As a kid one of my favorite things to do in the entire world was to attend summer camp at Sambica, a Bible camp on the shores of Lake Sammamish. My friends and I would eagerly count down the days until we left suburbia for the paradise we knew as camp. Once there we would race with all our might up the hillside to the cabins, toss our bags atop the bunkbeds, and dash to the dockside eager to make a big splash. But first, the requisite ‘swim test’. Ugh. I remember being nervous. Each of us, one at a time, had to swim on our own out to the buoys and back. Successful completion of this swim deemed us ‘good enough’ to swim, dive, canoe, and well, basically be grown up. How we longed to achieve this feat.
I loved everything about being at camp. Cabin time. Mess Hall. Arts and Crafts. Field games. All Camp Worship. Archery. Best of all was ending the day in the ‘pit’ (an amphitheater). Here we sang our hearts out to Jesus. Each evening ended with a ‘talk’ about being a disciple of Jesus of Nazareth. In grade school, I was pretty sure I would grow up one day to be a camp counselor earning the privilege of staying at camp all summer long. That sounded like heaven to me.
The summer I was ten years old the Sambica staff introduced us to the “Romans Road to Salvation”. I’ve never forgotten it. To this day I enjoy walking this road with people. What is it? I am so glad you asked! This road is a selection of Bible verses taken from the New Testament book of Romans that present the Gospel plan of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Here’s how a Romans Road conversation goes:
I consider myself a ‘good person’. Isn’t that enough? Read Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. Okay, but what’s the problem with sin? Read Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord”. Where do I find hope? Read Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us”. How do I come to know the saving love of God in Jesus? Read Romans 10:9-10, “If you declare with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord’, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved”.
Friends, as we follow the risen Lord Jesus Christ, we are on a road that leads us toward spiritual maturity. Along the way we learn how to apply the Gospel to our hearts, relationships, social involvement and work. The truth of the Gospel is practical, challenging, and is best learned in community. For this reason, West Side is hosting an in-depth study of Romans this spring. You’re invited. The study begins Sunday, April 8 at 9am. No matter where you may find yourself on the Romans Road we have a place for you at the table. To register contact the church office. Personal study between Sundays is encouraged and workbooks are offered as a study aid. No swim test is required. No need to prove you’re good enough. Come. Let’s all travel the Romans Road together.
~ Grace & Peace,