In the Book of Romans, the Apostle Paul lays out some very important and key doctrines for becoming a Christian. Different people take different approaches to the total number of verses, but there are certain doctrines which are considered essential.
The book of Romans was written to the most educated people of world. The first time Paul visited Rome, a Church already existed. Yet the Roman Church seems to have very little grounding in the Old Testament, because Paul spends much of the book of Romans quoting standard Jewish doctrines. They also seem isolated from the other Churches, because when Paul arrived in Rome and told of his arrest, the charges against him and his appeal to Caesar, “They said to him (Paul), ‘We have neither received letters from Judea concerning you, nor have any of the brethren come here and reported or spoken anything bad about you. But we desire to hear from you what your views are; for concerning this sect, it is known to us that it is spoken against everywhere.'” Acts 28:21,22 (NASB)
The book of Romans defines reality. “The righteous man shall live by faith” verses “men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.”
Romans one opens with the clearest record of the consequences of sin found in the Word of God. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see for to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.” Romans 1:18-32 (NASB)
Understanding both the true nature of both the world we live in and the consequences of our sin allows Paul to detail reality throughout Romans. A few simple verses are used as “the Romans Road” to salvation. All verses quoted are from the NASB.
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Everyone is a sinner. While that concept seems so basic, modern secular humanism denies this basic foundation of reality.
Romans 5:12 “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all have sinned-” God created a perfect, sinless universe. Adam’s sin allowed sin to enter the world and that sin spread to all men. While this seems like a simple and basic Christian doctrine, liberals and the Church of Rome deny it.
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” What we rightfully deserve as wages for the sin which we both inherited and practice by choice is death, both physical and eternal. Eternal life is not something we can work hard enough for nor do we deserve it. It is only available as a free gift. It is only available from God. And it is only in Christ Jesus our Lord. It is not something we can add to our lives in addition to our sins.
Romans 10:9,10 “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” This is not a magic formula that must be followed which automatically results in salvation. If that were the case, deaf and mute people could not be saved. The phrase “confess with your mouth” is referring to public confession. Thanks to the internet, that might be in writing. God says that if you are ashamed of Him, then He will be ashamed of you. It means understanding what sin is, repenting of sin and publicly testifying.
Some people add Romans 12:1,2 to the Romans Road “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that your may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Those who do not include these verses claim that this makes the Romans Road more difficult and complicated. I believe that a new believer might not completely understand everything these verses expect out of us, but new believers often put older believers to shame with their zeal.