Evaluating the “Romans Road”

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.

Romans 3:23
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God
Romans 3:10
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”.)

Rom 6:23
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 5:8
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.

Romans 10:9
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.
Rom 10:13
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.

Romans 5:1
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Romans 8:1
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Romans 8:38-39
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 that 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”.

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44 Responses to Evaluating the “Romans Road”

  1. Dennis Clough says:

    Never been happy with the Roman Road approach.
    Many have come to Christ through it however. I personally use JOHN 5:24. It has all elements of the Gospel plus assurance of salvation for believers.
    It has the perfect outline for a gospel presentation.

  2. jimfloyd12 says:

    Thanks Dennis, yes some have come to Christ through it. Though often it takes a while to get through the confusing parts. I saw many children come “forward” to trust Christ repeatedly hoping that this time the prayer would take. It often took a bit of time before they understood that all they needed to do was trust Christ alone. Sadly some never got to that point being deceived or being told they were saved for praying a prayer after someone.

  3. Mary says:

    Yes Dennis, he is a false teacher, the reason you may not have picked up on this is that the false gospels that are out there are so subtle. This is one of satans specialty, I recommend you read Michael Bowens book, its free on line, called ‘The Horror of the Great White Throne Judgment’.

  4. alice says:

    Thanks Jim for alerting us in using the ‘Roman’s Road’ for presenting the Gospel to an unbeliever.
    I worry about using Romans 10:9 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’. as a condition for salvation, that is one needs to ‘confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord’. If that is a requirement for receiving salvation, then how can a person who is unable to speak out loud due to some disability or a medical condition such as a cancer of throat / vocal chords or a result of a stroke, is therefore unable to speak out loud or has a stuttering issue with speech problems or born mute or dumb due to cerebral palsy or some intellectual brain impairment, then is that person ‘saved’ because that person is unable to speak out loud with his/her mouth?
    Also what if a person lives in a predominantly Muslim country or a Communist country such as North Korea where Christianity is forbidden to be preached or practised, and is afraid to speak out loud concerning his personal faith in Jesus Christ as his Saviour but has trusted Him in his own heart privately after hearing the Gospel in 1 Corinthians 15: 1-4 ( through the internet), because of resulting persecution and imprisonment or even possible death penalty, does that mean this person is still ‘lost’ because he/she has failed to ‘confess with the mouth’?
    And if publicly ‘confessing Christ as Lord’ is a necessary condition for salvation, then the question to ask is: before how many people, just 1 or 2 or before a whole Church? and how often does one have to do this in order to prove this person is /saved’?
    Is trusting with my heart in Christ alone, through His death, burial and resurrection enough for salvation or do I have to also ‘confess with my mouth Jesus as Lord’ publicly in order to be saved and receive eternal life?

  5. jimfloyd12 says:

    Alice,

    That is my point why we should not use that verse when witnessing to the lost. Confession of the mouth in that context is not talking in reference of eternal salvation, but the believing from the heart, is.

  6. jimfloyd12 says:

    Virgil,

    I am no fan of Wilkin’s cross-less gospel either. And yes Israel was under the law, but salvation is and was then still by faith. They simply looked forward. We now have reading to look back to the cross

  7. jimfloyd12 says:

    No, I don’t believe that tract does what it should have done. People need to know what they are being saved from and how it is that Christ provided it

  8. hollysgarcia says:

    Vernon, they were looking forward to the promises and the prophecies of the Messiah. Whether they understood fully at that time, the disciples (all but one) were declared clean (saved). They would come to a more full understanding of Jesus being crucified for them, having loosed the bonds of death, He conquered sin, death and the grave by giving His life for us and rising again from the dead (1 Cor 15:50-57 and Col 2:13-15). In Acts 2, it is clear they understood, and the Holy Spirit was given, baptizing people into the church.

  9. jimfloyd12 says:

    Sorry Virgil, Christ himself witnessed what type of death he would die. Think of his conversation with Nicodemus. 14And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

    Or in John 12
    32And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

    33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.

