The Roman Road
When people want to realign their lives spiritually, to come to the cross, to meet the Savior, what do they do?
How does it happen?
How are we actually "born again," to use our Lord's phrase?
Today I'd like to take you down an old road, often called "The Roman's Road."
For some of you this is elementary and repetitive, but I'd like to stir up your memories. For others, let me be your tour guide for the next few minutes.
We're going to look at four brief passages from the book of Romans, and you may want to jot these verses in the front of your Bibles.
You can use them to lead others to faith in Jesus Christ.
I. Romans 3:23—All Have Sinned.
We seldom have objections to this point, even among agnostics, atheists, existentialists, mystics, post-moderns, and cultists.
Few claim to be perfect or sinless.
The Russian novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn noted it would be different if there were "evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them.
But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being." Psychologist Carl Jung wrote, "All the old primitive sins are not dead but just crouching in the dark corners of our modern hearts—still there, and still as ghastly as ever."
Someone once sat down beside Will Rogers at a dinner and in the course of the conversation asked the comedian this question: "What's wrong with the world, anyway?"
Rogers drawled in reply, "Well, I dunno, I guess it's people."
And I guess it is, for there is no such thing as evil in the abstract.
II. Romans 6:23—The Wages of Sin is Death. (This is the Bible in a nutshell).
The verse begins by telling us the result of our sinfulness.
God is life and light, pure and perfect.
His presence cannot abide sin.
We're thus separated from Him by our sins; and as a result we die, just like the limb of a tree when sawed from the main trunk.
The word death is used in the Bible in the sense of separation.
Physical death occurs when the soul is separated from the body (James 2:26; Matt. 27:50).
But there is a second death, and that, too, is separation (Rev. 20:14).
It occurs when the spirit and body are separated from God eternally—and this is the condition the Bible calls "hell."
C. S. Lewis once went to hear a young parson deliver a sermon. Very much in earnest, the young man ended his message like this: "And now, my friends, if you do not believe these truths, there may be for you grave eschatological consequences."
Lewis later visited the young minister and asked him, "Did you mean that they would be in danger of hell?" "Why, yes," said the parson.
"Then why in the world didn't you say so?" Lewis replied.
III. Romans 5:8—God Demonstrates His Love.
The word "demonstrates" is a solid, active verb. Most of us have feelings of love toward someone else—it may be a husband or wife or child or parent.
But those feelings don't mean a great deal until we manifest or demonstrate our love, until we find a need in that person's life and proceed to meet that need without thought for anything in return.
Many people long for a friend or family member to do this.
That's what God was doing at the cross.
"God demonstrated His own love for us in this—that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us".
This is the meaning of Calvary (Isa. 53:5).
IV. Romans 10:9–10, 13—We Can Be Saved.
There is a truth we believe and a person we receive.
We commit ourselves to Christ by faith, asking Him to forgive our sins and to take control of our lives.
Song: "Just as I am without one plea, But that thy blood was shed for me, And that Thou bidd'st me come to Thee, / O Lamb of God, I come!"