Paul’s letter to the church at Rome has long been recognized as presenting the most thorough explication of his understandings relating to the Christian faith. This is not surprising in that Paul wrote this letter to a church neither established nor previously visited by him. This introductory letter to the Christian community at Rome was likely written near the close of Paul’s third missionary journey and before his consequential journey to Jerusalem (15:28-29).
Numerous structural breakdowns have been provided for Romans; however, generally this letter is recognized as beginning with a common Pauline salutation followed by a direct address to the church (1:1-7). This introduction is followed by Paul’s words of thanksgiving for what he has heard of the church in Rome and by an expression of his desire to come to them (1:8-15).