Over the last few weeks we’ve been discussing the differences between certain religious groups. People are asking, “How do you know what religion is right? Who are you to say what is right or wrong?” I’m not the one who to say. Look to God’s Word for the truth.
The Romans road to “salvation” has been very helpful during these types of conversations, it uses verses from the book of Romans to explain, not only why we need salvation, but how a person is really saved. All paths do not lead to heaven: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14).
1. The first signpost on the Romans Road is Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:10 adds, “There is no one righteous, not even one.” We all sin and fall short…no one is innocent. Humility recognizes that we are fallible human beings who have sinned against God. His Word is a lifeline to our soul, an anchor for our lives; not something to be debated, altered, or misrepresented. We don’t change truth—truth changes us.
2. The next signpost deals with the consequences of sin. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This verse is not popular in many churches, nor is it preached from many pulpits. Telling others that the punishment for sin is eternal death (separation from God) is not pleasant, marketable, or palatable, but it is powerful: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” (Romans1:16).
“To convince the world of the truth of Christianity, it must first be convinced of sin. It is only sin that renders Christ intelligible” (Andrew Murray; 1828-1917). In other words, Christ’s shed blood on the cross only makes sense in light of the consequences of sin. “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst.” (I Timothy 1:15), yet, many do not want to mention sin, repentance, or judgment because it’s not popular or marketable. They fail to realize that the good news about Christ can only be understood with the bad news as the backdrop.
Our culture’s false perception of God as a “cosmic ball” of love, or a “doting” grandfather desperately needs to be challenged. Unfortunately, difficult truths are often compromised, watered-down, or avoided altogether in the hope of “not offending.” As a result, the church is a mile wide but only an inch deep; judgment is never mentioned, repentance is never sought, sin is often excused, and lives are not radically changed. This leaves people confused and deceived because they believe in a “cross-less” Christianity that bears no resemblance to Jesus’ sobering call to repentance. When we fail to proclaim God’s word faithfully, we run the risk of “encouraging sin” and “perverting the words of the living God” (Jeremiah 23).
Be encouraged! Romans 6:23 doesn’t end there. It adds, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 5:8 declares, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. He died for us, took our spot, and paid the price of our sin. Hebrews 9:22 says that “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” His blood was shed for our sins. We should be forever thankful. Jesus isn’t an option. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6).
3. The next signpost can be found in Romans 10:9, “If you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” This is how people are truly saved, delivered, and set free from the bondage of sin and death. Romans 10:13 adds, “for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
We hear a great deal about God’s “judgment” and what can keep us from heaven, and rightly so, because “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7). But we also need to reflect on God’s “goodness, love, mercy, and grace.” The important question to ask is what is the condition of your heart…has true repentance and a belief in Christ as Lord and Savior taken place?
Jesus healed my brokenness and restored my life, and He can do the same for you. If you take only one thing from this article I hope that it is this: “There is a deep longing inside all of us that cannot be satisfied until we recognize our need for a Savior, repent of our sin, and turn to Him.”
Though the road ahead may be uncertain at times, the solid ground beneath will never shift. It’s not about “religion” but a “relationship.”
It’s all about “Who You Know.”
Are you saved? Take The Test.
In His Grip and Serving Grace…