The Epistle to the Romans stands as a letter of encouragement and theology to a group of believers in and around Rome, a city that the Apostle Paul longed to visit. On several occasions, he was prevented from traveling there. As a result of his inability to greet the church personally, he chose to write them a letter containing the truths of the Gospel of grace, which would serve them until his personal visit could be made. The Roman Church is believed to have been founded by several of those who were converted on the Day of Pentecost. This letter served as the first piece of apostolic instruction for those Christians. .
In the first five Chapters of the letter to the Romans, the dominating topic is that of "justification". Paul goes to great lengths to remind his readers of the unmerited salvation made possible through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There is no effort whatsoever in which man can undertake to place himself in right standing with God. Unholy man is eternally separated from a just and perfect Heavenly Father, and there is no act, apart from an act of God, which can redeem man. Paul repeatedly drives home the truth that God has made every effort to justify man, and that as believers, WE ARE JUSTIFIED!.
Justification, which comes from God and God alone, serves as the foundation for the sanctified life, which is the targeted topic as Paul transitions into Chapter 6. Throughout the opening Chapters of Romans, Paul intertwines the two fundamental teachings of justification and sanctification . Never does he focus on one without stressing the importance of the other. The idea of sanctification is that since God has justified the believer, and made him whole, there is a changed life. There is a desire for holiness, an unbridled passion for purity and a striving to be obedient to God in every way. Justification and Sanctification remain as the two pivotal proclamations of this letter.