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Monday, August 22, 2011

Romans Road: Tool to Help Christians Witness

Have you ever felt the need to share your faith but were unsure how to start the conversation?  Or wanted to witness but didn’t know how?  

I have and it can be scary.  The anxiety and fear can be immobilizing making it difficult for someone who knows the Bible backwards and forwards to speak out boldly, let alone someone like me who needs to look the same scriptures up repeatedly.  

So how do we overcome our anxiety and fear and follow Jesus’ command to go out and witness?  

Here are some basic opening questions I have used, followed by Romans Road.  

1)       Do you believe there is a God?
2)      Do you believe in heaven and hell?
3)      How do you think you get to heaven?
4)      Can I share a few scriptures with you from the Bible that tells us about God and how we can get to heaven?

To help me, what I have done in the past is write the first scripture on the opening page of my Bible so I remember which one to start with (I get really nervous and need reminders).  When I go to that first scripture I turn the Bible so they can read it and so I can read it (upside down from them) I write the next scripture I am to go to. That way I can focus on them and not be thinking of what scripture I need to go to next.   

So here goes, Romans Road:

1)       Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”  Everyone sins.  There is not one person who has not committed some sin, whether it is lying on taxes, cheating on a spouse, hating someone, murder, envy or whatever…we all have sinned.   

2)      Romans 6:23, “For the wages (penalty) of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus.”  God hates sin.  The penalty/punishment for sinning is death.  You do not get a pass on sin; even “small sins” deserve death.  We cannot be good enough to get to heaven and God, being holy, cannot tolerate sin.  But because God loves us He gives us a gift…eternal life!

3)      Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrated His own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  While we are sinners.  We don’t have to clean up our acts first.  God accepts us as we are, dirty and all.  Salvation is a gift; just like at Christmas, you get a gift…you don’t have to earn it.  It is free!  Gifts are Free!!!  So how do we get this free gift?

4)      Romans 10:9-10, “[T]hat if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you WILL BE SAVED.  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”  It really is that simple. Notice it says when you believe and confess (declare) you WILL BE saved, not might be, but WILL BE!  Some think that is too easy, my response to that is…If it was something difficult wouldn’t you do it?  Why not do something that is simple?  Jesus paid the price, He did the hard part, and all you have to do is believe in His love and grace.

5)      Romans 10:13, “For ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’.”  Whoever!  Isn’t that amazing!  Anyone and everyone can be saved when they call on the only true God. 

6)      Romans 5:1, “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  By Faith, that’s all it takes.  You cannot earn it; you only have to accept the free gift.

7)      (optional) Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”  

8)      Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.”  Once you believe you belong to Christ, you do not have to work to achieve His love or forgiveness, it is freely given.  All your sins (past and future) have been forgiven!

9)      Romans 8:38-39, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor demons nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  
Once I have shared the scriptures with someone I like to ask a few more questions:  (answers along these lines)  

1)       Are you a sinner? (Yes, everyone is)
2)      What does the Bible say about sin?  (Punishment for sin is death)
3)      Can you earn your way to heaven? (No, it’s a free gift called grace.  You cannot work your way into heaven.  Going to church does not make you a Christian anymore than eating at McDonald’s makes you a Big Mac)
4)      How are you saved? (Salvation comes from faith, believing Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose from the grave.  Believing and confessing. ) 
5)      Would you like to pray and ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior?  (Yes or no…respect their decision and regardless I let them know I will be praying for them.)

If they would like to accept Jesus into their lives I pray with them something like this and I emphasize the words do not save them, only faith that comes from the heart:

 “Jesus I know I am a sinner and I deserve punishment for these sins.  I believe You died for me so that I would not have to.  I believe You didn’t stay dead but rose from the grave conquering sin and death.  I ask that You forgive me of my sins and come into my heart.   I ask that You become Lord of my life.  Thank You for Your grace and the gift of salvation.  In Jesus name I pray. Amen.” 

If you have any other techniques you have used please share so we can all learn.  Or if you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to share, Thank you. 

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