About Paul's letter to the Romans
Paul wrote this letter when he was staying at the city called Corinth. Corinth was in the south part of the country that we call Greece now.
Paul wrote this letter about the year AD 57. That was about 30 years after Jesus died.
Paul wrote this letter to the Christians who were living at the city called Rome. Rome is the capital of the country that we call Italy now. At the time when he wrote this letter, Paul himself had never visited Rome. But he hoped to go there soon. Nobody knows how the church at Rome started. Perhaps people had travelled from Rome to Jerusalem city, the capital of Israel. Perhaps they heard the good news about Jesus there. See Acts 2:10. Then maybe they went back to Rome and they told the good news to people there.
Some of the Christians at Rome were Jews. Some of the Christians there were Gentiles. See Romans 1:13. There may have been problems between the Christian Jews and the Christian Gentiles because they thought about things differently. They may have been meeting in separate groups, in different places. So, Paul knew that he had to explain his message to both these groups of Christians.
Paul himself was a Jew. Many years before, God had given his Law to Israel's people by Moses. God gave those rules to them because he wanted them to be his own special people. He wanted them to obey him. God had not given those rules to the Gentiles. But some Christian Jews thought that Christian Gentiles should still obey those rules.
So, in this letter, Paul writes about the purpose of the rules that God gave to Moses. Those rules were very good and very important. They helped Israel's people to obey God. But Paul explains why those rules could not save people from their sins.
In Romans 1-8, Paul explains that all people, both Jews and Gentiles, are born sinful. Our spirits are dead to God, and so we cannot really make him happy. All people need to become right with God. All of us need God to save us. But God accepts us as right with himself if we believe him. We must believe that Christ died on our behalf. And then, by God's powerful Spirit, we can become united with Christ. So, we can die to our old lives. And we can become new people, who can be God's friends.
In Romans 9-11, Paul writes about Israel's people. They are the special people that God chose. Many of them have refused to believe in Christ, but God has not turned away from them completely. Paul knows that God still wants them to trust Jesus as his special Messiah.
In Romans 12-16, Paul describes how Christians should live their lives in this world. It is important that Christians love each other, and other people. We must try always to help other people and to be kind to them.