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 refutes the slander from competing Jewish “authorities” and makes clear that doing what is right pleases God, whereas simply asserting we are right or judging others for being wrong does not. What matters is faith: trusting and doing what God asks. What does not matter is religious labels or practice (if it varies from God’s way).