Romans 8:1-2 “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”
One of the marvels in ancient history are the engineering feats performed by the Romans. Although roads had been in effect since the bronze age, the Romans took them another step and began building them throughout their empire, then extending them further as time went on.
The first and most popular road was the Via Appia or Appian way. Constructed around 312 B.C. and extending 132 miles (196km), it linked Rome to Capua in as straight a line as possible and became known as the Queen of Roads.
The Romans seemed to be ahead of their time in so many aspects of engineering and warfare, when it came to their road building, they took the same amount of expertise and applied it throughout the kingdom. The idea at the time was to construct the shortest route between two points. The Roman engineers would drain marshes, cut down forests, divert creeks, channel through bedrock, cut through mountains, make bridges over rivers, or build viaducts. Today, after thousands of years, these structures can still be viewed and even used and much of what we see of roads today are modeled after their ideas. Curving in the roads to funnel rainwater, curbs to keep carts on paths and pedestrians from being struck, gravel as a base, mile markers, and materials that survived the test of time were used by these structural geniuses.
The phrase “All roads lead to Rome”, became a popular saying when referencing the idea that different paths take you to the same point.
As a kid, I would hear in Sunday School a reference to these Roman roads but in regards to Salvation.
Romans 3:10 “As it is written:
“There is none righteous, no, not one;
There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.”
The idea that everyone was guilty of sinning was the start of a salvation message pointing me to the cross.
Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
I could not justify myself before God or man if I knew I was guilty of breaking God’s moral law. The law reduces our ability to stand on our own merits and places us in a position of judgement. Just as the roads built by the Romans lead back to Rome, all sin leads to death.
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
If the knowledge of being found a sinner wasn’t enough, the knowledge of sins endpoint gave the idea even greater concern.
Hopelessness to Hope
The first indication that God has not left us in a state of despair is found in the latter half of Romans 6:23….the gift of God is a sign of His grace. We are not left alone to travel this life in defeat but the Lord has given us a reprieve from our path of destruction.
Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
We can know God’s love and experience His forgiveness by simply accepting and believing that Jesus died for our sins. Belief is a matter of the heart, it manifests itself in the life of the one who has allowed that belief to become their reality. Without a heart change, the statements of belief are relegated to an empty promise yet to be fulfilled. Faith or trust is the emblem of the one who decides to walk this path of freedom and the road that led to death, now leads to life.
Romans 10:9-10 “that if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with your heart you believe and are justified, and with your mouth you confess and are saved.”
This concept made simple has profound effects. The transformation that occurs at salvation can be described as nothing more than miraculous. What seemed lost and hopeless is now full of light and life, the one walking in darkness begins to see clearly and without the hindrance of sin, and the pilgrim who had lost their way has now been found.
Romans 10:13 “for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Their have been many who think that God selects out people as some type of mythological game of choice, taking whom He desires and leaving the rest to die in their sin and be lost for eternity….this calvinistic approach is simply wrong. Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved, not those pre-selected, not those with just a heavenly mandate or pre-determined hope but all those who have been called and accept the call will be saved….period.
Romans 5:1-2 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”
Once the sinner has been redeemed by grace the transformation progresses from fear and anxiety to peace with God. The opportunity to receive grace is not mandated like some prescribed admittance into God’s Kingdom but the door is opened through faith in Christ. The decision to place our faith from this world and it’s false hope into our maker, redeemer, and friend is one that seems to be a no-brainer. From my perspective, nothing else makes more sense but from a position of pride, social pressure, and fear, the process of trust is not one easily taken.
Romans 8:1-2 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For in Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set you free from the law of sin and death.”
‘No condemnation’ is a statement of absolution from guilt and shame. Once grace is given, you are placed into a position of sonship with the Father. Your inheritance as a son or daughter of the King is one as a joint heir with Christ. The glory of God as expressed through the Son is a glory that we have been called to partake in. The perfection of Christ or His righteousness is given to the one who accepts His sacrifice for their sin. His perfection was laid upon the cross so that we don’t have to die for our sin. Understanding your position as one redeemed is as important as knowing who you are in Him.
Shame is an accusation the enemy will continue to use against those who have been called to freedom. We must set our eyes upon our redeemer and remember all that He has promised. We have been drawn into His sanctuary and been anointed as His people, called to live for His purpose. We must now walk not only in the freedom He has provided but also in the mission that He began as light to the world.
The roads to Rome were made straight so as to keep the pilgrims journey as easy as possible. The path of God is straight and it is narrow but it can still be perilous if we are not strengthened by His power. We must keep our eyes heavenward with a mind to where we will all meet one day. The journey may seem long but there will be joy in the morning. Remain steadfast in determination, don’t give up, allow others to strengthen you as well and know that all you are going through is something others have already faced and overcame.