    That statement occurs more than once. The prophets spoke of it and there were more than enough types for shadowing it. It doesn’t matter if the disciples were looking more for an earthly kindgom and only understood some of his statements once the cross had taken place. Remember, Abraham was justified by faith. It is the same for us. They did not all have the same amounts of special revelation given but the had enough to believe or not believe.

  10. jimfloyd12 says:

    Yes, exactly Holly

  11. hollysgarcia says:

    Sorry, I meant Virgil. Yes, when Jesus spoke of the Spirit and these things in John 3 to Nicodemus He asked him why he didn’t understand these things being a teacher of Israel. Isaiah 53 is just one of the prophecies, there are many of the crucifixion. Galatians 3:8 says Abraham was preached the gospel 🙂

  12. Dan Lash says:

    It is sometimes difficult to know exactly what Romans 10:13 means. However we need to practice systematic theology and compare it to all the many times in Scripture that teach that a person is place into an eternally right relationship with God by hearing and believing the Gospel of grace.

  13. jimfloyd12 says:

    Dan,

    I agree. I, a while back, put up the faith alone page just so people could easily refer to and compare all those verses that indicate clearly that salvation is received through faith

  14. I confess that I’ve been through a lot of evangelistic phases in my time, including 4 Spiritual Laws, the Romans Road and Chick’s/Comfort’s lordship salvation lists. I now rest solely on what Paul said the content of the saving Gospel is, 1 Cor 15:3-4. I will add to that Christ was raised for our justification, but what Paul had told the lost Corinthians is THE saving good news. Nothing else is, including Bob Wilkin-ese content from John 3-5, where the Cross had not happened yet and Israel was still under law.

  15. Hypothetical:

    A convicted lost person knows nothing of Christ except John 3:16 and John 5:24. He knows nothing about the death, burial and resurrection of Christ for his sins and justification. Those two verses are the limit of his Bible knowledge because they were the main focus of a Bible tract he was given. Believe those two verses, the tract concludes, and he will get eternal life.

    Question: if he does what the tract tells him and believes those two verses, is he saved?

  16. Jim,

    re: looking forward to the cross

    If anyone would have been looking forward to the cross, it would have been the Twelve.

    1. Luke 18:34 tells us the disciples understood NOTHING about the cross when Christ told them what was about to happen. They clearly were not looking forward to the cross.

    2. Matthew 16:22 tells us Peter was willing to STOP Christ’s death. He clearly was not looking forward to the cross.

    3. The reason they were not looking forward to it is found with Paul. He said what God did at the cross was a previously hidden secret — hidden from everyone, including the Twelve. No one knew that God would be placing the sins of the entire world upon the Son, thereby saving all who believe by grace through faith in that fact, Jews and Gentiles alike with no distinctions.

    4. Paul said it was a secret that God was going to do this. That means no one could have been looking forward to it, much less saved by looking forward to it. And as we see above, they weren’t.

    Posted with all love and respect.

  17. hollysgarcia says:

    Thanks Jim. Obviously since the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, we should all strive to keep it clear and not hinder it with our own traditions and misused passages.

    Whether people may or may not have been saved hearing the Romans Road is not salient, it is only important that we are clear and do not corrupt the simplicity that is in Christ. Nor bear long with those who do. Thanks for doing this.

  18. One last thing, then off to work.
    The O.T. indeed foretold that Messiah would die and rise again. That’s the fact Christ opened their minds to see. But it does not say He would die for the sins of the lost Jew/Gentile world, all of which might be saved by grace through faith. That good news was the mystery hid in God.
    Put another way:
    There was the preaching of Christ as the Seed of David according to the flesh (Rom 1:3). That’s the Gospel of the Kingdom, called the Great Commission and preached at Pentecost by Peter.
    THEN, when Israel was set aside as stumbled and blinded, we have the preaching of Christ according to the revelation of the mystery (Rom 16:25). That’s the Gospel of the grace of God. THAT is the good news that saves today.
    They are not the same good news, however.
    Both gospels both key on Christ, but each on a different aspect of Him that Paul made clearly distinct…according to the flesh (by which we can’t know Him, 2 Cor 5) and according to the mystery (by which we are established in Him).
    That’s not my teaching. PAUL laid down that distinction for us. We must see it and respect it, else confusion reigns.

