"In Paul's day, the cult of Caesar was the fastest-growing religion in the Mediterranean world. In Rome itself the emperors did not claim full divine honors, but they did adopt the title 'son of god'-the god in question being their recently deceased, and newly deified, predecessor. And in the provinces, from Greece and Turkey through the Middle East to Egypt, divinization was standard. The people had worshiped rulers before; why shouldn't Augustus and his successors, with their extraordinary powers, receive the same divine honors?"
"So the imperial cult grew. Its 'good news' was that Caesar, the son of God, was now the lord of the whole world, claiming allegiance from everybody in return for bringing salvation and justice to the world. Resistance was met with crucifixion. The system was based on sheer power."
"When Paul wrote Romans, he wasn't offering a benign religion or faith detached from the world of Roman power. He was confronting imperial power head-on. In the opening lines of his letter (1:1-17), Paul announces that he is coming to Rome as the messenger of God's 'good news,' the news about his son, the royal heir of David (in Psalms, the Davidic king will rule the whole world). The resurrection marked Jesus as God's son. He is now the world's true lord, claiming allegiance from Jew and gentile alike. Paul is not ashamed of this 'good news,' because this message-announcing Jesus as the risen Messiah and Lord, the one true God-unveils salvation and justice for the whole world."
"A close comparison of the 'good news' of the Caesar cult with Paul's words shows that Romans is, among other things, a deliberate parody of the pagan message. Paul's readers in Rome must have understood this, and he must have intended them to."
"Paul’s ideas do not derive from the Caesar cult, as some have suggested; they confront it. His theology, his understanding of the Messiah, remains rooted in Jewish thought forms and in the scriptures. Texts like Exodus, Isaiah and the Psalms propelled him towards just this sort of confrontation with the pagan powers and the gods that stood behind them. He is, perhaps, at his most Jewish when he is confronting and undermining paganism."
You can read N.T. Wright's entire article, "Paul, Leader of a Jewish Revolution," here.