The Romans Road to Salvation presentation (from the book of Romans), usually cites the following selected verses to prove five basic points of Christian evangelism:
- We are all sinners (Rom. 3:10,23).
- The wages of our sins is death (Rom. 6:23).
- Jesus paid our sin debt on the cross (Rom. 5:8).
- Salvation comes by faith, that is, by confessing with our mouths and believing in our hearts (Rom. 10:9,10).
- Call on the Lord for salvation and get saved (Rom. 10:13).
Whoever established these five points as gospel keys for an unsaved person to become enlightened to salvationomitted other critical passages also from the book of Romans which are related to salvation. They are:
"To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life" (Rom. 2:7).
"For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live" (Rom. 8:13).
"You will say then, 'Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.' Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again" (Rom. 11:19-23).
Since these last three cited passages all cause much trouble for the "once saved always saved" crowd, do you think the person (or persons) who omitted them when formulating the "Romans Road" might have been eternal security proponents?
Furthermore, the "righteousness that comes by faith" is not mentioned at all in the "Romans Road" salvation presentation! The books of Romans, more so than any other book in the New Testament, stresses this! Paul wrote,
"What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as it were by works. They stumbled over the 'stumbling stone.' As it is written: 'See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.' Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes" (Rom. 9:30-10:4).
Now, if that important passage would be coupled with the aforementioned Rom.2:7; 8:13 and 11:19-23, the "Romans Road" would be a MUCH better presentation of the Gospel as far as accuracy is concerned with its imputed righteousness and conditional security for the believer.
Beyond all of this, Rom. 3:21-24 adds to our understanding of imputed righteousness:
"But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who BELIEVE. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."
Please note the word "believe" in Rom. 3:22. This word "believe" in the Greek is a continuous tense. Hence, Paul was saying the condition for "this righteousness from God" is a continuous belief in Christ which is also the implied meaning of the "grace" mentioned in verse 24. This is an important point -- for it refutes the false view that many eternal security proponents embrace, like R. B. Thieme who said:
"Yet believers who become agnostics are still saved; they are still born again. You can even become an atheist; but if you once accepted Christ as saviour, you cannot lose your salvation, even though you deny God" [Apes and Peacocks or The Pursuit of Happiness (Houston: Thieme, 1973), p. 23 as quoted in The Gospel According To Jesus by John F. MacArthur, p. 98, (emphasis ours).]
Charles Stanley teaches the same way:
"... believers who lose or abandon their faith will retain their salvation ..." (Eternal Security: Can You Be Sure?, Oliver-Nelson Books, 1990, p. 94) [emphasis ours].
Eternal security (or "the perseverance of the saints"), like the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory, is a false hope that is misleading many sincere people. It needs to be openly addressed and refuted as never before. If these added verses of Scripture would be presented and expanded upon in the "Romans Road" gospel presentation, the problem of the perseverance of the saints would not be as great as it is today. This is especially so if Rom. 11:19-23 would also be repeated at the very end of such a gospel presentation. If all these verses corporately were Paul's gospel of grace, how do some conveniently omit the ones revealing the necessity of continuous-tense belief on Christ and a conditional security for the believer? See also 1 Cor. 15:2.
One must ask himself, "How could all these important verses regarding the subject of salvation be omitted from the universally known 'Romans Road' gospel presentation?" Clearly, the omitted passages herein cited are just as inspired as those commonly known! Moreover, they all address the issue of salvation! How then can one warrant the omission of these key verses? Paul wanted his readers to know these truths!
Also, one might wonder why Rom. 3:23 would be magnified, but not Rom. 3:22, the preceding verse which teaches a continuous tense belief for imputed righteousness! The same kind of omission is found in Rom. 6 where verse 23 is cited but not verse 22! Why, when the omitted verse(s) also contain important information about salvation that is not contained anywhere in the commonly known Romans Road?
Beloved, be not deceived -- you must continue in the faith or you will certainly be lost (Rom. 3:22), sin can bring about spiritual death (Rom. 8:13) and we must persist in doing good to get eternal life (Rom. 2:7). [Eternal life is also shown in the Bible to be a present-tense possession at the point of salvation, 1 Jn. 5:12.] Don't be deceived by the popular Romans Road gospel presentation that would suggest these are not so! To believe otherwise is to show yourself deceived about these extremely important facets of salvation. John wrote:
"See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. IF IT DOES, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us -- even eternal life" (1 Jn. 2:24,25).
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