The next part of the Bible are a series of letters, many of them written by Paul to members of the churches that he helped start along the coastal areas of the Mediterranean Sea. They are known as letters, but another term for them are epistles. There is a pattern to many of Paul’s letters. First, he offers a greeting of grace and peace to the reader. Then Paul offers thanksgiving to God for the new Christians and may include intercessory prayers for them. Then Paul may address some doctrinal or practical issues that he has been made aware of with respect to the individual communities to whom he is writing. The letter to the Romans was written to the church community in Rome before Paul had ever been there.

Letter to the Romans 1: 5-7 Through Him (Jesus) we have received the grace of apostleship, to bring about the obedience of faith, for the sake of His Name, among all the Gentiles, among whom you are also, who are called to belong to Jesus Christ; to all the beloved of God in Rome, called to be holy. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the LORD Jesus Christ.

Paul warns Christians against hypocrisy
Letter to the Romans 2:17-24 Now if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the Law and boast of God and know His Will and are able to discern what is important since you are instructed from the Law, and if you are confident that you are a guide for the blind and a light for those in darkness, that you are a trainer of the foolish and teacher of the simple, because in the Law you have the formulation of knowledge and truth- then you who teach another, are you failing to teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? You who forbid adultery, do you commit adultery? You who detest idols, do you rob temples? You who boast of the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? For, as it is written, “Because of you (hypocrites) the Name of God is reviled among the Gentiles (Isaiah 52:5).”

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