Pastor’s Sermon

Pastor’s Sermon

 

“Sharing the Roman Road to Salvation”

by Pastor Judy Rasmussen

October 2, 2022

Our Responsive Reading in Psalm 62 is our testimony as we proclaim: “Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress. I will never be shaken. …..My hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress; I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”

It is through our own experiences that we can share what Jesus has done to save us. Regardless of their beliefs or doubts, unbelievers cannot take away or disregard the truth of your very own testimony, for it is yours. In addition, we must share the Words of the Gospel in meaningful and impactful ways for God’s Word tells us that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”

I hope to impress upon you the Power that lies within the pages of the Word of God to show you how you can impact others for Christ and in doing so, to bless you with the confidence to share your own testimonies with others. I want you to see and understand the fervor and excitement that can be yours as you utilize the Word of God for His Glory and Grace in sharing the Good News with others.

While the entire Bible is the message of the Good News of Salvation through Jesus Christ, many people say to share the Gospel we should start with the Book of John. Therein lies the testimony of Jesus as The Son of God. The very beginning verses of the Book of John proclaim that Jesus is the Eternal Christ as well as the many other attributes of Christ and His character. John goes on to testify that the law was given through Moses and that grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. In addition, in the Gospel of John lies the most quoted Scripture of the New Testament, which is John 3:16 which says, “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”

An equivalent passage in the Old Testament that may not be quite as familiar to many of you, is Exodus 34: 6-7, which gives us the first condensed description of God’s character, by God himself, and is the most referenced passage within the Hebrew Scriptures – more than 27 times, it is most often quoted by people who are returning to God and trusting His forgiveness in the Old Testament stories.

When God is giving Moses the instructions for carving the two stone tablets for the second time, Exodus 34:5 says that “the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with Moses and proclaimed His name, the Lord,” And as He passed in front of Moses, He proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin. Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished; He punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generations.”

These verses point to the duel nature of Our Lord, for He is both just and merciful. In the verses of Exodus 34 that follow, Our Lord makes a covenant with Moses, and Exodus 34:29 tells us that Moses “wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant -the Ten Commandments.” This covenant was intended for all generations to come, as we just read. In the 27 times that Exodus 34:6-7 is quoted, it was often in the form of prayers and supplications for mercy to Our Lord.  So too, should we pray always and with all manner of prayers in order to be effective witnesses to our Lord’s Grace and Mercy for our loved ones and friends.

Before we even consider approaching others about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the salvation that He brings to all mankind, we should pray! We should live a life that includes ongoing communication with Our Heavenly Father so as to always be prayed up and prepared for whatever divine appointment He gives us on any given day. Pray continually for your loved ones and your friends and acquaintances who have yet to turn from their worldly ways, and for those who have not yet given their lives over to Jesus.

Pray first for the Lord Our God to stir the hearts of those you wish to share with or to those He has led you to. Pray that by God’s Spirit He will draw them to a place of acceptance of the Gospel and that they will put their faith in Jesus Christ. Pray for yourselves for the Words of Truth, the Words of the Gospel, to flow freely from you so that you present it in such a way as to be believed. Just as an opportunity may arise suddenly and unexpectedly, so too can our prayers rise just as quickly, in a moment, to Our Heavenly Father who is always listening, always waiting for us to call on Him. He will sustain us in our efforts for the Kingdom of God.

Our Old Testament Scripture in Isaiah 53 is a prophetic proclamation to the goodness of God as it revealed the Messiah to come and the salvation that He freely gives to all who seek Him. In speaking of Jesus, it says: “… He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

These prophetic words were given long before Jesus entered the world. And He, Jesus, fulfilled all of the Words of this Prophet, Isaiah, as it is recorded in the New Testament.

The other book that many say is a good place to share the Good News of The Gospel is from Romans. Paul proclaims Jesus as the Righteousness of God throughout the Book of Romans. Within the verses of Romans is what has become known as the Romans Road to Salvation. Romans Road is not a physical road, but a series of Bible verses from the book of Romans, which lay out God’s plan of salvation. This is simply a tool, that we can use to reach others for Christ. When arranged in order, these verses form an easy, systematic way of explaining the biblical message of salvation in Jesus Christ.

After we have been prayed up, we can share in confidence and boldness with others, and find reassurance in the Truth of God’s Word. There are slightly different versions of Romans Road with slight variations in Scriptures, but the basic message and method are the same. Many people memorize and use Romans Road when sharing the good news.

As we look at the Steps to Salvation through the Words of the Scriptures that you have on the front of your bulletin, I pray that you can embrace God’s Word afresh in your own hearts and remember from where He has brought you on your life journey. As He brings to mind those family members and friends that you know have yet to come to repentance and salvation, pray that God will give you the opportunities for a divine encounter with them. Pray also that God will soften your heart for the ones who have been so far entrenched in their sinful behaviors that you may have already given up on them. It is never too late, no one is ever too far gone that Our Lord can’t find them and save them as they call out to Him. We must never lose hope.

