Growing up in Baptist circles it was common to hear talk of the “Romans Road” plan of salvation. I was taught this as a child and many still today have this concept of sharing Christ. So today let’s consider the traditional “Romans Road” and see if it measures up as a sound way to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
So the “Romans Road” starts off with telling people that they are lost.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
There is technically nothing wrong with this but I would start back with Adam and Eve and explain why mankind was under the penalty of sin. Then explain how each person is responsible.
Next the person is to be told that God through Jesus Christ provides the gift of eternal life. (Note that some hear also do include John 3:16 and don’t fully stick to the “Romans Road”.)
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us
Here we see it mentioned that Christ died for us. That much is true. But note that the Romans Road leaves out the cross and shed blood not to mention other things like the burial and resurrection of Christ. I find this incredible given the fact that the surrounding verses in Romans touch upon the blood etc.
Next the person is to confess / pray while believing God for 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 whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Using the two verses above is really where this falls apart. Even if you were to add in say I Cor 15:1-4 above, you would be giving a false way to receive salvation here. We must understand that Romans chapters 9 through 11 are written in regards to Paul’s desire and teaching concerning national Israel. Throughout he uses the word “saved” and “salvation” to both speak of God’s wrath on Israel nationally, yet also to the salvation spiritually of the “remnant” with the remnant being those of Israel that believe.
So for Romans 10:13 Paul is talking about calling upon the Lord for deliverance from wrath upon the nation. Before a person can do this however, they need to be one that believes for justification.
We must note that at this point the person leading another down the Romans Road has a number of options in telling the person how to receive salvation. For some they emphasize confessing Christ as Lord as in making Christ Lord of your life. Others take it the pray and ask Jesus into your “heart” route. Some take it in the willingness to confess and turn from sins route. Regardless, they are taking a passage and misapplying it due to misunderstanding the thought progression and context.
The other thing here is that the salvation sometimes spoken of in verses like 10:13 is not talking itself about eternal life.
The person sharing the Romans road is then to state that the result of salvation is peace with God and safety in Jesus Christ. But think of this, is there really safety and forgiveness in Jesus Christ if a lost person 1) didn’t really know the content of the gospel and 2) really didn’t understand how to receive it by faith alone in Christ alone?
Typically what happens is that the person witnessing shares some semblance of this with a person and then, if the unsaved person is willing, prompts the person to pray and ask Jesus to save them or pray and confess sins or pray and submit to Christ as Lord asking Him to save and help them live right. It may even be something of all of the above. I have seen all of that type of thing taught in churches throughout the years. It is all over the internet as well as far as “how” to receive Christ as Savior.
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
But if the person remains unsaved because you messed up sharing the gospel and sharing the method of receiving eternal life then telling them that they are eternally secure at that point it only further pushes them into falsehood. This is because the person may think they are saved when indeed they have either been fed a cross-less gospel or a faith plus method of receiving eternal life. Either way that is a tragedy.
Let’s instead as believers tell people the truth. Let’s tell them that they are under the penalty of sin going back to Adam. Let’s say that Jesus Christ the Son of God took on flesh to die as a perfect sacrifice for mankind in order to appease God’s eternal wrath on sin. Let’s tells folks how Christ lived a sinless life, died on the cross shedding His blood, was buried, and rose again for our justification. Today He is seated in heaven having entered the holiest of holies by way of His perfect sacrifice. He remains there always making intercession for those who will receive His blood purchased salvation by faith.
In the comments section, feel free share what verses you would use to share the gospel or witness to a lost person. And bottom line, let’s not go down the traditional “Romans Road”.