What Is The Roman Road?

What Is The Roman Road? May 2, 2018

Have you ever heard of the “Roman Road” to salvation? If not, here’s what it means.

Old Testament Saints

Before I write about the Roman Road, let me ask you, how did the Old Testament saints get saved since Jesus would not die for their sins for another thousand years or more? If we need to trust in Christ to be saved, how were Noah, Abraham, and the other Old Testament saints saved before Jesus came to die? Aren’t we saved only by faith in Christ? Since this is true, how could Old Testament saints be saved without the Lamb of God’s shed blood? God forgave all our sins, but only through Jesus Christ’s sinless life of perfection, His suffering and death on the cross, and His resurrection from the dead (1 Cor 15:1-4), so why do we see all these Old Testament saints mentioned in the Bible as being saved (Heb 11?). For those of us who believe, all of our sins were cleansed by Jesus’ atoning work on the cross, so even “though commended through their faith” these saints “did not receive what was promised” (Gen 11:39); at least yet! By the way, those who died long ago are not dead! Their bodies might be decomposed, but as Jesus said, “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living” (Matt 22:32), so Jesus speaks of these saints as still existing, for indeed they do! Only Jesus, as God, could say with authority, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this” (John 11:25-26)?

Before Christ

The work at Calvary that Jesus did actually extended into time beyond His earthly ministry. Think about this. How many of our sins were still ahead of us at the cross? The answer is, “All of them!” The shed blood of Christ cleansed us on that day, even though we were not yet born. Jesus saved the thief on the cross 2,000 years ago, and He saved us some 2,000 years later. The salvific work of Christ leaped into time without end, and will be cleansing sinners for all eternity, but the cross also works both ways. It enabled us to be saved, it enabled the thief on the cross to be saved, but it also went backward in time. Moses wrote in the book of Genesis that Abraham’s belief in God was demonstrated by works. That is, he believed God and showed his belief by believing God, even up to the point of offering to sacrifice His only son Isaac. When God called Abraham, there is no indication he hesitated. He went to a new land he’d never seen, to a place that he knew nothing about, to serve a God that He knew before. It was Abraham belief or faith in God that saved him. It says, “Abram went, as the LORD had told him” (Gen 12:4a), so Abraham “believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness” (Gen 15:6). Noah also showed he believed in God because the Lord told Noah to build a huge ark to preserve life, including his own family, so what was Noah’s reaction? “Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him” (Gen 6:22). This is similar to what James would later write that our faith is demonstrated by works we do for God, and if there are no works, that’s a dead faith and a faith that cannot save us (James 2:14-16).

The Roman Road

I believe that the so-called Roman Road has been responsible for millions of souls being saved. Of course it takes the Spirit of God with the Word of God to make the children of God, but the Book of Romans has made many of us “Roman Road Kill,” or showed us the impossibility of trying to save ourselves. The Book of Romans proves us we’re at the mercy of God and can only plead guilty before Him. The law was never meant to save us, but was intended to show us what sin is (Rom 7:7; 1 John 3:4), and that we cannot possibly keep it. Falling so infinitely short of God’s glory (Rom 3:23) makes us run to the cross for forgiveness because only by faith in Christ can we be saved. Jesus kept the law for us because we can’t. That doesn’t mean we have a license to sin, but rather we should have an aversion to sin, but never being sinless. Just because we can’t keep the law perfectly doesn’t mean we should break the law intentionally. That’s presuming on grace and Paul said this should never happen to the believer. He asked, “What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means” (Rom 6:15)! The Book of Romans proves that our only hope is in Christ, because not even one of us can ever claim to be good in ourselves (Rom 3:10-12). We are only saved by a very good God.

Conclusion

Not one of us can save anyone, including ourselves (Eph 2-1-9), but God can use us as a means to save some. It doesn’t depend on us, but upon God’s Spirit and His word, given by a faithful witness. God may use us to “save others by snatching them out of the fire” but “to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh” (Jude 1:23-24). I put it this way: It takes a man or woman of God with the Word of God and the Spirit of God to make the children of God for the glory of God. Do you see it? It’s all about Him (Psalm 115:1). The Roman Road kills us so that Christ can resurrect us and make us into being a new creation in Christ (2 Cor 5:17), but only because of Christ (2 Cor 5:21). There is simply no other way, so rather than suggest this is narrow-minded thinking, it’s not my message, but Jesus’ message. Let’s think about what Jesus said. “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matt 7:14). Even if it you argue that it’s a narrow way, be thankful that at least there is a way, and that way is through Christ alone (John 6:44, 14:6).

