A Collection of Topical Articles

I love to write through chapters of the Bible or spend time on thinking and writing through Biblical topics. Here is that collection, arranged easily to be able to find what you are looking for. Here is the list of things I have written on.

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A Demonstration of Justice—Romans 3:25

A Demonstration of Justice—Romans 3:25

"God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished" (Romans 3:25)

Did you know God presented Jesus as a sacrifice to demonstrate His justice?


God’s solution was to take all sins—past, present, and future—and place them on Jesus as a sacrifice
 

One would think this demonstrated His mercy because we all benefited. But Paul said it was to show His justice. I think this is because He had left prior sins unpunished since the beginning of time. That’s mercy, but the problem is it is easy to mistake His act of grace with the acceptance of sin, which can never be the case because God is holy.

God’s solution was to take all sins—past, present, and future—and place them on Jesus as a sacrifice (Heb. 10:12). This showed that He could in no way tolerate sin and, without a doubt, this demonstrates His righteousness.

But we can also see God’s mercy because He presented Jesus as the sacrifice of atonement. This point is easy to miss, but in this presentation several things happened. This sacrifice was actually two-fold because the Greek word is hilastērion (Strongs G2435), which is found in only two places in the scriptures, here and in Hebrews with the mention of the Mercy Seat in Heaven (Heb. 9:5).

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After 17 Years of Marriage—I Am Pregnant!

“You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.” (Psalms 30:11-12).

I am pregnant…

I have so longed for so long to say these words and experience all that they mean.

I AM PREGNANT!

It’s a fact, a miracle, and yet it is not even a shock. Well, a shock to everyone else, but not to me.

We have been waiting for over 10 years, putting our faith in God’s faithfulness and the waiting is finally over! I AM PREGNANT.


I could see the questions in the eyes of my friends intermingled with pity as I spoke of this all-in faith and trusting in God faithfulness year after heart-breaking year
 

To the outside, this is crazy—clinging to promises from scripture, relying on my covenant with God because of Jesus (Deut. 28:4; Gal. 3:13-14), reminding God of my covenant with Him (Is. 43:26), and celebrating through the eyes of faith long before it happened! (Rom. 4:20) (Read about Abraham, the inspiration behind this).

Well, I guess maybe that is crazy, but that’s faith!

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By Faith We Are Justified—Romans 3:22-24

By Faith We Are Justified—Romans 3:22-24

"This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:22-24)

We memorized hundreds of verses as kids. Even today, I baffle people with how quickly I recall passages of scripture—quite a party trick!

They always come out in King Jimmy Jive, too, because that is how we memorized them.

Today, I am grateful for the scriptures tucked away in my memory.


Since the Law was set up to condemn us, which it did perfectly, God’s solution was to justify us, taking away the charge of the Law
 

One of the first verses I memorized was Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

It’s true: we’ve all sinned. We’ve all fallen short in many ways, and this is important to recognize, but this is only the partial truth. The main emphasis of this thought bookends this verse.

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Righteousness Apart From the Law—Romans 3:21

Righteousness Apart From the Law—Romans 3:21

"But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify" (Romans 3:21)

I remember a lunch with a young friend who believed in Jesus. She had grown up in the church her entire life and had recently graduated from a Christian college. Through our discussion, she made it clear that she was trying really hard to be a “good” Christian.

When I probed her about her efforts, she became a little defensive, and I left feeling sorry for her because she was missing the whole point of Jesus. In the end, it was evident that she was trusting in her own efforts to be right with God.


At this point in Romans, there is a paradigm shift in thinking that must occur to understand the rest of the letter. In total, this is it: The righteousness we need cannot be obtained by our efforts.
 

At this point in Romans, there is a paradigm shift in thinking that must occur to understand the rest of the letter. In total, this is it: The righteousness we need cannot be obtained by our efforts.

The good news is that in our lacking is where we discover God’s provision. The righteousness we need comes from Him independently and apart from the Law.

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The Purpose of the Law—Romans 3:19-20

The Purpose of the Law—Romans 3:19-20

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin" (Romans 3:19-20)

This came as a complete shock!

I assumed the Law was given as the way to God until the time of Christ. In the deep recesses of my mind, Jesus was Plan B when God got tired of the lack of obedience. In His wisdom, He sent a Savior, then defaulted back to Plan A as the necessary boundaries in relating to Him.


Why didn’t anything change in my relationship to God after this sacrifice?
 

This played out in the way we lived. I got invited to a birthday party in the 4th grade, but since the group was going to a movie I didn’t get to go to the party until the end. It was so awkward, but the rules of our church said we could not go to movie theaters, and we related to God by following the rules so this became a necessary sacrifice.

But nothing changed after that, except perhaps that I was a little resentful that I didn’t get to go to the movies with my friends.

Why didn’t anything change in my relationship to God after this sacrifice?

