This has been a hard semester. I don’t mean for academic reasons, although I do feel as if I am barely keeping my head afloat in many of my classes. No, I mean it has been hard from the standpoint of my faith. Let me clarify; I have not struggled with myself and what I believe, but rather with those around me. There are three classes in particular that have really made my soul feel heavy. It is extremely difficult to deal with daily spreading of false teachings and bashings of everything that I hold dear, from my professors and classmates alike. I have had the opportunity to share my faith briefly in a few of these classes, but nothing has come of it. I cannot blame these people for their ignorance, because I know that their eyes and hearts have not been opened by God. However, the hurt is all the same. After seven weeks of this battle I was in desperate need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and take the time to truly focus on the gospel message. In order to do this, I decided to spend my studying time on “The Romans Road”.
This website provides a great overview as to what The Romans Road is. It states, “The Romans Road is a collection of verses in Paul’s Epistle to the Romans that offers a clear and structured path to Jesus Christ. Although many people believe they will go to heaven because they have lived a good life, done charity work, been baptized as a child, attended church, or treated others fairly, the Bible declares that none of us can live up to God’s standards of righteousness. Therefore, we need a road to God that doesn’t rely on anything we do, but rather, relies on the gift of His grace alone.” Remember the theme to Romans: faith alone in Christ alone is justification. That is exactly what The Romans Road tells us. Only through Jesus can we be saved.
The Romans Road begins like this, “for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). Every single human (other than Jesus Christ himself, who was 100% man and 100% God) who has walked this earth is a dirty, rotten, filthy, stupid, stinking, sinner. Because of Adam and Eve’s fall, we are all utterly black with sin. To fully get this point across I’m going to backtrack a little ways. “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Rom 3:10b-18). This is a collection of verses taken from various Psalms, as well as passages in Proverbs, Luke, and Isaiah. If you have a pen handy, I would recommend going through and boxing the phrases: none, no one, all, together, their, and they. That’s us. That’s everyone who was, everyone who is, and everyone who is yet to come. We are sinners.
The next verse in The Romans Road is, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Because we have sinned, we deserve to be damned to hell for eternity. Again it does not matter if you do good works, it does not matter if you are baptized, it does not matter if you repent to a priest, it does not matter if you think your sin is not as bad as someone else’s. None of it matters. You are sinful and you deserve to die. I am sinful and I deserve to die. That being said, if there is anything that I have learned in the last four years of studying the bible it is the beauty of the word “but”. Take a look at it in this verse, bask in what it represents. “But” there is Jesus. Our salvation is not up to us, “but” a gift that can only be given by God.
After that comes another “but” (thank you, Lord!), “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). God loves His people so much He sacrificed His only son, Jesus Christ, who, in his final moments, took on every single sin of man and the wrath of God against us. He then died, and rose again. He conquered the grave and went on to sit at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. His death was for me, and for all of those who have been, are, and will be saved. His life gives us life, despite the death of sin. Hallelujah!
The Romans Road ends in this way, “because, if you confess with your mouth and in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom 10:9). In order to have true salvation in Jesus Christ, God must open your heart so that you know, without a shadow of a doubt, the gospel message is the truth. When that happens, you have eternal salvation and absolutely nothing can take it away from you. How incredible is that? Even though we are so much worse than we have ever thought, Jesus is so much greater than we can ever imagine.
I wanted to focus on the gospel this week for the revitalization of my own faith, but I also wanted to do it for the benefit of all those out there who are struggling too. Perhaps you are in the same position I am in, and the world around you is bearing down hard. Maybe your faith is at the point where you still need milk as opposed to solid food (Heb 5:12-14) and the false teachings you hear every day are filling your head with doubt. Or possibly you are simply not saved, and need to hear the gospel now more than ever. For all of you, no matter your situation, I ask that you carefully consider the path to salvation that God has laid out to you in The Romans Road. I will be praying for you all, and I ask those who believe to do the same for me.