1 Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God 2 which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, 3 concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. 5 Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, 6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;
7 To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Desire to Visit Rome
8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, 10 making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established 12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
13 Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles. 14 I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. 15 So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.
This letter from Paul (penned by Tertius – Rom. 16:22) was written to the believers in Rome shortly before he was imprisoned in Jerusalem (Acts 21:26-36). As such, it is something that needs to be read in that context. In verses 1-7 we see a very common opening for Paul. He claims that he is a bondservant (doulos) to Jesus’ Lordship (kurios). This speaks of someone who is the lowest of all slaves before his master and is indicative of his devotion to Jesus Christ. He was called out into apostolic ministry by the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:1-3), separated from the rest of those in Jerusalem along with Barnabas to spread the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ, His prophesied life, death, and resurrection, and what that means to people. He also declares what we, who have believed in the gospel of Jesus Christ, receive not only grace but apostleship to all nations, just as he was called to speak to all nations about the gospel of God. He then continues with his common opening of grace and peace from God to the believers in Rome and then tells of his desire to come visit them. He covers a few of his reasons for wanting to come and see them as well as some of his troubles in trying to do so.