The True Romans Road
If you had a quick and easy way to relay the gospel to someone, what would you say?
Back in the 1800s, Walter Scott, came up with something like that.
It was later called the five-finger exercise, and even taught it to children as he was out and about.
Today, we have come to call it the Plan of Salvation, or the five steps to salvation, though it is a little different now than Scott’s original exercise.
While the gospel has been the same for 2000 years, it was the first time it had been packaged into such a concise and easy to remember way.
Today some are latching onto a similar concept with the Romans Road.
What is the Romans Road to Salvation?
It is a popular shorthand similar to Scott’s five-finger exercise.
It is used by several denominations to express the plan of salvation—at least the plan as they see it.
They take several verses from Romans to share their understanding of the gospel.
As with most presentations from various denominations, it starts off well, but is incomplete.
As one tract puts it: “What is the Romans Road? Simply put, the Romans Road shows the path to Heaven. It uses points from the book of Romans in the Bible to explain God’s gift of salvation. At each stop we learn something new about why we need salvation, how God has provided for it, and how we receive it.”
There are different versions of it, so for time’s sake, I will present one of the more concise versions I’ve found, correcting it along the way if it needs correction.
Then I will provide a Romans Road that will actually achieve the desired result: showing the path to heaven.
Why Do We Need Salvation? (Rom. 1:28-32; 3:10, 23; 5:12; 2:5).
How Did God Provide for Salvation? (Rom. 3:24-25; 5:8-9; 6:23).
How Can I Receive Salvation? (Rom. 10:9-10, 17; 3:26; 2:4; 6:3-6).
Why Do We Need Salvation?
Human beings have a tendency to think they are good people.
We are all the hero of our own story, after all.
Think of the worst people you know—they think they’re the good guy.
It’s true, it’s rare to find someone who thinks they do nothing wrong, but it’s also rare to find someone who thinks they can’t do anything right.
We see people on either extreme, and we think they are a narcissist or depressed.
In order to live with ourselves, we try to justify ourselves and the wrong we have done.
But it is not our job to justify ourselves—who are we, after all?
In order to get the right idea about how we truly are.
We must seek an objective perspective.
The problem is, when it comes to anyone we can ask directly, there is no objective perspective.
The only objective perspective is that of God Himself!
And what does He say about us?
Well, of course, the Bible isn’t going to call you or me out directly, but when I read the lists of sins and other wrongdoings in Scripture, it’s hard for me not to see myself in many of them—if I’m honest.
How can you not read Romans 1 and say, “Yep, I’ve done that, maybe not that, oh definitely that”? (Rom. 1:28-32).
No one here is so holy and righteous that they haven’t done something wrong.
And in fact, that’s what Romans says (Rom. 3:10, 23).
Committing sin against God is how we fall short, and all have sinned (Rom. 5:12).
No, we’re all sinners, no better or worse than anyone else.
And because of our sin, we are all deserving of a fate worse than death.
He is a just Judge (Rom. 2:5)—He can’t be just and let things slide.
How can we be saved from such a fate? What possible hope is there?
Well, it is only because of what God has done for us that we can have any hope of redemption through Christ.
How Did God Provide Salvation?
He sent His Son to die for us (Rom. 5:8).
God’s perfect justice and perfect love meet in the Man, Christ Jesus.
He was sent show God’s perfect love by taking on the penalty of our sin, thereby preserving God’s perfect justice.
This is the substitutionary sacrifice that is seen throughout Scripture (more later).
But you see, this sacrifice is a gift for us (Rom. 6:23).
Illustration of a gift—we still have to open it to enjoy it (more later).
This is the gift that keeps on giving.
How does His help sacrifice us?
Show God’s love and grace (Rom. 5:8; 3:24).
It provides redemption (Rom. 3:24).
It is a propitiation (Rom. 3:25).
We can access it through faith (Rom. 3:25-26) – an active faith.
It shows His righteousness, forbearance, and justice (Rom. 3:25-26).
It justifies us and saves us from wrath (Rom. 5:9).
It reconciles us back to God (Rom. 5:10).
If it does so much for us, what can I do to get this gift? Earlier, we said it could be accessed through faith, but what does that mean?
How Can We Receive Salvation?
Here is where it all falls apart.
They will quote two verses and say that’s it, forgetting the rest of the book!
We will get to those two verses, but it won’t be the first place we go.
First is one that we cite often: Hear (Rom. 10:17).
Believe (Rom. 3:26).
Repentance (Rom. 2:4, 6, 21-24; 6:1-2, 11-18).
Confession (Rom. 10:9-10).
Baptism (Rom. 6:3-6).
Confirmation (Rom. 6:17; 8:16).
A more concise True Romans Road.
Problem (Rom. 3:23).
Solution (Rom. 3:24-26; 5:8-10).
Receipt (Rom. 10:17; 3:26; 6:16; 10:9-10; 6:3-4).
Confirmation (Rom. 6:17).
Let’s share the True Romans Road far and wide!