|Dr. Scott Key's Sunday School Class||
The road to a Relationship with God
The term "Roman Road" refers to a collection of verses found in Paul’s letter to the church in Rome. This collection of passages from the new Testament systematically leads the reader down a path to understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.” We all need God. Blaise Pascal, a very influential 15th century French mathematician, physicist, philosopher and theologian said, “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.” But because we are sinners, we are not able to have a right relationship with God.
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” If we remain sinners, we will die. However, if we accept the truth of the Gopsel message that Jesus is our Lord and Savior and repent of our sins, we will have eternal life.
Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His love toward us, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Through Jesus, God provided the way for us to be saved from our sin which keeps us separated from God.
Romans 10:9-10 “That 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.” We must confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and trust that God raised Him from the dead as a propitiation for our sin (Christ's sacrificial death makes us favorable to God, satifying His wrath against sinners).
Romans 10:13 “For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” There are no religious formulas or rituals -- simply pray (have a coversation with God): confess your sin and ask for forgiveness based on your faith in the sacrifice He made to satisfy the penalty for your sin. Your faith must be nutured by reading the Bible, praying, and fellowshipping with other believers on a regular basis.
"God whispers to us in our pleasures...but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." ~ C.S. Lewis
When I was younger, as a result of my conversion to Christianity, a friend told me he thought religion was nothing more than a crutch for those who are weak-minded and couldn't get through life's difficulties any other way. I think those who share this view believe it to be true because they see people coming to faith in Jesus only as a result of some painful life crisis. The irony, though, is that the pain is designed for that very purpose.
"We find God an interruption. As St. Augustine says somewhere, 'God wants to give us something, but cannot, because our hands are full - there's nowhere for Him to put it.' Or as a friend of mine said, 'We regard God as an airman regards his parachute; it's there for emergencies but he hopes he'll never have to use it.' Now God, who has made us, knows what we are and that our happiness lies in Him. Yet we will not seek it in Him as long as He leaves us any other resort where it can even plausibly be looked for. While what we call 'our own life' remains agreeable we will not surrender it to Him. What then can God do in our interests but make 'our own life' less agreeable to us, and take away the plausible sources of false happiness? It is just here, where God's providence seems at first to be most cruel, that the Divine humility, the stooping down of the Highest, most deserves praise...I call this Divine humility because it is a poor thing to strike our colours to God when the ship is going down under us; a poor thing to come to Him as a last resort, to offer up 'our own' when it is no longer worth keeping. If God were proud He would hardly have us on such terms: but He is not proud, He stoops to conquer, He will have us even though we have shown that we prefer everything else to Him, and come to Him because there is 'nothing better' now to be had...It is hardly complimentary to God that we should choose Him as an alternative to Hell: yet even this He accepts." (pp.96-97, The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis)
There's no shame in recognizing that we are weaker than God, who created us; nor in surrendering to God as a result of our sufferings. The shame is truly on those refusing to do either...having done so myself, I should know. But praise the Lord, "There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." (Romans 8:1)