WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO BE SAVED
"As it is written, ‘There is none righteous, no, not one.'” (Romans 3:10, KJV)
~ No single human being is “righteous” (the meaning of which is best understood as “right with God”) without Jesus.
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23, KJV)
~ The standard is God’s holiness. And all of us fall short of that standard.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23, KJV)
Having established that we are all sinners who fall short of God’s glory, Paul explains that the “wages” (or earnings) of our sin is “death.” This includes both physical death and spiritual death.
Physical death is when your soul separates from your body. Spiritual death is when your soul is separated from God. And this separation from God extends into eternity for those who die in their lost and sinful state.
Because of our sin, we face the reality and inevitability of both physical death and eternal separation from God.
Paul, however, doesn’t leave us with just bad news. He mentions that the “gift of God” is “eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” And to further explain this, we step back a chapter in Romans to go to the next milestone marker in the Romans Road.
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8, KJV)
God doesn’t leave us in our sinful state. He doesn’t leave us with the prospect of facing both physical and spiritual death. There is, as they say, “more to the story.”
Paul says that God demonstrated or commended (gave) love to us even when we didn’t deserve it. Even when we were deep in sin, “Christ died for us.”
What do we do this information? Well, for that, we come to the final passage of the Romans Road.
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13, KJV)
The bad news is we all fall short of God’s glory and we all face both physical and spiritual death because of it. The good news is that God loved us, sent Jesus to die for us, and anyone who calls upon “the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
For a deeper explanation of what it means to call on the name of the Lord, Romans 10:13 should be read and understood in the context of the verses which precede it. As a kid, I was taught to memorize Romans 10:9-10 as well as 10:13. But honestly, as our pastor made clear in his sermons, verses 9 through 13 of chapter 10 all beautifully speak to the plan and promise of God’s love and salvation.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.Paul the Apostle, Romans 10:9-13, KJV
If you want to understand what it takes to have your sins forgiven, to be saved by God, and thus have your place with God in eternity firmly established, Romans 10:9-13 is perhaps the clearest explanation in all the Bible — with the exception of Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus in the third chapter of the Gospel of John.
We must communicate to God our clear declaration that Jesus is Lord and we must believe that Jesus rose from the dead. This must be a sincere, intentional head-and-heart decision we make before God. And those who are genuine and authentic in their confession of Christ and profession of faith “shall not be ashamed.”
This passage also makes clear that all of humanity (both “the Jew and the Greek” — referring to Jew and Gentile, which in biblical terms, comprises the whole of humanity) is loved by God and is eligible for this offer of salvation. God will hear anyone who calls on the name of His Son as Lord.
And there you have it! That is the Romans Road to Salvation.
As I said, there are other variants of the Romans Road. Some, for example, incorporate verses from Romans 1, Romans 5, and Romans 8. I encourage you to use whichever version you prayerfully find that works best for you. The preceding verses, however, represent (at least in my view) one of the shorter and simplest versions of the Romans Road.
Some have criticized the Romans Road as being reductionist or inadequate.
To which I say: “Of course, it’s reductionist!“
The Romans Road takes the entirety of Paul’s epistle to the church in Rome and reduces it, with a focus on salvation, to just a few verses or passages. Of course, that’s reductionist. But…
That doesn’t make the Romans Road inaccurate.
Those who read and study the entire book of Romans will certainly be better served than those who only read the Romans Road. But the Romans Road is sufficient to explain God’s very simple plan of salvation.
As such, the Romans Road is a great way to introduce people to the basic message of Christianity. It’s also a great resource for Christians to utilize in sharing their faith with others.
God bless you.