Rome was the greatest city in the world at the time of Paul. Often, we use the word ĎRomansí to mean its powerful rulers, many of whom opposed the first Christians fiercely. However, Paul wrote the Book of Romans as a letter to the Christians in that city. Probably, most of those Christians were poor people; many of them lived as foreigners there.
Ancient Rome was a very difficult place for Christians to live in. The inhabitants of Rome served many false gods; they even gave honour to Caesar, their emperor (most powerful ruler), as a god. Many of Romeís inhabitants dealt cruelly towards other people; many of them behaved in a very greedy manner.
Paul very much wanted to help Romeís Christians. He believed that God had given him a message for them. However, God has not yet permitted him to go to Rome. That was why Paul wrote down this message. Another Christian, who was travelling to Rome, took Paulís book to the church leaders there.
At the start of the book, Paul introduces himself to Romeís Christians in a humble manner. He compares himself to a servant or a slave; his master is Jesus Christ. The work that Christ had chosen Paul to do was extremely important. Christ had sent Paul to declare to people Godís message, which is called the gospel.
That message is not a new message, and Paul was not starting a new religion. It is the message that appears through the entire Bible. God had promised to provide a way for people to receive a right relationship with him. As Paul explains in the Book of Romans, God did that by the death of Christ. So, we must turn from our sins (evil deeds) and we must put our trust in Christ.
Next part: Christ is God the Son (Romans 1:3-4)
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© 2017, Keith Simons.