WARNING: The following is not man-made religion. It’s not human philosophy. It’s not a person’s opinion about spirituality. This is an unfiltered journey through a biblical understanding of Christianity.
I did not create the following framework but it was the first five scriptures I ever committed to memory as a new follower of Christ. These Bible verses not only helped me make sense of basic theology, they also increased my confidence to begin sharing my faith with others twenty years ago.
This oft-used list is famously known as “The Romans Road.” The reason for this title is that the five scriptures are found in the New Testament epistle, known as The Book of Romans. Each verse is as profound as it is straight-forward. Here is a quick-reference of these selected passages…
- Romans 3:23
- Romans 6:23
- Romans 5:8
- Romans 10:9-10
Historically, the Romans revolutionized land transport by paving a network of roads that spanned across their empire. Just as the Romans innovated new ways to travel, there are Four Unique Qualities about The Romans Roads in scripture.
1. The Romans Road begins at REALITY.
23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.- Romans 3:23, NKJV
There are two unseen spiritual realities that define the world we live in: The glory of God and the sinful nature of mankind.
There is one God who is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. He is Creator of the universe. He is holy, without sin, everlasting and dwells in unapproachable light. He is the divine source of all peace, life and love. His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. He reigns supreme on a heavenly throne in majesty and awe.
All of us humans, on the other hand, have been tainted by Original Sin. The Hebrew word for “sin” literally means to “miss the mark.” If virtue and righteousness were a bulls-eye on a target, all of us have taken our shot and missed the mark of God’s glory. As free moral agents we have an instinctive pattern of rebelling against God’s commands. Nobody is perfect.
This reality check contradicts popular progressive utopian thinking which asserts that mother nature is our creator and people are intrinsically good under the proper social conditions. However, as an anonymous quote once stated, “The doctrine of original sin is the only philosophy empirically validated by thirty-five centuries of recorded human history.”
The risk of not believing in “sin” is that you also ignore it’s claim as the root of all self-deception. The question then becomes, “Are you merely dismissing a pillar of biblical theology or subjecting yourself to the blindness of spiritual darkness?”
2. The Romans Road moves you away from an eternal tombstone and towards an ETERNAL TREASURE.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
– Romans 6:23, NKJV
Sin is a cruel taskmaster. Not only can it keep you trapped in a vicious cycle of self-destructive behavior, but when it finally pays you off, it’s wages are eternal condemnation. The curse of sin upon mankind is the origin of all suffering, disease, death and war. Sin explains for us the pain of the human condition.
The Lord is the source of all life and He is holy. He cannot co-exist with sin in eternity, thus, sin that is unatoned for separates us from God into a permanent residence in an eternal lake of fire, otherwise known as Hell.
The Good News of the Gospel according to Scripture is that we are offered an alternative destination through Jesus Christ. If we follow the Romans Road we are guided away from a spiritual death, towards the imperishable treasure of eternal life in Heaven. This permanent place of rest in God’s presence will allow Him to wipe away every tear from our eyes. There will be no more death, no more sorrow, no more crying and no more pain.
“Christ” means Messiah or the Anointed One. “Christ” is not Jesus’ last name, it’s His description. This means He was more than just a good person, good teacher and historical figure. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. He used water for wine and walking. He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, caused the deaf to hear, caused the lame to walk and raised the dead. He was resurrected three days after His death, appeared to His disciples and ascended into Heaven to sit at the right hand of His Father.
Jesus is not only the one true Savior of our soul in the next life, He is the Lord of our life in the here and now.
3. The Romans Road leads you through the loving door of THE CROSS.
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8, NKJV
The same truth that verifies why Jesus is the One True Messiah is the same truth that expresses God’s love for us: Jesus is the only One who has taken the punishment of our sin upon Himself at the cross. The death we deserve as a result of our sin was squarely placed on the shoulders of the only sinless person to walk this earth. Jesus was mocked, beaten, spit upon, scourged, crucified and pierced for our rebellion and wounds.
Nobody else has been qualified without sin, let alone actually taken the consequences of our sin upon themselves. Muhammad didn’t… Buddha didn’t… Even Moses didn’t… Only Jesus has stood in our place and paid the price for our redemption.
This holy and self-less act was an absolute demonstration of God’s love for us, His children. Even when there was no guarantee as to whether or not we would humble ourselves and acknowledge our need for Christ’s sacrifice, Jesus humbly went to the cross with unconditional love for us. He was thinking of you then and He’s thinking of you now.
4. The Romans Road ends safely at SAVING FAITH.
9 If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. – Romans 10:9-10, NKJV
It’s important for our “beliefs” to arrive at a decision point. The quality of a decision for Christ is the combination of an inward and outward response that is congruent. We must believe in our heart that Jesus rose from the grave with power over sin and death as the One True Messiah. We also must make a verbal confession of faith with our mouth that declares what is happening on the inside of us.
There is a prayer that is based on the Romans Road. It’s known as the Sinner’s Prayer. There is no magic in the reciting of the script and there should be no legalism about using a certain wording of the prayer. The key is that the prayer covers the essential concepts from the Romans Road and that it is prayed out loud in agreement with what is happening in your heart.
I invite you to pray the following Sinner’s Prayer out loud…
“Lord Jesus, I ask You to come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. Thank You for dying for me on the cross and rising from the grave. I ask You to forgive me of my sin and cleanse me of a guilty conscience. I receive Your healing love. I turn from my old life. I want to serve You from this moment on and for the rest of my days. Amen.”
If you said that prayer out loud and meant it with all your heart, the Romans Road says you have experienced “salvation.” Your sins, which were like scarlet, are now as white as snow. Your soul has been rescued from the dominion of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of His Son. You have been adopted as a child of God. Your name has been written down in the Book of Life. You are no longer of this world, but you are now a citizen of Heaven.
The Romans Road is one of the most practical ways to understand and explain the Christian faith directly from scripture.
CC Image • Courtesy Carlo Mirante on Flickr