In the Book of Romans, Paul expresses that he had for some time planned to preach the gospel at Rome (1:13-15) and from there go on to Spain (15:22-24). Though he still had these intentions (15:28-29), the spreading cancer of the “Judaizers” which had disrupted churches in Antioch, Corinth and Galatia was likely to make its way to Rome. To prevent this, and to assure that his visit to Rome would be a pleasant one (15:30-33), Paul writes: “to set straight the design and nature of the gospel.”
In doing so, Paul demonstrates how the gospel of Christ fulfills what is lacking in both heathenism and Judaism, thereby effectively replacing them as religious systems. Such an epistle would arm the church at Rome against those who would pervert the gospel or suggest that it was inadequate by itself.
The book’s theme: “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes (1:16 – 17).”
Pastor C.A. Lundy