching the exact same Gospel.

    The message of Paul was given to Him directly by Jesus. It was “certified” by Paul’s mission, his ministry, his methods, and the contents of the message itself. If you listen to much modern theology you are likely to come across a statement like this one eventually: “Oh, I’m a Christian. I follow Jesus, but I don’t believe everything that Paul wrote.” Such a statement is pure foolishness. The famous British preacher, Charles Spurgeon, responded to such a statement with this quote:
    “It is not unusual to hear dubious persons profess to differ from the apostle, and they even dare to say, ‘There, I do not agree with Paul.’ I remember the first time that I heard this expression I looked at the individual with astonishment. I was amazed that such a pigmy as he should say this of the great apostle. Altogether apart from Paul’s inspiration, it seemed like a cheese-mite differing from a cherub, or a handful of chaff discussing the verdict of the fire. The individual was so utterly beneath observation that I could not but marvel that his conceit should have been so outspokenly shameless. Notwithstanding this objection, even when supported by learned critics, we still agree with the inspired servant of God. It is our firm conviction that, to differ from Paul’s epistles is to differ from the Holy Ghost, and to differ from the Lord Jesus Christ, whose mind Paul has fully expressed.”


  5. Addict – it’s been a while since I’ve read that quote from the man pleaser /sarc/. Thanks for bringing a big smile to my face. It’s easy to see, in reading Spurgeon, Edwards, Calvin, et. al. how much of our language we’ve lost because we want to spared the hard work of thinking.


  6. Manfred: LOL (sorry to be juvenile – my daughter says that means “laughing out loud) – which I actually did when I read you calling Spurgeon a “man-pleaser.” That’s good one – thanks for the laugh!


  7. Addict, at least you didn’t ROFLOL 🙂

    Spurgeon – and all who proclaim God’s Truth – actually do please some men: those whom God predestinated to be conformed to Christ. My wife tells me I have a silly grin on my face when Voddie or another elder is preaching – even when it’s bad news (as much of Romans 1-3 is). My soul rejoices to hear Truth. Sinners, such me, would have no hope if God’s Word was not true.


  8. I was amazed that such a pigmy as he should say this of the great apostle. Altogether apart from Paul’s inspiration, it seemed like a cheese-mite differing from a cherub, or a handful of chaff discussing the verdict of the fire.

    Once again, there goes Spurgeon pulling punches for the sake of others’ comfort and self-esteem.



  9. Romans 6:16-18–16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?…18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

    John 8:34-36–“34 Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin…36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”


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