  19. I don’t have a problem with the so-called “Romans Road”, if we stay on the road and not jump from destination to destination.
    God’s “Romans Road” does not jump from 3:23 to 6:23 to 10:12, but goes verse by verse methodically. The best verse to read after 3:23 is 3:24, and so on. Chapters 6, 7, and 8 really are for the saved to get a grip on what the Christian life is, so to bring the unsaved there without the establishment of chapters 1-5 will cause confusion if those verses, even 6:23, are read in context regarding what the apostle Paul was talking about.
    I usually present the gospel of Christ with 3:19-27. Yes, the resurrection is not explicit, but I can go to many passages and show that Christ indeed died for our sins and rose again.
    1 Cor 15:1-4, Rom 4:25, 2 Tim 2:8, …

  20. jasonc65 says:

    How is it that Jim and Holly’s February 4 posts seem to be addressing Virgil’s posts that came the next day? Do posts travel through time? lol

  21. jimfloyd12 says:

    I saw that, they are out of order for some reason

  22. jimfloyd12 says:

    Virgil, my concern was simply the people understand salvation is and was received through faith alone regardless of dispensation.

  23. Virgil, my concern was simply the people understand salvation is and was received through faith alone regardless of dispensation.

    Dear Jim,

    I agree.

    The question is, faith in what?

    “Faith in Christ” some will say.

    Well, okay, but every cult in Christendom can and does claim that but we know they’re not saved.

    No, it’s GOT to be more precise than that.

    And Paul’s gospel is very, very simple because it’s very, very precise. What he told the Corinthians they’d believed when they were saved is all we need tell the lost today. If we’re saved, it’s what we ourselves believed: Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day (for our justification, acc. to Romans: 4:25). Given that content, which is ALL a person needs to know to be saved, I don’t see the need to even go to the gospel of John, as many do, and I seriously don’t know why they feel compelled to do so.

  24. jimfloyd12 says:

    I think it is because they are usually emphasizing the method

  25. Good point…it’s reduced to a formula for ease of understanding (or ease of delivery?) but it can turn a dozen ways into a false gospel that won’t save anyone who believes it. That’s why I stick with 1 Cor 15:3-4.

  26. sam says:

    How about acts 16:30,31 the phillipian jailer asking what must i do to be saved. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved and thy house. Would like your opinion if that would be sufficent as a gospel .Thanks Jim

  27. jimfloyd12 says:

    Sam, that verse is helpful as to clarify the method of receiving eternal life. But you would still want the person to know why they need to be saved, who Christ is and how He paid their sin debt

  28. Curtis M says:

    Acts 16:30
    keep reading
    And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

  29. Sam,

    Jim is right. Using 16:31 out of its larger context is not sufficient.

    I think we can safely assume that the jailor must have heard Paul and Silas praying and singing, and presumably preaching, all night long (Luke tells us that’s what they were doing), so one could also assume he already heard Paul’s gospel during the night, and since Paul didn’t tell him in v. 31 about the DBR of Christ, just to believe, which the jailor did.

    And that’s the problem: no one can know what the saving gospel is from that passage alone — “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved…” Believe WHAT about Him? 16:31 doesn’t tell you. By itself, it is not enough.

    Go with 1 Cor 15:3-4.

  30. Curtis M says:

    Coulpe more verses..
    “Tell Thee Words”

    Acts 10 :6
    He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.

    Acts 11:14
    14 Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.

