The Roman Road
It bears repeating again, grace is the undeserved love and favor God has for us. Grace is a gift that God has given us through Jesus Christ. Grace is not something that we can do on our own. The question is how do I get this undeserved love from God? The answer is you already have it. Remember, God is always seeking you. The real question is, “do you want to be found?” You can make the decision to no longer be lost from God. True believers call it the “Roman Road.” It just means the answer is found in the biblical book of Romans.
We are already familiar with most of the verses. The first is Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” This just means that we all have to admit that we have done something wrong that God does not approve of. Yes, sometimes it looks like the Ten Commandments. But, Jesus said it goes deeper than that. Jesus in Matthew 5:21-48, goes through a litany of various sins listed in the Ten Commandments. Just to show how hard it is not to commit them, Jesus summarizes by saying even if you think it in your heart you have committed the sin. So, the first step is to admit that I am a sinner. That is what keeps me from being found from God who loves and seeks me in spite of my sin.
The second part on the Roman Road is found in Romans 6:23, “for the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This is the death we discussed in more detail in part one of “Grace.” We cannot do this on our own. We cannot ever be good enough. Remember Jesus said that even if we think it in our heart, we are sinning. We cannot stop thinking. This is why when my sister’s earthly existence had ended, I was able to still say God is good, because Romans 6:23 told me because she had accepted God’s free gift of grace in Christ Jesus, she would have the gift of eternal life. She knew while she was living on earth, she was a sinner and she accepted eternal life in Christ Jesus.
The next step to the free grace God is offering to us is explained in Romans 5:8, “But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.” So while we were still being disobedient and offending God, Christ died for us. How many of us know love like that? That is why God’s grace is so undeserved.
The next move on this road is found in Romans 10:9-13. “ . . . if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. 11 The scripture says, ‘No one who believes in him will be put to shame. 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. 13 For, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’”
I want to go back to “Perry Mason.” If you have the opportunity to watch the show, you will notice that the real killer always confesses to his/her sin publically. Even as a Christian growing up in the faith, I was taught that I had to confess publically that I was a sinner in order to get God’s grace. But, looking at the actual words in Romans, it does not say that. Paul, I believe when he wrote this was just saying that there was no difference between Jews and Greeks or Jews and everyone else. God’s favor is offered to all and “justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” Romans 3:24. So, this admission of being a sinner is to God. But, once you do confess this, you will notice a radical change in you. Just remember, the confession is to God and that is what makes it valid.
The last step on the Roman Road is what happens once after the confession with our mouth. Paul writes, “ . . . we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God,” Romans 5:1-2. Romans 8:1, tells us, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” In other words, since we are no longer on the road to death because of our sin, we can have an eternal relationship with God.