When Paul wrote to the church at Rome he was addressing Christians who were living in a metropolitan area that was well known for its moral vice. Paul longed to make a trip there to encourage the brethren as well as to instruct them better in the Lord’s way of righteousness. Unfortunately, he was unable to get there, thus he wrote to them. After some introductory thoughts, Paul gets right to the issue that was plaguing the church—they lived in the midst of a dark world that had come to reject the idea of God and His teaching of righteousness. This rejection did not go without a proper response from God; He gave them over to their vile passions. While having given them over to Satan’s influence, the Lord did not allow them (man in general) to go without hope in a better life and world. This hope, this message came in the life of Jesus, the preaching of Jesus, His death and ultimate resurrection of Jesus. The same message Paul preached to those of his world, we are to preach the same. When thinking about Rome, or even Chicago, is it not all the more reason for the message and hope of Jesus to be present in this dark world? RT