The Roman Road

by Rolaant L. McKenzie

Romans 1:16 -- God's Power Provides Security and Deliverance

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek."

There are many in the world today who live without hope for the future, or the ability to adequately cope with the problems of life. Romans 1:16 teaches us that God has the power to help us with whatever problems we face in life, and that this power is sufficient to bring salvation for to anyone who believes.

Romans 2:4 -- God's Power Brings a New Life

"Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

The power of God can bring about change in people. This change in life is called repentance, which means to turn away from the old way of life ruled by self to a new life ruled by God.

Romans 3:23 -- A Changed Life is Needed Because of Sin

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

Jesus came to save us and change our lives. But why do we need to be saved and have a changed life? The Bible teaches that all have fallen short of the standard God has set. No matter what we do in life we fall short of the mark every day.

God's standard for life is perfection (Matthew 5:48). He expects each person to live in perfect obedience to Him. Anything less than living up to God perfect standard is called sin. Because no one measures up to God's standard of perfection all people have a problem with sin.

Romans 5:8 -- God Still Loves Us

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Does our failure to live up to God's standard mean that God is against us, that He is our enemy? Fortunately no. The good news is that in spite of our sins, God still loves us. His love is not based on ignorance or toleration of our sin, but on His own choice. God chose to love us even though it meant the death of His Son to atone for our sins. It is through the death of Jesus that God overcame our sin problem and demonstrated the great depth of His love for us (John 3:16).

Romans 6:23 -- Sin Brings Death, But God Gives Life

"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Our sin problem is serious because because the consequences of sin are serious. Though God loves is in spite of our sinfulness, He is still our judge. He cannot ignore or overlook our sin. The Bible teaches that sin brings the penalty of death. So whenever we sin, we earn the wages of death. Since every person "misses the mark", is guilty of sin, every person faces the consequences of eternal death and separation from God (John 3:36 and Revelation 20:11-15).

But there is hope for us! We earn death because we sin, but "the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23). Jesus, God's one and only Son, died a cruel and agonizing death that was due us on the cross (1 Peter 3:18). As our substitute, He took upon Himself all our sin, all our guilt, in order to satisfy the judgment of God against our sin (2 Corinthians 5:21 and Colossians 2:13-14). Though our sin earns death, by His grace we can receive eternal life. God offers forgiveness of sin and eternal life through Jesus Christ as a gift.

Romans 10:9-10, 13 -- Confess, Repent, Believe, Call

"... If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For 'WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.'"

These four words summarize what someone must do to receive Gods free gift and be saved.

These four words summarize what someone must do to receive Gods free gift and be saved.

The Biblical word translated confess means to say the same thing. Lord may be translated ruler or sovereign authority. When we confess Jesus as Lord, we are saying the same thing about Him that God says about Himself (Isaiah 45:5-7, 22-24 and Philippians 2:10-11). We recognize our own failure to live up to God's perfect standard of righteousness and His right to be master of our lives.

To confess Jesus as Lord also means to repent of our sins. In accepting His authority over us, we turn away from life on our terms in order to obey and serve Him. This turning away from sin in order to follow Jesus is called repentance. More than feeling sorry, it is changing the direction of our lives and living a God-oriented rather than a self-oriented life (Luke 3:7-14).

Believe means to have complete trust. When you "believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead" (Romans 10:9), you have confidence that the death and resurrection of Jesus are sufficient to secure your salvation. You trust in the finished work of Christ rather than your own for salvation. When you look at a bridge, you might know that it would hold you up if you crossed it. The bridge never actually holds you up, however, until you get on it and cross. Similarly, you may know a lot about Jesus, but until you trust Him with your life, putting your life into His hands, you are not believing in Him. To believe in Jesus is to put your life, both physically and spiritually, into His hands.

When we acknowledge that Jesus is the rightful Lord or boss of our lives and when we are willing to believe in Him, trusting in His work alone for our salvation, we need only call on Him to be saved. In Romans 10:13 Paul wrote, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Anyone who is willing to call on the name of the Lord will be saved. No other qualifications are needed. If you are willing to call on Him, you can be saved.

To call on the name of the Lord is to ask Him for forgiveness of sin and for salvation. When you ask Him for salvation, you are acknowledging Him as your Lord and expressing your intention to live a life of obedience and service. Salvation comes to those who call on Him.

Romans 8:16-17, 38-39 -- We Now Have Hope

"The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

When we are saved, God adopts us as His children, and His Holy Spirit assures us that we are part of His family. According to Roman law at the time of Paul's writing, someone's adopted son also became his heir. While Christ is God's heir by nature, Christians have become God's heirs by adoption. Therefore, we are joint-heirs with Christ.

Verses 38-39 tell us that we are secure in God. Because Christ has defeated the principalities and powers of this earth, we need not fear human and superhuman enemies. Nothing can separate us from Gods love in Christ Jesus.

Believers can live with hope because they are children of God and are secure in His love.

Romans 12:1-2 -- Faith = Life for God

"Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

When you become a Christian, you begin to live your life for God. When you lead people to Christ, use these verses to indicate some ways their lives will change.

A new Christian can expect his life to be different. God wants a person's life to change as he follows Jesus, even if it means sacrifice. The goal for believers is to look and live less like unsaved people of the world and more like Jesus. That kind of change happens because God brings it about. He will transform the new Christians life, making it more like the life of Jesus (see Philippians 1:6; 2:16). You don't have to be religiously inclined to become a faithful Christian. Jesus will make you look and live like one of His children.

Kelley, Chuck. 1994. Learning to Share My Faith. Nashville, Tenn. : LifeWay Press. pp.27-37

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