Warren Wiersbe writes, “The Epistle to the Romans was not written for religious sightseers. You will have to think as you study this letter, but the rewards will be worth the efforts."
It appears that Paul wrote this letter during a three-month visit in Corinth at the home of a friend and convert by the name of Gaius (Romans 16:23).
After fulfilling a mission of mercy in Jerusalem, Paul had planned to travel to Spain, stopping en route for a visit in Rome, the capital of the then known world. However, his plan did not work as he intended. Instead of going as a tourist, he went as a prisoner, where he remained under house arrest for at least two years.
With Paul’s Hebrew religion, his Greek education, and his Roman citizenship, he was well prepared for the great work God had for him to do as well as the suffering he had to face.
The central theme throughout the book is that salvation is a gift that cannot be earned but can only be received by faith. Paul contrasts this theme against the teaching of certain Jewish legalists who wanted to add circumcision to grace.
The book of Romans begins by presenting the picture of the guilt all men share, and then presents God’s answer to man’s unhappy predicament.
It appears that there was not one central church in Rome but there were several assemblies meeting in private homes. One of these was in the house of Aquila and Priscilla. Therefore, the letter is not addressed to the church at Rome, but to all the faithful in Rome.
It has been said that Romans is the most fundamental, vital, logical, profound, and systematic discussion of the whole plan of salvation in all the literature of the world. It touches all men: it is universal in its application and its roots are not only in man’s creation and fall, but also in the timeless purposes and decrees of God.
Paul clearly outlined the foundations of the Christian faith: all people are sinful; Christ died to forgive sin; we are made right with God through faith; this begins a new life with a new relationship with God. If we study Romans carefully, we will never be at a loss to know what to believe and how to behave.