Updated: Oct 24
Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ is one of the most important earmarks of a born-again believer. As Jesus was concluding his earthly ministry, He instructed His followers to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. . .” (Matthew 28:19-20a). These verses are known as the Great Commission and are meant as direct instruction for all Christians.
However, where do you begin? What verses could you go to when sharing the Gospel with someone? When you present the Gospel, are there any important points you should include? Are there any spiritual considerations that you must consider when presenting the Gospel?
These are the same questions that I have asked myself. Fortunately, we are not alone in this process. In fact, Paul provided a great example that we can follow within the Scriptures, commonly known as the Romans Road to Salvation (Roman’s Road). Let’s look at some key points and supporting verses for the Roman's Road. (Check out this article to learn more about Evangelism and Presenting the Gospel.)
The True State of Mankind
As born-again believers, we know that God is the one who saves us from our sinfulness. The Bible teaches that mankind is totally depraved, saying, “The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5), and that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). This wickedness began at the moment we were conceived, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5). These truths are foundational to understanding the true state of mankind, and lay a foundation for the Gospel presentation.
When using the Roman’s Road model, a few key verses that help emphasize mankind’s sinfulness are Romans 3:10-12 and Romans 3:23. Both of these verses address the true nature of mankind, that it is sinful, worthless, and that not even one is righteous. These verses are leveling, emphasizing each individual’s unworthiness, confirming that not even one will earn salvation.
This point is vital because many mainstream Christians believe their good works are saving them. Many believe that if their good outweighs their bad, they will be allowed into heaven. This unbiblical belief fundamentally denies God’s perfection, especially related to His judgments, and overestimates man’s ability to do good apart from Christ. As Genesis 6:5 says, “The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” This verse is referring to mankind’s natural state of being spiritually dead.
Everyone who has ever lived, except for Jesus Christ, has been born spiritually dead. The Scriptures teach that “. . . you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience, among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind” (Ephesians 2:1-3). These verses teach that no person is born neutral toward God and that everyone is naturally children of wrath and sinners. Verse 1 refers to the fact that man is dead in his trespasses and sins. This refers to the spiritual death. When someone is spiritually dead, it’s important to understand that they cannot make themselves alive, just as it is impossible for someone to bring themselves back to life after experiencing a physical death.
Another important aspect of understanding the true nature of mankind is defining what exactly ‘sin’ is. The term sin means “a missing of the mark. . .” When the Bible refers to man’s sin against God, it essentially refers to man’s missing the mark of fulfilling the Law of God perfectly. That’s what it means to sin, to miss the mark of fulfilling God’s Law perfectly. This concept of sin applies to any thought, action, spoken word, or attitude that someone might have, all of which are measured against God’s standard for perfection found in the Word of God. In my experience, this concept is important when presenting the Gospel; otherwise, the idea of sin can vary wildly and remains somewhat nebulous. Once mankind’s true nature has been described and understood, you can begin describing what Jesus Christ did for mankind.
The Perfect Judge, Jesus Christ
Once sin has been defined, mankind’s sinfulness and inability to save themselves has been thoroughly explained, and their need for an outward intervention for any hope of salvation has been established, you can move on to The Perfect Judge, Jesus Christ.
The Bible says that “. . . we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Corinthians 5:10). This means that every person, upon their death, will stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account for their life. The Bible refers to God as, “. . . the Rock; his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he” (Deuteronomy 32:4). Since God is perfect, we know that his judgments will also be perfect. If, while sitting in His judgment seat, judging someone’s deeds, He were to overlook some sin they committed, His judgment would not be perfect. The verse in 2 Corinthians teaches that every deed will be repaid what is due, good for good and evil for evil. Therefore, every sin must be accounted for, and paid in full.
This takes us back to Roman’s Road. Romans 6:23 teaches that “. . . the wages of sin is death . . .” This means that every sin, no matter how small mankind perceives it, if repaid in full, would require death. Therefore, if someone were to place their hope in themselves for salvation, hoping that their deeds on this earth will save them, they would be utterly hopeless because even one sin disqualifies them from entrance into heaven and requires death. Helping those who we are presenting the Gospel to understand that the result of their sin is death and damnation again points to their need for an outward intervention.
At this point in the Gospel, they should understand just how desperate their situation is, and in rides our savior, Jesus Christ. Since God is the perfect judge, and the wages of our sins is death, death will be his sentence. The Bible says, “. . . God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17). Roman’s Road considers our situation when it says, “For one will scarcely die for a righteous person-though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die-” (Romans 5:7), describing that it would be an incredible act of generosity to die in the place of a righteous man, while Jesus Christ dared to die for us while we were yet still sinners.
This is what our Savior has done for us, and something that we must emphasize when presenting the Gospel, that “. . . God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). This verse may be the most hope-filled verse in all of Scripture. While we were still sinners, dead in the trespasses of our sins, slaves to our sinful natures, and committing shameful acts against God, He displayed the richness and depth of His love for us by dying the sinner’s death on the cross in our place. Christ’s death in this verse represents the payment required for our sins. That is what He bore upon himself on the cross, instead of us. Truly Christ counted our needs as more important than himself in that moment (Philippians 2:3).
How Do We Partake In This Sacrifice?
To this point, we have shown the true nature of man, which is hopelessly lost and sinful, utterly depraved; we concluded that mankind is incapable of saving themselves from their earned death sentence, and we have demonstrated the depths of Christ’s love for us, that he died the sinner’s death on the cross as a sacrifice for mankind’s sins. Now the question is, how does someone partake in this sacrifice? How does someone get their name written in the book of life?
The answer is found in Roman’s Road. It says, “. . . if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Romans 10:9-10). The Bible teaches that someone must put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made on the cross for their sins and that this belief must not be only from their mouth but also from the heart. This presents a problem because mankind is spiritually dead and unable to, of themselves, earnestly believe in Christ.
The Scriptures teach that “. . . the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing . . .” (1 Corinthians 1:18) and that “the natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14). Furthermore, they teach that “ . . .the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:7-8). This means that if a man only needs to believe in Christ, if all of his salvation hinged on this singular act, not one person would be saved. The entirety of the human race would be rightfully condemned to hell for eternity.
How is it that anyone is saved?
“Salvation belongs to the LORD. . .” (Psalm 3:8). God knew about mankind’s total inability to save themselves, and the depths of the depravity within our flesh, so He took care of the final step required for salvation, believing in God in our hearts. The Scripture says, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove your heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules” (Ezekiel 36:26-27).
God sent His Holy Spirit to remove our spiritually dead, stony heart and replace it with a heart of flesh. He then sent his Spirit to take up residence in our hearts, causing us to obey his statutes and to be able to sincerely, from our hearts, put our faith and trust in Christ for salvation. This act was an outward act of love and mercy, allowing the unbeliever to savingly believe the Gospel. However, since the Holy Spirit accomplishes this act, we must pray to God that He would do this work in the hearts of those we present the Gospel. We labor in vain unless the Holy Spirit works in the unbeliever's heart. Since we do not know who the Holy Spirit has prepared to receive the message, we must present the Gospel to all who will listen, and if they confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in their heart that God raised him from the dead, they will be saved (Romans 10:9).
Finally, the Bible says that “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). One of the most famous verses echoes this truth, saying, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). This means that when someone earnestly puts their hope, faith, and trust in Christ for salvation, God will save them. This, however, is only the beginning, but what a beginning it is!
 Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary Of Old And New Testament Words (1996), s.v. “sin.”