Paulís Letter to the
Reasons for Romans
- Paul plans to visit Rome soon (Rom. 15:22-24).† In this sense, Romans is a kind of
- In this light, Paul wants to set the record
straight with regard to his gospel.†
He wants to correct slander against his teaching (e.g., Rom. 3:8)
and boldly make the truth of the gospel clear (e.g., Rom. 15:15).† Romans is thus Paulís understanding of
the gospel.† It is his defense and
presentation of how the gospel of Jesus Christ is nothing short of the
revelation of the righteousness of God (cf. Rom. 1:17).
- The issue that defined Paul in relation to his
Jewish opposition was the inclusion of the Gentiles within the people of
God.† In this sense, Romans is a
defense of Paulís preaching with special reference to the Gentile
issue.† While the Roman church
included Jewish Christians (cf. Rom. 2:17; 15:7), the main recipients of
this letter seem to be Gentiles (cf. Rom. 1:13; 11:13; 15:16, 18).
- Paul plans to use Rome
as a launching point for a ministry into Spain (cf. Rom. 15:24).† In this sense Romans hopes to secure
support for Paulís future ministry there.
Overall Patterns and Themes
- We can see the prescript as a kind of
introduction that prepares us for the letter.
- The thanksgiving plays a similar role of
introduction and preparation.† It
also gives us some background information on some of the causes behind the
- The closing remarks similarly give us some
background information on the letter, some of the causes behind its
writing.† There are some important
general statements here that give us a good perspective on how Paul viewed
his ministry.† In particular, we
find out that he saw himself as a ďchurch planterĒ who did not work in
fields started by others (e.g., Rom. 15:20).† He also saw himself as an apostle to the
Gentiles rather than to the Jews (15:16; cf. 1:13).