The Roman's Road and Sinner's Prayer


In Christianity, especially the more mainstream Protestant denominations, the "Sinner's Prayer" is a prayer a person will be encouraged to pray when they're brought to the end of "The Roman's Road to Salvation," or a point of understanding that they're a sinner who needs a savior.

"The Roman's Road" is simply a systematic way of explaining the good news of salvation, often sourcing the verses mostly from Paul's letter to the Romans--hence, "The Roman's Road." There are many unique ways of presenting this information in a logical order, but the most common essential elements are explanations for the need of salvation, how God provided salvation, how one can receive such salvation, and the results. It's essentially the elevator pitch of mainstream Protestant Christianity. When presenting "The Roman's Road," one hopes that the sinner will recite what's called "The Sinner's Prayer."


Of the Sinner's Prayer, GotQuestions says this at the end of their article:

Saying the sinner’s prayer is simply a way of declaring to God that you are relying on Jesus Christ as your Savior. There are no 'magical' words that result in salvation. It is only faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection that can save us. If you understand that you are a sinner and in need of salvation through Jesus Christ, here is a sinner’s prayer you can pray to God: "God, I know that I am a sinner. I know that I deserve the consequences of my sin. However, I am trusting in Jesus Christ as my Savior. I believe that His death and resurrection provided for my forgiveness. I trust in Jesus and Jesus alone as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank you Lord, for saving me and forgiving me! Amen!

Unsurprisingly, there are strong debates as to whether or not a "Sinner's Prayer" is biblical. The notion of such a thing raises interesting questions. For one, if there's no particular importance or power in the words themselves, then why is one always encouraged to recite them? Usually, in my experience, the evangelist/ apologist will lead the person in a rote prayer--a script that the hopeful evangelist has memorized. Interestingly, the debate about the significance and biblicalness of this methodology has situated Jesus, or Yahshua, in opposition to the so-called apostle Paul. This debate has been ongoing since Paul ever penned that letter to the Romans.

In Merriam-Webster's dictionary, a "Sacrament" is "1 a : a Christian rite (such as baptism or the Eucharist) that is believed to have been ordained by Christ and that is held to be a means of divine grace or to be a sign or symbol of a spiritual reality. b : a religious rite or observance comparable to a Christian sacrament."

We see that "The Sinner's Prayer" is really a Protestant Evangelical sacrament, a "sign" or symbol of an inward, spiritual reality. It precedes Baptism. Or does it? The question must center around whether or not "The Roman's Road" and "Sinner's Prayer" is the methodology used by Jesus and if this is even what Jesus defined salvation as. As we've noted in other studies, the answer lies in the definitions of words.

The English phrase “believe in” is an inaccurate rendering of the greek, which is,

1. “to entrust oneself [to a person] in complete confidence, believe (in), trust with mplication of total commitment to the one who is trusted” (BDAG, page. 817, 3rd edition.).

2. “2. to believe, comply, obey" (Liddell & Scott’s, 24th edition, 1891, page. 561).

3. “2. to comply” (LSJ, page. 1408, 1968 edition).

4. “4...finally persons, in which case [πιστεύω] can acquire the nuance ‘to obey’” (TDNT, volume 6, page. 178). (We see from the Hebrew sense how this comes to be).

5. “2b Acts 2:44 '(those) who made their commitment.'” (BDAG, page 317).

6. “2. to entrust a thing to one, i.e. to his fidelity: Lk. xvi. 11; Jn. ii. 24; to be entrusted with a thing:” (Thayer).

We see the definitions of the mistranslated words "believe in” means to “obey unto.” Our translations obfuscate this. It simply isn't true, what GotQuestions says, that, "It is only faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection that can save us." The very premise of the Christian notion of salvation by faith alone is the crummy mortar that holds "The Roman's Road" 'and "Sinner's Prayer" bricks in place. It's only by recognizing the fact that Jesus' Gospel is entirely different from Paul's that any erosion of the Roman's Road can take place so that life can begin to break through.


Clearly, Jesus' words were badly translated to fit with the later Pauline message. The once fertile soil of the Jesus message was badly paved over by a Roman's Road. But as with all paved roads, which, in our spiritual case, lead to Rome, the soil beneath still produces life, and eventually the natural weeds and grasses and trees begin to break through. Obey and Follow Jesus if you desire life. Enter in the narrow gate and enter the roaming pasture and be nourished by the Shepherd Jesus; forsake the broad Roman's Road to Rome paved by agent Paul.