Paul commended the Romans for their faith, which was reported throughout the whole world by the various travelers who had been influenced by them.
The intensity of Paul’s interest in the Romans caused him to have a constant prayer that he might be able to visit them. He desired to grant to them some of the same spiritual gifts that had been bestowed by the apostles on other churches. Remember that the churches then did not have the New Testament as we have it today. It was necessary that they receive special gifts to help strengthen their faith.
Since Paul’s chief mission was to preach to the Gentiles, he had a great desire to preach to the lost souls in Rome. He considered it a debt that he owed to preach to all classes of people. However, he had been hindered from reaching that goal.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” That was Paul’s theme for life. He lived it and he preached it.
Rome was a powerful city that ruled a vast portion of the world. That power was useless in the salvation of men’s souls. Man can be saved only by an obedient faith in the gospel of Christ.
At that point in his letter, Paul described the lives and listed sins of ungodly people. In times past, these people had known God, but had refused to obey Him. Even though they had seen the evidence of Him in His creation, they still refused to recognize and obey His laws.
When Noah and his family left the ark, all people in the world were obedient to God. As time went on, man sinned and left God. The Jews later served Him through the Law of Moses. Gentiles who served God, served outside the law unless they became proselytes.
The Gentiles were especially guilty of refusing to accept God’s will. They had rejected His wisdom and had become fools.
God does not force anyone to obey Him. Paul pointed out to the Romans that God had allowed these people to follow their own instincts. They worshipped idols made in the images of men and all kinds of birds, animals and creeping things.
Paul made a long list of the sins in which the ungodly people indulged. It is sad that one can observe all of these sins in today’s society also. God loves the sinner, but He has always hated those sins. They are still an abomination to Him today.