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Janet

    So weird that Paul didn’t actually list the steps in the “Romans Road” in order, but scattered them about. Yep, sarcasm. Salvation is not rules, it’s a gift, whether or not we choose to take it. I’ll settle in on 1 Tim 4:10, “For therefor we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe”,
    and Galatians 2:16, “16 yet we know that a person is not justified[a] by works of the law but
    through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ
    Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of
    the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.” (In the Galatians verse, both instances of faith *in* Jesus Christ are mistranslations; there is no “in” in either case in the Greek, just the possessive genitive case. They are both properly translated as “faith/faithfulness of Jesus Christ.” And that isn’t just good news, it’s great news!

    • pud

      You’re a luntaic. You KNOW nothing of the sort but simple mindedly make all these stupid absurd claims

      • Janet

        Nice Christ-like response. I’ll assume you’re an Evangelical. Why don’t you list the steps in the Romans Road (ie, where they are located) and we can see how they were meant to be taken as a formula.

    • Rational Human

      Janet, did you ever stop to think who was Paul, really? Did he really have a vision and learn all of his theology from Jesus personally? How do you know? How would HE even know whether it was Jesus or a demon or a bad batch of falafel and a bad dream? And before you say it, how do you know he met with Peter and the apostles and got the ok from them…because his guy Luke says so?

      Think about how Christianity is built on an interloper who never knew Jesus, says he had a vision and learned for 14 years direct from the risen Jesus, and basically took over the church and pushed the real apostles aside. You follow Paul, not Jesus.

      • NickRepublic

        That old chestnut? You need to read more of the 2nd book of Peter as well as Irenaeus’ and Polycarp’s writings and fewer talking points memos. Blessings!

        • Rational Human

          Why would I want it need to read 2nd century talking points from that batch of propogandists? Why does your faith have need of so many (competing) theologians and apologists in order for it to make any sense? Why do you refuse to see what is plain – Christianity, just like the Judaism that it plagiarized and hijacked, is manmade from stem to stern.

      • Janet

        No I don’t. I distrust the “Gospel of Paul.” It diverges from the teachings of Christ. Paul’s zealotry did mellow with age as he himself admitted.

    • Theodore A. Jones

      “For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.” Rom. 2:13 His stated Way faith is not a question. What you do not understand is that the word law in Paul’s writings is referencing the OT written code or the law that has been added in regard to the sin of murdering Jesus Christ.

      • Janet

        And the law is…to love God and others. Acceptable obedience looks like Matthew 25:35 on.

  • pud

    “It takes a man or woman of God with the Word of God and the Spirit of God to make the children of God for the glory of God. Do you see it? It’s all about Him (Psalm 115:1). The Roman Road kills us so that Christ can resurrect us and make us into being a new creation in Christ (2 Cor 5:17), but only because of Christ (2 Cor 5:21). There is simply no other way, so rather than suggest this is narrow-minded thinking, it’s not my message, but Jesus’ message.”

    More lies, infantile gibberish, horseshit and make believe nonsense.

    1. There is no “word” of any “god”….this is complete undemonstrable nonsense

    2. There is no such thing as “spirit”…show that there is

    3. “It’s all about him” LOL….yeah, the omnipotent creator of the universe “needs” your pitiful acknowledgement

    4. No historical evidence for any “jesus” ever existing

    5. “no other way”…says you…an indoctrinated old man who makes his living lying to children about a BOOK you swallowed whole a long time ago

    6. There is no “jesus message”….you book is the fictional work of religious lunatics

    To suggest that a “god” had to send himself as a bloody human sacrifice of himself to himself to fix a problem he himself created requires you to be INSANE!

    • You must be a lot of fun at parties.

      • pud

        Not an argument…maybe ask another Klan member at your next cross burning?

  • Maltnothops

    Funny how the author never explains what the Roman Road is.