The immediate relevance of our exposition of Romans, remember three things:
(1) Paul sees himself in 1:1 as an apostle of Christ Jesus, speaking and writing with authority on Christ's behalf as a founder of the church - in other words, like one of the prophets of old (Ephesians 2:20). (2) Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:13, "We speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit." In other words, Paul claims a special inspiration for his teaching. (3) In 2 Peter 3:16, Peter says that some "people distort [Paul's writings], as they do the other Scriptures." So Peter puts Paul's letters in the same category with the holy Scriptures that we are reading about here.
This is why preaching is so serious in our life together. We believe that Paul's letter to the Romans is the word of God, not merely the word of man. The gospel was promised in holy writings inspired by God; and the gospel is unfolded and preserved for us in holy writings inspired by God. This is what we believe, and it makes a huge difference in the way we view truth and doctrine and preaching and worship and everything else in the world.So the first thing Paul says about the gospel of God is that it was planned and predicted long ago (1:2). It is the gospel "which he promised beforehand through his prophets in his holy Scriptures."