Paul’s letter to the church in Rome served as both an introduction of himself and a correction to their thinking about the law and its function. The epistle to the Romans centers on the righteousness of God, the law, and faith. Paul wrote to the Romans to help them to understand that their way of thinking was flawed. The Romans were living according to how they were taught, and they were taught to believe that living obediently to the law of God would earn them the righteousness of God. The epistle to the Romans addressed this issue by showing the Romans the error in their thinking, as well as corrected them to understand that God’s righteousness could only be received through faith in Christ, and not through the law.
The other situation that Paul addressed was between the Jews and the Gentiles. Tension in the Roman church grew between the Gentile Christians and the Jewish Christians as the Gentiles looked down on the Jews as the Jews continued to observe and practice many Jewish laws. Paul taught that both Jews and Gentiles have sinned against God, and both needed His righteousness. “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:22-24). What Paul wrote to the Romans was new to them, especially regarding the relationship between the Jews and Gentiles, however Paul showed the Roman church that they all needed God’s righteousness.
The main point in the epistle to the Romans is that all people are in need of God’s righteousness. “Both Gentiles and Jews are equally guilty in face of God’s righteousness. (1:18-3:20). This is in spite of the many privileges of the Jews. God has nevertheless dealt with this situation. He provided a propitiatory sacrifice in Christ (3:21-26)[…]Law is no help towards sanctification, since it produces inner conflict (7:7-25). But life in the Spirit brings victory to the believer, for sin is robbed of its power and a new state of sonship replaces the bondage of sin (8:1-17).” (NBD 1024) Paul wanted the Romans to understand that everyone needed God’s righteousness. Throughout the entire epistle, Paul shows the Romans how things have been done historically, but challenges those ways of thinking through the revelation of Jesus Christ.