Know Jesus, Share Jesus – Walking the Roman Road to Salvation

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Do you know Jesus? Maybe you have for a long time and this is a celebration for you, maybe you are a new follower of Christ want to know how to share the gospel with your friends, or maybe you’re not sure about it all and want to know more. No matter what group you fall in, this post is for you. You can know Jesus and know how to share Him with others.

Know Jesus share Jesus
Photo of The Via Dolorosa (where Jesus carried the cross to Calvary) by Charles Burnham. Used with permission.

The Romans built roads everywhere they conquered people. This made it easy to bring armies in quickly to squash rebellions and keep “Pax Romana – the peace of Rome.” The Roman Roads and the forced peace also aided in the spread of the gospel. People traveled near and far, taking with them the good news we call the gospel.

The “Roman Road” is a set of Bible passages, primarily from the book the Romans, that explains the need for and way to know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. This book is actually a letter from the apostle Paul to the Christians in Rome, whom he was hoping to visit. Paul explains in detail the doctrine he teaches as revealed to him by the Holy Spirit. His words continue to help believers share their faith and seekers come to know Jesus.

1. Romans 3:23

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Know Jesus

Literally, sin comes from an archery term that means “missing the mark.” Our goal is to “Robinhood” the arrow, that is, hit the target in the center and hit the next arrow in the end of that arrow. My daughter has done this twice in archery. We have the double arrows hanging on her wall in celebration; however, those occasions are few and represent thousands of tries to hit the mark.

Our mark in life is the “glory of God.” We are to aim for the holiness and perfection of God Himself. The fact is, no one can do it. We all fall short. Our intentions may be good (at least most of the time), but we still fail. Whether we outright disobey God (sins of commission) or we don’t do the things we ought to do (sins of omission), we continuously sin. Only Jesus hits that perfect mark overtime.

2. Romans 6:23a

For the wages of sin is death . . .

Know JesusIf God is just, He must punish sin. Many times we think that as long as our good outweighs our bad, we will be okay. We would never accept a judge who ruled in such a way. If a man is guilty of armed robbery, is a good judge going to let him off because he has done so many good things in other areas of his live? Absolutely not! Yet, somehow, we expect God to overlook our sin in light of our “goodness”.

Have you ever told a lie? That makes you a liar. (Yes, me too.) Have you ever stolen something, even if it was insignificant? That makes you a thief. (Yes, me too.) Have you ever committed adultery? Before answering that one, remember Jesus said lust is adultery in the heart. Have you ever murdered anyone? Again, Jesus explains murder as hatred in our heart. (Me too, on both accounts.)

So we are all liars, thieves, adulterers, and murderers. And those only cover four of God’s Ten Commandments.

It’s not hard to see that we sin, and the wages (what is earned as payment for work) is death.

3. Romans 6:23b

. . .BUT the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.

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I am so glad the verse continues, aren’t you? Since hearing this once at youth camp, I like to say, “God’s got a big ole BUT.” That one word makes all the difference for us. The BUT in the passage means we have hope.

God has a gift for us. A gift is not something that we earn, but is freely given when we do not deserve it. It is the opposite of “wages.” God’s gift is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Eternal life: life that never ends. We usually think of this as Heaven, but eternal life begins in the here and now and lasts forever and ever. By the way, something that can be lost is not eternal. Once we have accepted God’s gift, it is ours forever.

A gift can look pretty in a box for a long time and never be opened. God’s gift of eternal life is not automatic. We must accept and open the gift, not just admire the package. Keep reading to find out how.

4. Romans 5:8

But God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Sometimes we will decide we need to get our life together before we come to God. Maybe we are not quite ready to give up a particular sin in our life or we feel like we have to do something before God will do the rest.

My friend, God did not wait for us to be good or even better. While we were still sinners, Jesus died on the cross to pay the penally for our sins. If we wait to get things right, we will never come to Christ. We are getting it out of order. We come to God just like we are, in all of our sin, and He is the One who makes us right through Jesus.

