The gospel of Jesus Christ is the good news that the world needs to hear. Yet, often Christians shy away from telling how God expressed his love in Christ’s sacrifice. Like most Christian doctrines, the gospel is simple enough to share with a child and yet its depth is studied in graduate schools and contemplated by learned scholars. Don’t think you need a Bible degree to share the gospel. Being a witness and explaining the good news about Jesus is not exclusively for the pastor, priest, or evangelist – the responsibility falls on each of us who call Jesus our Savior and Lord. Sharing the gospel using the “Romans Road” provides a nice outline that anyone can follow when presenting the gospel.
The Problem – Romans 3:23
Romans 3:23 provides our first stop down the Romans Road. This verse of the Bible states: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Try putting two toddlers in a room with one toy and see what happens. All parents know that children need to be taught how to behave – selfishness comes naturally. This is a sign of the problem deep within. We are born in sin and every person has sinned and missed the mark.
Christ is the Answer – Romans 5:8
Our second stop on the Romans road leads us to Romans 5:8: “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.“
The beauty of this statement is in the expression of God’s love for us while we were still sinners. God took the initiative by acting on our behalf even when we were at odds with him. As sinners, we presented no merit or reason for Christ to die for us. In our sinful state, mankind was deserving of judgement. But God’s love enters the scene. Only God’s love could provide the motivation for dying for us in our rebellious state.
The Penalty of Sin – Romans 6:23
Our third “pit stop” on the Romans road brings us to Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The drawing shows a person who desires to cross the chasm to make it to heaven but finds themself a sinner with no way to bridge the gap.
The Wages of Sin
Why do I need Jesus? So what if I am a sinner? In this verse we come to understand the consequences of sin. When we sin, we earn death. Judgment awaits. There is a price to pay for our sin. The Bible also says if we stumble at just one point of the law, we become a law-breaker. You can’t be “mostly holy” or “good enough”. God is holy. The holiness of God requires absolute purity and complete separation from sin. We are sinful and our sin brings death and separation from God and a final destination of hell – the ultimate separation from God.
The Gift of Life
God offers us the free gift of life in Jesus Christ. Without Jesus we are dead in our sins and headed toward judgment. God intervened by offering the gift of life through Jesus. Only Jesus can bridge the gap and provide us passage to heaven. Good works will not get us to heaven. (If they could, Jesus would not have needed to die on the cross.) God will not weigh our good deeds against our bad deeds to see if we make it. Once we sin, we are a law-breaker. Sin leads to death. But Jesus makes a way for us to receive eternal life if we will acknowledge our sin, repent of our sin, and turn to Christ.
Receiving Salvation in Christ – Romans 10:9
The Romans Road of salvation takes us to Romans 10:9: “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
If you were in an airplane that was going to crash, you would need a parachute to survive. If the parachute was offered but not taken, it would not save you. You would have to take the parachute, put it on, and jump – placing your faith in the ability of that parachute to save you. Likewise, God offers you Jesus Christ as the only way of salvation.
The contrasts in Romans 6:23 are striking:
- The wages you deserve are contrasted with the free gift of Christ.
- Similarly, sin is unholy and contrasted with a holy God.
- And death equates to eternal punishment in hell as opposed to eternal life in heaven.
You can be saved from your sin, cross over the chasm of judgment, and gain new life today by confessing that Jesus is Lord and believing that God raised him from the dead. Jesus saves your from your sin by paying your penalty in his death on the cross. Receiving Jesus as Savior cleanses you from all sin and compels you to repent as you make him the lord of your life; this leads to our final verse.
No Condemnation – Romans 8:1
For those who trust in Jesus for salvation from sin and choose to follow him, Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” What great news! Our conscience will not leave us alone when we do wrong. God placed the knowledge of the moral law in our hearts. But when we accept Christ, we are released from condemnation. God makes us new creations in Christ. The burden is lifted as the guilt of sin completely removed. Thanks be to God!