As we begin to walk the Romans Road to Salvation and I share the scriptures for each step, we can’t possibly cover all of the surrounding verses that bring completion to the Word. So, I would encourage you to consider the scriptures within the context of each passage as you go back and review them in your study time. Better yet, read the entire book of Romans anew, with the concept of Salvation for others in mind. Trust that Holy Spirit will bring it to life and empower you for witnessing to others.

Starting with STEP 1 at the bottom, the truth is that All have Sinned. Romans Road begins with the truth that everyone needs salvation because all people have sinned. We have all done things that are displeasing to God. There is no one who is innocent. Every person is guilty before God.   Romans 3:23 states: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” And verse 3: 10 says: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

I have found that some of the most challenging folks to witness to about the love of Jesus are the people who don’t recognize and admit their sinful nature because they are “good people.” And they don’t feel that they do anything “that bad”. They just want to be left alone to live their lives and pursue worldly pleasures. Their self-righteous attitudes will keep them from finding their salvation in the Lord and the joys of a life in Grace. And then there are others who feel that they are too far gone, that what they have done has been too horrible to ever warrant redemption and salvation. These are the two extremes that you may also encounter as God places people in your path of influence.

Romans 5: 12 “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—”

We know that God’s Word is true and there can be no denying the truth that is confirmed over and over again in the Scriptures. In acknowledging that we are sinners we take our first step toward salvation.

 STEP 2 – From the very beginning accounts in the Book of Genesis and down through history, we all know that there are consequences for our sins. The punishment we all deserve is both physical and spiritual death, thus we need God’s salvation to escape the deadly, eternal consequences of our 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.” There is no escaping the consequences that will come, save for the gift of God, His Son Jesus, and His sacrifice for us. The punishment that we have earned for our sins is death. Not just physical death, but spiritual and eternal death!

STEP 3 brings us to God’s solution for a lost and dying world that He longs to restore unto Himself. Christ died for us. The third step on the Romans Road to salvation picks up where the verse in Romans 6:23 left off, “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Romans 5:8 declares, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus Christ died for us! Jesus’ death paid for the price of our sins. Jesus’ resurrection proves that God accepted Jesus’ death as the payment for our sins.” Jesus Christ died for our sins. His death paid the full price for our salvation. Through the death and resurrection of God’s own Son, the debt we owed was satisfied. Once and completely satisfied. That is why Christ declared on the cross, “It is finished!” Hallelujah! I don’t know about you but that gets me excited. This step right here is the Good News of the Gospel. All our sins washed away! All! Past, present and those we will most assuredly will commit in the future; ALL covered by the blood of the Lamb! Thank you, Lord!

 STEP 4 – Step 3 was God’s Part in His Plan of Salvation and Step 4 is our part. The fourth step on the Romans Road to salvation is ROMANS 10:9-10, 13 which says: “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. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”  For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Because of Jesus’ death on our behalf, all we have to do is believe in Him, trusting His death as the payment for our sins – profess with our mouths with faith in Him and we will be saved!  Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins and rescue us from eternal death. Salvation, the forgiveness of sins, is available to anyone who believes by faith and trusts in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

 STEP 5 – The final aspect of the Romans Road is the result of salvation. Salvation through Jesus Christ brings us into a relationship of peace with God. When we accept God’s gift, Romans 5:1 confirms this wonderful message, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”Romans 8:1 teaches us that, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Because of Jesus’ death on our behalf, we have the reward of knowing that we will never be condemned for our sins. No more striving for perfection. No more futile attempts to be good enough. Instead, we can be confident in our lives of righteousness, filled with the peace, love, joy, and hope of Jesus.

Finally, we have this precious promise of God and assurance of our salvation in Romans 8:38-39, which says: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Once you have shared the Steps of the Romans Road to Salvation, you might seek a response and walk them through their understanding and acknowledgement of each step. Tell them that “If you believe Romans Road leads to the path of truth, you can respond by receiving God’s wonderful gift of salvation today.” Offer them this simple review of the path they can take on their personal journey down Romans Road:

  • Admit you are a sinner.
  • Understand that as a sinner, you deserve death.
  • Believe Jesus Christ died on the crossto save you from sin and death.
  • Repent by turning from your old life of sin to a new lifein Christ.
  • Receive, through faith in Jesus Christ, God’s free gift of salvation.

Offer to pray a simple prayer of faith in God with them. Explain that saying this prayer is a way to declare to God that you are relying on Jesus Christ for your salvation. The words themselves will not save you. Only faith in Jesus Christ can provide salvation! “God, I know that I have sinned against you and am deserving of punishment. But Jesus Christ took the punishment that I deserve so that through faith in Him I could be forgiven. Father God, with your help, I place my trust in You for salvation. Thank You for Your wonderful grace and forgiveness -thank you for the gift of eternal life! Amen!”

In conclusion, I ask you just as Paul did in ROMANS 10:14-17: “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”  But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.  But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course, they did: “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” 

Let each and every one of us be open to the will of God as He gives us the opportunities to tell others of the love and saving grace of Jesus Christ. Let it be said of each of us, “How lovely are the feet of them who bring Good News.”Let us magnify the Lord forever and ever! Amen.