I had always liked the Romans Road to Salvation and so one day while listening to lectures I decided to draft up some graphics. One thing you’ll note about the Romans road elsewhere is that they differ here and there. I thought about how I would articulate each point, usually adding what I thought was missing, and so I made some adjustments here and there. Some key things:
Stay in Romans. I wanted to be sure to stay in Romans because one of the cool things about the Romans is that it is all based in romans (do I get captain obvious points?). I wanted to keep that focus on Romans. Stage six. I wanted to include stage six because many of the Romans Road I found neglected this stage and I thought it was quite bizarre. I felt like the Romans Road should logically have the outworking of genuine faith expressed. Mention context of passages briefly. Specifically in Romans 5. While you can weave the texts of the Romans road into a gospel presentation, many of the texts are already in a redemptive context. So I just wanted to briefly add in that “this text discusses this, but we’re sitting here for this purpose”. Explain some concepts that are often left out – describing repentance, faith, confession, heart, etc. This seemed important because honestly, it seems like many people don’t know the language and this makes it meaningless if we don’t include it.
That said, here’s my “Romans Road”. It’s backwards (right to left, bottom to top) because it was designed for instagram.
In Romans 3:10-12, Paul describes the sinfulness of every human being. He points out that “none” is righteous. “No one” seeks for God, and “no one” does good. He points out that no human seeks for good or does good that can merit salvation. Man can do moral deeds, but his heart, in the natural state, since birth, can do no spiritual good. Man prior to God’s grace is stained by evil, and his works are vanity. Man can work, tirelessly for salvation, but no “good deed” is done without stain and good deeds cannot cancel out one’s debt of sins. Because God is holy and righteous he is to judge men on the basis of man’s sin (Romans 2:6). Paul actually spends chapter one through three establishing this reality, the reality that all people are equally unrighteous as he paints a picture of humanity being “under sin” (Romans 3:9-18). In this passage verses 11-12 show the condition of man under sin before pointing specifically to man’s speech (v. 13-14), their actions (15-17), and the root cause “There is no fear of God before their eyes” (v. 18). Man, in his natural state, is doomed.
Previously we looked at Romans 3:10-12 where Paul claims that all men are essentially wicked and now we are looking at Romans 3:23 where we move from man’s disposition (3:10-12) to the reality of his actions. Paul tells us, “For there is no distinction [namely between Jews who had the law and Gentiles without], for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. There is not a single individual on this earth that can claim righteousness except for Jesus Christ. None can claim obedience or righteousness on the basis of their actions, as all people have sinned and even the most “obedient” action falls short of the demands of the perfect and holy God. This passage as a whole talks about the beauty of justification by faith, however, for our purposes we will stop and sit in our sin, in this universal truth that we, even in our best efforts have fallen short of God’s expectations. In this reality that all have fallen short, we must pay the penalty of our disobedience against a holy and just God. Justice will be executed for every sin. What hope is there for mankind who sins, transgresses, against a holy God even in his “best” actions?
In Romans 5:6-8 we see the reality that “while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though – perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinner, Christ died for us”. As we established in the previous two posts, we have fallen short, we have defied God’s standards, and we are ungodly. Yet, while we were weak, providentially (at the right time) Christ died for us the ungodly. God demonstrates his love through the provision of Christ, despite that we are sinners who deserve judgement. He has given us a provision even though we are ungodly enemies (v. 10) of God, who deserve his wrath. Jesus took the penalty, death, and the just wrath of God, on behalf of repentant sinners. Repentance being a turning away from self and belief being a trust in the work of Christ. Apart from this provision there is only judgement and punishment for our unrighteousness. There is no other way than the providential provision of Jesus Christ.
What do we do then? “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.” Often, we think the former confession is enough, however, “believe in your heart” shows us this is much deeper than mere lip service. The Hebraic understanding of the heart was the whole man, and thus, confession and deep conviction of the reality of Christ as Lord, his death, burial, and resurrection are what are being spoken about here. “For with the heart one believes and is justified” (v. 10), declared righteous, sin dealt with, and “with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (v. 10) confession following such reality. Here we find ourselves recognizing our sins, our hopelessness, and the provision of God. Here we stand confessing the reality of the gospel, the provision of a Savior.
“For everyone who calls on the name of the lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13), everyone, Jew or Gentile, who calls upon the Lord will be saved. God is faithful to save and he is faithful to accept the sufficient and perfect work of Jesus Christ on the cross, who died for the sins of repentant sinners. In this we are called to turn from ourselves, our works, our self-fabricated roads to salvation, and put our trust fully and wholly in the Lord and his work.
“Therefore” (Romans 12), that is, because of these realities, because of the gospel which saves us from our wretched sinfulness and self-deceptive paths of salvation (Romans 1-3) and because of the blessings it brings of justification through faith (Romans 4-5), the freedom from the bondage or slavery to sin (Romans 6), the freedom in the Spirit and freedom from condemnation (Romans 8), and freedom in assurance in God’s faithfulness and power to save (Romans 8-11), we respond. We are moved into faith, into life, a life devoted to God. Therefore because of the gospel we present ourselves to God in gratitude. Verse 2 points out that we renew our minds in the scriptures and discern the will of God. Further, we love and get into the church and serve our neighbors as we grow in the knowledge of God. We move to share the good news that frees from righteous condemnation. Therefore, because of the gospel, we live.
How it appears on Instagram (full image). One with dividing grid and one without.