The Romans Road. For those in Christian Circles this has become a catch phrase for how to lead someone to Christ. In the book of Romans, Paul takes us on a journey. A journey in which he methodically lays out the argument and foundation for who Christ is, what it takes to believe in him and how we can have eternal life as a result of it; ultimately he spells out how and what it means to be a follower Christ. The format and usage of this road has often been boiled down to a couple of catch phrase verses or a "cute" tract we can hand someone hoping that they will first of all read it, but more importantly, that they will get it. It many times gets presented almost like a recipe would be. Do step A, then Step B, and then Step C, mix it all together and poof, you are now a Christian; a Follower; A Believer.
And yes, as simple as the Romans Road may be, it is so much more than a formula. Why you may ask....?
Because life is messy.
Most people who are lead to Christ are done so not with a tract and a formula but with people who are true followers of Christ who can not only give them the right answers (the verses from the Romans Road) but their lives are living testimonies to what God has done for them and can likewise do for the one needing Christ. They see the results. It is why the Apostles and followers of Christ in the New Testament performed signs and wonders. It was not for the sake of the miracle it was to demonstrate the power of God.
They were not desperately chasing the signs and wonders and the ability to do them, they were chasing people who were lost and in need of a savior and the signs and wonders followed almost as a byproduct. It was impossible for them not to. But they were not the focus. The focus was Christ and the fact that all truth is wrapped up in him.
When people come to Christ they are often, whether the reasons are right or wrong, coming because they are desperately seeking hope and answers to the problems that they are facing in life. They are not necessarily coming to the front because they heard a compelling argument about the four spiritual laws. They have a marriage that is failing, Their kids are rebellious and they feel that they are about to lose them if something doesn't change. They are at rock bottom because of the choices they have made in life and are grasping at anything that might be a lifeline
That is where we come in. WE have been given the amazing and awesome task of partnering with God in leading people to know who he is. But to do that we have to know who he is. Not just be familiar with him. There is a difference between knowing and being familiar. Let me ask this;
Do you believe that the 10 commandments are foundational truths and that as followers of Christ we should follow them and be obedient to them?
Good answer! (I am assuming you all said Yes)
OK. Now that you and I completely agree that these are foundational, see if you can name all 10 commandments right now without having to look them up.
Hint: But don't click the link until you have at least tried to list them all. bonus points if you get them in order. (Exodus 20:1-17)
How did you do? It's ok if you didn't get them all. For many many christians this is the case. For many Christians, they are familiar with the 10 commandments and would ardently champion them, but sadly, many of those same Christians would be hard pressed to name all ten of them. They don't truly "know" them.
When we know them we know the answer before the question is even asked. It is a part of who we are. It will show itself in the way we live our lives and we probably rarely have to think about it because it is a natural byproduct of the fact that we believe. Just like the signs and wonders, and the lives of the Apostles/believers in the New Testament, they are byproducts that can't help be present when we are pointing people toward Christ. We understand what it truly means to not covet our neighbors things, and to be caught up in the materialism of our culture. We get what committing adultery is and we take steps to guard our eyes and our thought life as much or more than we do simply in the physical sense of the word. We realize that when we harbor anger and hatred toward others it is akin to murder and take seriously scriptures call to be peacemakers, and to love our enemies as well as our neighbors.
The bottom line, when we know something we don't have to stop what we are doing to refresh our memory about what the right answer is. The right answer will naturally come out of us.
So when we begin to think about the Romans Road and have a thought to send someone else down that road, we have to remember that we are not sending anyone down a road, we are leading them down a road. To lead means that we have to know the way and we are asking them to follow us. The fruit in our life will speak for itself. We will have the map but the journey is always for more than one person. We were never meant to walk this road alone and likewise we cannot expect others to walk it alone either.
Peer to Peer evangelism is the most effect and most life changing kind of evangelism. Because when we begin to lead people down the Romans Road they will not be alone. They will be journeying with a friend. They will be with someone who will be there to help pick them up when they fall down. They will be there to seek the answers together to life's tough questions when they come.
Who in your life has God been leading you to step out in faith to take a journey with?
Who in your life has God been preparing you to lead down the Romans Road this next year?
Who in your life is in need of hearing the message of hope that we have in Jesus Christ, His death, and His resurrection and are you prepared to lead them in what you Know or what you are familiar with?
How can you begin to prepare yourself, so that you can know and not just be familiar with who God is, and So you can begin a journey in 2014 that will not only be life changing in the life of another person but in your own life and walk with God?