First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.
The church at Rome was a mixture of Jews who had fled from Jerusalem after Jesus was crucified and converted Romans who the local Jews had lead into Christianity. The result of this mix was a church that was a mix of Jewish tradition and faith in Jesus Christ. Therefore Paul had desired to visit the church at Rome. Two or three years before he was able to do so he wrote this epistle to the church at Rome in order to establish that salvation is by faith alone and not by works.
Paul acknowledged the faith of the Roman church and how that it was spoken of throughout the whole known world at the time but he was also aware that there was tradition mixed in with the gospel of faith in Christ. The Romans were a fierce and hard people when they reigned and the fact that a Christian church had been established in Rome was of no small significance. Paul did make it to Rome eventually and preached the gospel of Christ there as was his heart’s desire.
How much in my life is tradition and how much is a life of faith in Jesus Christ? Certainly we should love our neighbor as ourselves and work the works of God, however I would suggest it is a day to go back to the basics and check ourselves to see where we are living a life of faith in Christ and where we are working to make ourselves righteous and climb the spiritual ladder of success.