Romans 1

Romans 1:17
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Grace and sin are perhaps more impact-fully and clearly presented in this chapter than anywhere else.  

Romans 1:17 makes it clear that righteousness only comes through faith.  It introduces this theme that is built on through the rest of the book of Romans.  A right relationship with God does not come through works, but only through faith.  It is the foundation of our Reformation and Biblical belief in God.  

But Paul goes on to speak of sin and our alienation from God.  His point in the next couple chapters is that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (3:23).  And he begins this by clearly stating that no one is exempt from the condemnation of sin.  Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. (Romans 1:20).  

It is only in recognition of our sin that we see the need for righteousness.  Then, Lord help us, we see the means of that righteousness not through our strength, but through God's provision of Grace through His Son.  All we are asked for is faith.