We just left Paul in Rome, and yet here we read that he wants to come to Rome to strengthen the believers and share the gospel. That’s because it’s probably about 62 A.D. at the end of Acts, whereas Paul writes Romans about 5 years before that in 57 A.D.
Paul uses strong language to describe his ministry. The NET Bible shares that he is a “slave of Christ Jesus.” Most other translations use “servant,” but “slave” is probably much closer to Paul’s meaning. He is completely and totally under the authority of Jesus, and Jesus has called him to be an apostle. Apostle literally means “one who is sent out.” He has a special message and a special gifting:
2 Corinthians 12:12 “The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works.“
The special message is the gospel of God. This gospel was promised through prophecy (1:2), is fulfilled in Jesus Christ (1:3), and confirmed through the Holy Spirit and the resurrection (1:4).
The knowledge of the faith of the Roman Christians has made its way throughout Asia Minor. That’s quite a testimony, and Paul lets them know that he’s been thanking God for them as well as praying for them. Paul practices what he preaches, and so becomes a model for us:
1 Timothy 2:1 “First of all, then, I urge that requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanks be offered on behalf of all people.”
Paul final words in this passage remind us that we need to be willing to share the gospel with those around us. We can’t be ashamed of it! It’s the power of God for salvation and it’s available to everyone! It can only be accepted by faith, and that same faith enables us to live for God once we believe.