The Roman Road is a way of explaining the good news of salvation using verses from the book of Romans. It’s a simple yet powerful method of explaining why we need salvation, how God provided salvation, how we can receive salvation, and what the results of salvation in this life.
The overarching message:
We are sinners saved and sent to share the salvation story.
Throughout this series I’ve offered the imaginary yet ordinary scenario of picturing yourself on a park bench in Barclay Square in a conversation shared between a believer and a nonbeliever.
So Many Questions!
I want you to honestly ask yourself, which person in the conversation are you? A Christian with a non-Christian.
Not in title or in church attendance or lack of both, but in your heart. If you’re not sure which side you are on, then it’s most likely the non-Christian side.
Your position in the conversation greatly effects your response to what I want to teach tonight.
I invite you to see yourself in this conversation. We all have conversations everyday. You had conversations when you walked in here and you will when you walk out.
Here’s what a conversation is not:
It’s not me against you or you against me, that’s a debate. It’s not yelling and screaming, that’s arguing. It’s not someone talking to you or at you in an arena with no expected response, that’s a presentation.
A conversation is the exchange of ideas that often includes a lot of Q&A from both sides and always includes respect for the other person’s ideas.
Sometimes we ask, sometimes we answer, and we need to know which side we stand on.
We’ve been asking a lot of questions and providing a lot of answers.
All of us know that life is short and the older we get the faster it seems to go. And yet even though we know death is inevitable we live as though we’ll be the first person to escape it. We live as if it’ll never happen to us.
Put your hand over your heart…that small heartbeat is all that stands between you and eternity in heaven or hell. This is the big question. If you died tonight, do you know for certain where you would be spending eternity?
Well, yeah, I’m a good person, isn’t that all that matters?
Answer week one: Romans 3:23 “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Establishing that none of us can please God without Christ because we’re all broken people. We’ve all missed the mark.
Question week two: I sin really a big deal?
Answer week two: Romans 6:23 “the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life.”
When sin grows up the finished product is death, and we all deserve death. But Jesus offers free eternal life.
“But does God love me in my mess?” Even though I’m lost in sin all over the place, does Jesus still love me?
Romans 5:8 says “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
When Jesus hung on the cross he knew more about your mess than you know about your mess, and he still loved you and went to the cross.
I am not good! I can never be good enough. I’ve let God down and deserve death! But he loved me even though I was a sinner.
To the conversation God offers us the ultimate answer to the ultimate question. ‘What now?’
Romans 10:9-13 gives us the answer:
9 …if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
We live in a world and a time that overcomplicates everything.
You can’t buy a microwave with simple numbers and a start button. Or get cable that requires one remote.
We overcomplicate religion by creating formulas to achieve an end and then tell all the children it’s required for salvation that we add new bells and whistles to the Bible so it stays relevant.
All the while God keeps it simple. He simply says, ‘openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead and you will be saved.’
When you believe you’re made right with God and when you openly declare your faith you’re saved.
When you talk about sin and the disobedience toward God, the truth is there’s only once answer, and that’s to be saved and the power is the blood Jesus shed on the cross.
Who is this for? Everyone.
11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” – Romans 10:11-13
Everyone and anyone who trusts in him will not be let down.
I like the word everyone because I know it includes me, you, your children, your siblings, your parents, neighbors, the poor, rich, black, white, red, yellow, EVERYONE who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Everyone Really Does Mean EVERYONE
Back in the 1800’s churches had the habit of voting on who could become members in their congregations. If they didn’t want you… you didn’t get in.
During an evangelistic service in that day, an invitation was given at the close of the sermon for all those who wished to turn their lives over to Christ and be forgiven. One of the first persons to walk down the aisle and give her life to Christ was a well-known prostitute.
But in the silence that followed, it became obvious that the congregation wasn’t open to voting her into their fellowship.
Finally, a leading member of the congregation arose and said, “I guess we blundered when we prayed that the Lord would save sinners. We forgot to specify what kind of sinners. We’d better ask him to forgive us for this oversight. The Holy Spirit has touched this woman and made her truly repentant, but the Lord apparently doesn’t understand that she’s not the type we want him to rescue. We’d better spell it out for him just which sinners we had in mind.”
Immediately, a motion was made and unanimously approved that the woman be accepted into membership in the congregation.
This is what happens sometimes when we spend too much time on the Christian side of the conversation. We forget how far we’ve come.
When the truth is we’re all the same. All deserving death. All in need of a savior, and no place in the Bible does it spell that out clearer than Ephesians 2:8,9.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
There is one answer, and it’s found in Jesus Christ. That’s the road we’re on.
That’s the road you’re invited to if you’re not yet a believer.