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No One is Righteous—Romans 3:9-18

No One is Righteous—Romans 3:9-18

"What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." "Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit."  "The poison of vipers is on their lips." "Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness." "Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know." "There is no fear of God before their eyes" (Romans 3:9-18)

This statement begins the closing argument of the entire case against humanity. The first chapter of Romans highlights the Gentiles’ guilt before God because of their innate knowledge and refusal to glorify Him. Chapter 2 shows the Jews were worse off than the Gentiles because they had the Word of God but did not keep it. So chapter 3 summarizes everyone’s guilt by using several Old Testament passages that support this claim.


Unless we accept that sin has defeated us, we will never fully understand the depth of how Jesus rescued us from its grasp.
 

The bottom line: Apart from Christ, mankind is hopeless.

Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. The Amplified Bible describes this state as “held down by and subject to its power and control.” This grasp is so controlling that there is no hope in us because no one is righteous. This collage of Old Testament scriptures magnifies our desperate need for a savior.

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Slanderous Reports—Romans 3:7-8

Slanderous Reports—Romans 3:7-8

"Someone might argue, "If my falsehood enhances God's truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?" Why not say-as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say-"Let us do evil that good may result"? Their condemnation is deserved" (Romans 3:7-8)

To preach the full gospel opens you up to criticism. I know from experience. It always surprises me how quickly others are to denounce what I’ve written, accusing me of giving people a license to sin. All because I’ve written extensively on the complete forgiveness of sin once and for all.


The more in-depth I study what Jesus accomplished for us, the more convinced I am that it is radical, that we need spiritual insight to understand it and that we need to leave behind our preconceived religious ideas to embrace it.
 

Sharing as I have has opened me up to personal attacks. I’ve been criticized on forums, other’s blogs, and even my in own comments section. And the truth is, sometimes it bothers me, but the fact remains that the more in-depth I study what Jesus accomplished for us, the more convinced I am that it is radical, that we need spiritual insight to understand it and that we need to leave behind our preconceived religious ideas to embrace it.

I think this is where Paul was at. His revelation of grace was hard to swallow and still is for many Christians today because religion has taught us differently. This understanding was unrivaled among his peers so he had to constantly defend the truth by combating objections and excuses others were making.

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Is God’s Wrath Unjust?—Romans 3:5-6

Is God’s Wrath Unjust?—Romans 3:5-6

"But if our unrighteousness brings out God's righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world?" (Romans 3:5-6)

In college, I got written up at work when a server on my shift walked out because one of the line cooks was targeting the wait staff with a squirt gun. At first, I thought this was unfair because I was not participating in any way. Most thought it was a joke and laughed, so I didn’t see any harm in allowing it. However, the server who quit wasn’t laughing. I was slow to realize that my lack of leadership did deserve the written warning. And when it all came down—I had no excuse, although I’m sure I tried several.


When in error, we naturally try to find an excuse, and when that doesn’t work, we question authority.
 

When in error, we naturally try to find an excuse, and when that doesn’t work, we question authority.

Here was mankind’s challenge: Is God unjust in bringing His wrath on us?

Our unfaithfulness magnifies the mercy of God in an exponential way. So if our sin promotes and amplifies His holiness, why are we still being judged for sin?

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The Faithfulness of God—Romans 3:3-4

The Faithfulness of God—Romans 3:3-4

"What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written:  "So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge" (Romans 3:3-4)

The question Paul addresses is important: What if some did not believe God, will that nullify the promise of God? Does our lack of faith cancel God’s faithfulness? The answer is an emphatic and resounding no, God forbid, never, absolutely not! God’s faithfulness is not dependent on humanity’s faithlessness; rather, it is dependent on His character.


Our faith is a response to His faithfulness, but our lack of faith doesn’t change His faithfulness to us; instead, it magnifies it.
 

But sometimes living in the midst of this broken world, it is hard to always see God’s plan and faithfulness toward us. So one thing we must settle in our hearts is that no matter the circumstances, what we feel or even experience, we must decide that God is true and everything contrary to His Word is a lie.

God’s promises are always true, even when we struggle to believe or experience them.

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The Jews' Advantage—Romans 3:1-2

The Jews' Advantage—Romans 3:1-2

"What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God" (Romans 3:1-2)

I am sure by this point, the Jews reading this letter were feeling beaten down. Paul ended Chapter 2 by revealing that they had misunderstood God’s covenant. They were operating under the assumption that because they were circumcised and the natural descendants of Abraham, they had an advantage with God. But all of this had been shattered by Paul’s declaration that a true descendant is one whose heart has been circumcised by the Spirit of God (Rom. 2:29).


The Jews had the monumental task of taking the Word spoken to the and recording it and preserving it.
 

So the question becomes: What advantage is there in being a Jew?

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Juli Camarin

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