“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.”
King James Version (KJV)
1:8 I thank - In the very entrance of this one epistle are the traces of all spiritual affections; but of thankfulness above all, with the expression of which almost all St. Paul's epistles begin. He here particularly thanks God, that what otherwise himself should have done, was done at Rome already. My God - This very word expresses faith, hope, love, and consequently all true religion. Through Jesus Christ - The gifts of God all pass through Christ to us; and all our petitions and thanksgivings pass through Christ to God. That your faith is spoken of - In this kind of congratulations St. Paul describes either the whole of Christianity, as #Col 1:3|, &c.; or some part of it, as #1Cor 1:5|. Accordingly here he mentions the faith of the Romans, suitably to his design, #Rom 1:12|,17. Through the whole world - This joyful news spreading everywhere, that there were Christians also in the imperial city. And the goodness and wisdom of God established faith in the chief cities; in Jerusalem and Rome particularly; that from thence it might be diffused to all nations.
Ro 1:8 First, I thank my God. The first thing he wishes to speak of is thankfulness for a fact he is about to state, viz., their faith is spoken of throughout the world. The church at Rome was as "a city set on a hill" (Mt 5:14). From every country where the gospel was planted, people were constantly going and returning to Rome, and hence the fact of there being a church in the great capital would be known everywhere.