5. Romans 10:9-10

That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Salvation begins by confessing Jesus as Lord, but not in mere words. Anyone can say the words, “Jesus is Lord,” and still never truly know Him. The Lord is the person in charge. Lord requires complete submission. Confessing “Jesus is Lord” means we turn away from our own way (repentance- a military term for an about face) and follow Jesus wholeheartedly.

Know Jesus
Photo of the Road to Emmaus in Israel (where the risen Christ walked with two disciples) by Shirley Burnham. Used with permission.

Confession and belief go together. Jesus is Lord because He is God in the flesh who lived a perfect life, died a horrific death for our sins, and rose in victory over death. We will not recognize Him as Lord until we believe this in our hearts.

My favorite part of this passage is “you shall be saved.” It is not a questionable “you might be, could be, should be.” We who confess and believe are saved. We come to know Jesus.

6. John 3:16

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Let’s leave Romans for just a minute for John 3:16, the gospel in a nutshell. God so loved “the world”- that includes you and me. He loves each one of us so much that He sent Jesus so that “whoever” (again, you and me) believes in Him will not perish (live apart from Him forever in hell), but have eternal life (live forever with Him, thought our physical body dies). The word believe would be better translated “faiths,” but since English does not have a verb form of faith, believe is close!

Belief/faith in Jesus means we no longer are depending on ourselves, but throw all of our weight on Him. We quit trying to be good on our own and trust completely in His goodness, shown by His sacrifice on the cross, to make us right with God.

Notice the verse does not say whoever believes and fill in the blank (does enough good deeds, is baptized, speaks in tongues, goes to church enough, etc.). Jesus did everything needed for our salvation. We cannot add to His work. It is finished.

We can look at John 3:16 this way: For God so loved (your name) that He gave his only begotten son, that if (your name) believes in HIm, (he/she) shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

Yes, that is good news!! To know Jesus is to be right with God.

7. Romans 10:13

 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Know Jesus

Finally, we have a reminder that God will save us when we call on Him. This verse is actually a quote from the Old Testament book of Joel. Old Testament saints are saved by faith in the coming of Christ, New Testament saints (including us) are saved by faith in Jesus through His life, death, and resurrection. What a glorious promise!

So Now What?

Do you believe that Jesus is God’s Son (God in the flesh) who lived a perfect sinless life, suffered on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins, then rose again to defeat death on your behalf?

Do you want Him to restore the relationship with God you broke through sin?

Will you repent of your sins and live for Him as Lord?

Yes? Then you are ready to accept God’s gift of salvation, to know Jesus as Savior and Lord.

Pray the “Sinner’s Prayer.” Tell God you know you have sinned against Him. Thank Him that Jesus died to take the punishment for your sins, then rose from the grave. Ask Him to forgive your sins and help you live for Him, following Him as Lord. Thank God for saving you.

The “Sinner’s Prayer” is not a magic formula that guarantees your entrance to Heaven.

Too many people are depending on a prayer said in childhood for their salvation rather than faith in Jesus. Salvation comes to a repentant and submissive heart and is shown by our words and actions. We must truly know Jesus, not just know about Him.

If you’ve prayed for salvation in the past, but are unsure, consider question from Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart: Are you living right now in repentance and faith in Jesus, not trying to earn salvation but trusting in Jesus’ finished work for your eternal security and relationship with your Heavenly Father? We are saved through repentance and faith once, and we continue to live as a Christian through the same repentance and faith. Jesus who is enough to save you is enough to keep you saved.

Baptism is the first step of obedience for those who are saved. It is a picture of what has already happened in your heart. If you know Jesus, find a local body of believers where you can join through baptism, then worship, grow, and serve.

Do you know Jesus?

Friends, I pray God will speak to you heart through my feeble attempt to put His grace into words. May His Holy Spirit draw your heart to Him.

Christian friends, may these words help you share the good news of salvation with others so that they too may know Jesus.

For my family, friends, church youth, and online friends, of all the things I want them to remember, this is the most important. God loves you and wants a relationship with you, even though you are the one who broke the relationship with sin. Jesus will restore your relationship with our Heavenly Father if you will trust Him.

For the son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost. Luke 19:10

 


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