  31. sam says:

    Ok thanks for the answers i just was wondering how many add on details are necessary as Paul didnt spell out anything in particular that was essential except believing since he was directly asking about salvation.I appreciate the feedback.

  32. Curtis, you’re right and that further shows using 16:31 apart the actual saving content of the gospel of grace (the DBR of Christ) is inadequate, as would be using John 3:16, 5:24, etc in isolation.

  33. jasonc65 says:

    Even 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 would be inadequate with John 1:1, since it does not by itself say that Jesus is God.

  34. Not sure I’m getting your point. When Paul reminded the Corinthians of his gospel, which they believed, did he mention having told them to believe Christ is God in order to be saved?

    If 1 Cor 15:3-4 is inadequate, what IS adequate? (again, if I”m getting your point)

  35. jasonc65 says:

    My point is that exclusive focus on any one passage can cause us to miss something important. And the deity of Christ is important according to John 8:58

  36. Trevor says:

    You made great points but didn’t give a good alternative for the traditional Romans road..

  37. jimfloyd12 says:

    Trevor,

    That’s because there is not a one size fits all formula or string of verses. People are free to come up with their own way to share the gospel from scripture. Just don’t fail to discern what the person you are witnessing to needs to have covered and don’t add in verses that are about steps of obedience for believers. I can give you an example later. And I have asked people to comment on verses they like to use. There are many that can be used.

  38. “You made great points but didn’t give a good alternative for the traditional Romans road.”

    Paul didn’t use “the traditional Romans road.” He used what he says he used in 1 Cor 15:3-4. Please break this down because I’m very curious: if that’s what the apostle to the Gentiles saw souls saved with when they believed…the saving Gospel he received by revelation, I remind you…what’s insufficient about it?

  39. Someone said that Romans chapters 9, 10 and 11 are parenthetical passages and directed to Jewish believers?

  40. jimfloyd12 says:

    Yes, those three have Israel in mind so therefore one has to take note of that when determining the meaning. Though there are still applications for all.

