01 The Introduction

series: Romans

title: 01 The Introduction

teacher: Jacob Bender (sermon introduction by Dawn Bender)

date: January 20, 2019

main passage: Romans 1:1-7

additional scripture: Acts 9:15-16, Luke 24


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In the introduction sermon for our series on the letter to the Romans, Pastors Jacob and Dawn begin by explaining the importance of approaching this book with an “empty glass” - not going into it thinking that we have all the answers or looking to be affirmed in what we already believe, but rather, ready to be changed by the Word of God.

Our prayer as we begin this series is this:

Let’s ask God to change us through the reading of His Word.“


Most people believe that Paul wrote the letter FROM CORINTH, and the context of writing is rather simple: Paul wants to go to Rome, preach there, and use it as a stepping stone to ultimately get to Spain.

Paul’s entire life was CONSUMED by the GOSPEL. To Him, there was nothing else that mattered, and his address to this church was fueled by his desire to go preach to the greatest city in the entire world because of course for him, he thought “if we can set a fire in people’s hearts IN ROME, that thing is going to spread” 

So he just POURS IT ALL OUT IN THIS LETTER TO THEM.

The book of Romans is written in four sections that flow into each other, ultimately showing us how the Gospel is FOR EVERYONE, and has the power to TRANSFORM EVERYONE.

In this introduction to the series, we focus only on the opening verses of Romans 1:1-7, and on the man that was the Apostle Paul, the significance of who he was before Jesus got ahold of him, and what it means that he is an Apostle.


Paul’s letter to the Christians in Rome is his masterpiece. It covers many different topics from many different angles, bringing them all together into a fast-moving and compelling line of thought. Reading it sometimes feels like being swept along in a small boat on a swirling, bubbling river. We need to hold on tight if we’re going to stay on board. But if we do, the energy and excitement of it all is unbeatable. The reason is obvious: because Romans is all about the God who, as Paul says, unveils his power and grace through the good news about Jesus. And, as Paul insists again and again, this power and grace is available for everyone who believes.
— N.T. Wright, Paul for Everyone (Romans)
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The letter to the Romans was written somewhere around A.D. 58.

That means that Romans was written well before (at least a decade before) Herod’s Temple was destroyed by Titus and his army, which is incredibly significant when you consider the way that Paul so clearly viewed our lives to be the ultimate temple.

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In this short highlight clip, Pastor Jacob reminds us that the Bible’s job is not to affirm us, but ultimately it’s job is to convict us to live more intentional Kingdom focused lives right here and now.

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