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 specifies the slander charge raised against him by competing Jewish “authorities” who claim Paul is teaching that believers ought to sin. These “authorities” claim that Paul teaches we ought to do evil because then we are doing good: “Do evil that good may come.”
These authorities claim Paul teaches that we do God a favor by showing how full of grace God is.
Paul dismisses their charge as a statement that is worthy of condemnation, but goes on to emphasize that he is no better than they are because no person other than Jesus can be good enough to satisfy the requirements of God’s law.
The reality is that we are all sinners, and each of us needs the grace of God. In this chapter, Paul sets up a defense of his position that righteous living comes through living by faith.