  41. Coty says:

    In Romans 9-10 Pauli’s referring to the Old Testament like he almost always does.
    The problem with the “Roman Road” strategy is that it gives a New Testament answer without giving an Old Testament explanation. The “Roman Road” ends with Romans 10, which is a chapter concerning Jewish people. Notice how Paul begins chapter 10: “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.” Unfortunately, many evangelists are unaware of the textual and historical context of Romans 10. In Romans 10, Paul was referring to an Old Testament passage in Deuteronomy 30. Therefore, to understand Romans 10, you must first understand Deuteronomy 30. In Deuteronomy 30, God promised Israel that, if they ever went into captivity for disobeying His word, He would always deliver them out of captivity if they would repent and obey His commandments. Here’s the important part: In this covenant, God warned the Jews that they knew His commandments, so they could never claim to be ignorant of them. Here’s what God told them in Deuteronomy 30: 11-14: “For this commandment which I command you this day, it is not hidden from you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very near you, in your mouth, and in your heart, that you may do it.” God was telling the Israelites, when I punish you for not obeying my commandments, don’t say to one another, “Who will go into heaven to get God’s commandments for us, that we may do them?” And don’t say, “Who will travel overseas to find them for us, that we may obey them?” Why? Because God said His commandments were not far away from them. He told them, “the word is very near you, in your mouth, and in your heart, that you may do it.” Now, watch how Paul applies what God told Israel in Deuteronomy 30 to Jesus Christ, in Romans 10: 6-8: “Say not in your heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) . . . The word is near you, [even] in your mouth, and in your heart . . .” Unaware that Paul is quoting from Deuteronomy 30, many evangelists believe that since Paul said, “the word is . . . in your mouth,” then Paul must be telling us we need to pray a sinner’s prayer (with our mouths) to be saved. But listen again to what the passage in Deuteronomy says: “But the word [the commandment] is very near you, in your mouth . . .”
    In Deuteronomy 30, God told the Jews how near His commandments were to them. He said His law wasn’t something beyond them that they needed to find, but that it was something in them they needed to obey. God did not say, “the word is in your mouth that you may say it . . .” but rather, “that you may do it.” So, in Deuteronomy 30, God was not referring to a prayerful formality; He was referring to their inward familiarity. He was essentially telling the Jews, “You know my law: you have spoken it with your own mouths. You know it by heart. So, when I send you into captivity for breaking my Word, you can’t claim you didn’t know it.” God was telling them, “If you want to be delivered from captivity, don’t be asking someone to bring you the commandments; just keep the commandments you know!” In the same way, in Romans 10, Paul is telling the Jewish people, “You have strayed from God’s law, and now you are in bondage to the Roman government, and worse than that, you are in bondage to sin and death.” And, like the commandments, Paul is reminding them, “You can’t claim to be ignorant of Jesus Christ! You know the Messiah: He is in your mouth and in your heart!” God’s Old Testament commandments, with a legal, bloody, and sacrificial finger, had been pointing those Jews to the knowledge of Jesus Christ and to the obedience of His gospel. Every Old Testament command and sacrifice was looking forward to Jesus and crying, “Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world” (John 1: 29). So, Paul was telling the Jews, “Christ is no stranger to you! He is the same Messiah promised in the Law. He is the Savior we know in our hearts from the Old Testament Scriptures and have spoken of with our own mouths since we were children. And, “if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved” (Romans 10: 9).
    Another misunderstood passage on the “Roman Road” is Romans 10: 13: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” This verse promises salvation to everyone who “calls upon the name of the Lord.” And, according to sinner’s prayer evangelists, “calling upon the name of the Lord” means to ask God to save you. But is this really what it means to call upon the name of the Lord? When I was a young man, Romans 10: 13 was given to me as assurance that, if I had sincerely asked God to save me, then I was most certainly saved. But I later learned that wasn’t necessarily true. In fact, when we read about someone calling on the name of the Lord in the Bible, it is almost always referring to mature Christians who are acknowledging God for who He is and relying upon His provision. For example, in the book of Genesis we read of Abraham calling upon the name of the Lord on at least three separate occasions (Genesis 12: 8, 13: 4, 21: 33); and, on neither occasion was Abraham asking God to save him. So, what does it mean to “call upon the name of the Lord”? Let’s read Romans 10: 11-13 carefully and see: (11) For the scripture says, Whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed. (12) For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. (13) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Notice how Paul is using “believing on” and “calling upon” interchangeably. This is because “believing” and “calling” are essentially the same thing. In each verse we just read, there is a subject, a verb, a preposition, and a direct object. If you don’t mind marking in this book (or your Bible), grab a pen, and be ready to mark each of these categories as we go. First, we will look at the subject in these verses. In verse 11, underline the word “Whosoever”. Whosoever tells us salvation is for anybody who wants it. Likewise, in verse 12, the subject is “all”. Underscore the word “all” in