Paul starts out his letter by giving his credentials and explaining his purpose in ministry.
Paul is establishing the facts of the gospel: that Jesus was promised in the Old Testament, he was born of David, was God and man, and was resurrected from the dead.
Paul was an apostle who was called by God to bring the gospel to the Gentiles, and the Gentiles in Rome that he is writing to are believers in Jesus.
After introducing himself, Paul addresses his audience: all of the believers in Rome.
The faith of the Roman believers is being talked about throughout the world; Paul thanks God for their faith and prays for them unceasingly. Paul has never met these believers, but hopes to.
These Gentile believers have faith that is being talked about throughout the world, but Paul still hopes to go to them so that he and they may be encouraged and strengthen their faith.
Paul’s call from God was to preach the gospel to all Gentiles. He desires to preach the gospel to, or encourage, the believers in Rome.
Paul boldly preaches the gospel because it is the power of God for all who believe. Initially, faith saves us from hell, but for the believer, faith continues to allow us to live righteous lives through the resurrection power of Christ.
Those who live unrighteous lives, believers or nonbelievers, will experience the wrath of God. God has given everyone knowledge of right and wrong, giving no one an excuse.
The pride of those who choose to not follow God leads them to worship other things.
When we claim to know better than God and pursue unrighteous living, God removes his protection and gives us over to those choices. God intends great things for us, and when we pursue unrighteous living, our bodies are dishonored.
God’s design for sex is between a man and a woman within marriage. When we decide we know better than God, we exchange what is natural is unnatural and this brings consequences.
Eventually when people persist in sin and insist that they know best, God will give them over to a depraved mind. This results in a mind that cannot tell right from wrong and is totally focused on “me.”
Paul reiterates that the people who practice such things still know right from wrong. Even though they know the actions they engage in are sinful, they applaud the behavior in others.
The Apostle Paul writes to the world-renowned believers in Rome, the center of the world at that time, in order to answer a slanderous charge made to them against Paul and his message. Paul’s detractors claim his emphasis on faith overturns the law. Paul says that ” just living by the law” does not achieve personal justice before God, while “just living by faith” does. Paul then demonstrates what a just life looks like: harmonious living with Jesus as the leader. Paul also makes clear the choice a believer has: to walk in faith and the power of the resurrection and experience resurrection life, or walk in sin and unnecessarily experience the negative consequences.
Paul makes clear his respect for the believers in Rome, acknowledging that their “faith is being proclaimed throughout the world” (Romans 1:8)and states his central theme that the just or righteous live by faith empowered with resurrection power, while unjust living based on our own pride and strength leads to wrath and destruction.