In the winter prior to his arrest at Jerusalem, Paul had written this letter to the church at Rome.
While Paul had not been directly responsible for the establishment of the church at Rome, he had a great fondness for it, and desired to visit the church as soon as the Lord allowed him to do so. In the 16th chapter of Romans, Paul lists a number of the people he knew involved in the church there, so he evidently had close associations with this church, even though he had not visited Rome. Perhaps these were people he had met at various locations on his missionary journeys, who were either from Rome, or who had relocated to Rome after meeting Paul, perhaps having been saved as a result of his outreaches.
Only under arrest of Rome did Paul finally arrive at his desired location. He had been met by a great contingent from this church as he ventured. They had come as far as the Appii Forum and Three Inns, some walking as far as 60 miles on foot to greet Paul and encourage him on his way. This definitely indicates a great fondness for the apostle Paul, and perhaps for his great letter written to this church – which has become both a towering pillar and a foundation of Christianity.
This letter teaches us the essentials of the theology of Christianity while revealing the heart of the God behind the theology. It is both thrilling in its logical conclusions and convicting of all men in its accusations against the nature of man.
The Book of Romans is both simple enough for anyone to understand, and complex enough for theologians to wrangle over for centuries.
The Book of Romans is the book many Bible students pour over and meditate upon to the degree the pages of their Bibles have turned brown in this book from the skin oils accumulated on its pages. (This is the case with my Bible.)
There is a simple outline to this book, which carries all men from cradle to grave, and on into eternity. Herein we find a full revelation of the undeniable sin of all men, man’s opportunity for salvation despite their sin, how – once saved – man may be set apart for God’s purpose rather than his own, (sanctification,) a grand discussion of God’s sovereignty in its balance with man’s responsibility, and finally, what a life serving the Christ of salvation looks like. This book will convince all who study it of the eternality of God’s purpose for every man.