verse 12, for God wants all to be saved. In verse 13, the subject again is “whosoever.” Underline “whosoever” in verse 13. So, make no mistake about it: salvation is for anyone who wants it. If you want to go to heaven, you can! Now let’s look at the verb in these verses—the action you (the subject) must take to be saved. In verse 11, underline the word “believes.” So, whosoever—all who want to be saved must believe. This perfectly lines up with the rest of the Bible, such as Acts 13: 39, which says, “And by him [Jesus] all [our subject] that believe [the action we must take] are justified [saved] . . .” As the verb in verse 11 was “believes,” so the verb in verse 12 is “call.” Underscore the word “call” in verse 12. In verse 13, the verb again is “call.” Do you see how Paul is using “believe” and “call” interchangeably here? By adding the verb “call,” God is not giving you something else to do to be saved (in addition to believing). Instead, He is giving you a better understanding of the word “believes”. The Greek word ἐπικαλέομαι (epikaleomai –ep-ee-kal-eh’-om-ahee), translated “call upon” implies more than our English translation offers. If we want to know what the apostle Paul meant by epikaleomai (call upon), all we have to do is watch how Paul used this word in Acts 25: 11. Listen to what Paul told a judge, while in court, to be saved from accusations made against him: For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar. Paul was afraid that Festus, a Roman judge, was about to deliver him into the hands of people who wanted to kill him. So, knowing his rights under Roman law, Paul invoked a right afforded to every Roman citizen and appealed his case to a higher court. Paul said, “I appeal unto Caesar.” The Greek word translated “appeal” here is the same word translated “call upon/ on” in Romans 10: 12-13. And Paul is using this word to invoke his legal right to appeal his case (to Caesar). God willing, we shall now see how “call upon” and “believe” are the same thing. Many times in Scripture, the idea of calling or believing is simply referred to as faith. In fact, the Bible uses many descriptions for faith. But, whether it is described as repentance, trusting, receiving, resting, calling, or believing, it’s all the same thing—it’s faith. For example, when the apostle Paul appealed his case to Caesar, it was all the same as him believing in Caesar, because Paul was relying (believing) on Caesar’s judgment. Now that we’ve considered the subject and verb in our Romans 10 verses, let’s take a look at the preposition. One of a preposition’s functions is to send the action to the place it should go, such as a direct object. When Paul said, “I appeal unto Caesar.” “I” would be the subject; “appeal” would be the verb, “unto” would be the preposition, and “Caesar” would be the direct object (because Caesar is the one the appeal is going to). So, in Romans 10: 11, “whosoever” is the subject; “believes” is the verb, and “on” is the preposition. In verse 11, underline the word “on.” In verse 12, the preposition is “upon” (a synonym for on), and in verse 13 it is (once again) “upon.” Let’s recap. The word “Whosoever” means anyone may be saved. The words “Believes” and “call” mean we must have faith—we must believe, appeal our case, etc. to be saved. But the word “on” or “upon,” tells us that our faith must rely on something—our appeal must be based on something. If an appeal is not based on legal grounds, it will be powerless to overturn a guilty verdict. In the same way, if a person’s faith is not based on legal grounds, it will be powerless to overturn sin. Faith in a false bridge can send a man into the river, and faith in a false gospel can send a man to hell. Faith is no greater than the object it’s placed in. So let’s consider the object of our faith. No matter where you look in scripture, salvation’s subject will always be some form of whosoever; salvation’s action will always be some form of faith, and salvation’s object will always be someone named Jesus. Look now in verse 11 and draw a big line under the word “him.” Again, in verse 12, it is “him.” And, in verse 13, it is the name of the “Lord.” Why? Because the Bible says of Jesus, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4: 12). So, in Romans 10: 13 we read, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” The “name of the Lord” refers to the power of the Lord to forgive us of our sins. When an officer refers to his legal power, he may tell someone to stop in the “name of the law.” Even so, when referring to the power of the gospel, the name of the Lord speaks of Jesus’ power to forgive sins through the sacrifice He made. When Paul appealed his case to Caesar, he was invoking a legal right offered to him by the law. And, having made his appeal, Paul showed that he had accepted Caesar’s authority and was now relying on (believing/ calling on) on Caesar’s judgment. As a sinner, you won’t stand before a Roman judge; you will stand justly condemned before God. But, “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved [from that condemnation].” This is because every person has a legal right offered to them by the Gospel. They have the right to appeal their case to Jesus, who died in their place.

  42. jimfloyd12 says:

    Thanks Coty for a well thought out comment. I agree with you to a large extent. For me, on the call upon the Lord point, I see it as something different than believing the gospel considering verse 14.
    14¶How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?…
    Jim
    If believing was the same in this context then why say this?

  43. Curtis M says:

    Rom 10:10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; ( Justification= declared righteous, )
    and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  (sanctification = Growth circumstances)
    do you know where you are going when you die ?
    a soul is either a hope so or a Know so
    is eternal Life a gift or a reward ?

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