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.


Most Recent Blog Articles


Justified by Faith—Romans 3:28

Justified by Faith—Romans 3:28

"For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law"(Romans 3:28)

I occasionally have the privilege of sitting with small groups of people who are new to our church or have joined a small group. One of the usual icebreaker question is, “Tell us a little bit about your faith journey?” It is a good and quick way to get to know someone’s background. However, something I’ve often noticed is how quickly most people recite a long lineage of things they’ve done while never mentioning their relationship with Jesus.

Jesus what we could not do. When we put our faith in Him, we are justified before Him.

For many of us, the things we do for God take front and center. We have this underlying belief system that these things make us acceptable. However the principle Paul is sharing with people working very hard to live by tradition and rules still rings true today: We are made right with God by our faith and not by our works.

The main point to understand is that God did in Jesus what we could not do. When we put our faith in Him, we are justified before Him. Our action has nothing to do with the Law or the good things we do. In Paul’s opening chapters, he spends so much time proving this very thing and now he is making his case for trusting in Jesus. He’s saying faith is the only key!

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The Race—Ask & Receive (Video Teaching)

The Race—Ask & Receive

Watch this video teaching by Juli entitled The Race—Ask & Receive*

So many times we ask for something in prayer and we don’t receive an answer, or the answer we are looking for even though Jesus says, everyone who asks, receives. This is confusing!

Many times, we stop asking or we develop a mindset that God selectively answers prayer. However, in Jesus' famous words of the Sermon on the Mount, He explains truths to know about God before asking of Him. Listen as Juli explains what these are so that we can ask expectantly of God in faith.

*Juli taught this sermon at Orchard Hill Church on August 7, 2016.

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Boasting is Excluded—Romans 3:27

Boasting is Excluded—Romans 3:27

"Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith" (Romans 3:27)

When I was young and waited tables, I worked with a man who figuratively sent out a press release every time he did something. For instance, if he cleaned the coffee pot or delivered your meal, he’d let everyone know about it. He was constantly looking for a pat on the back for doing his job and was exhausting to work with!

There is risk involved in this mindset because we could go through life relying on our good deeds to gain God’s favor.

How many of us are like this? How many of us not only demand recognition but feel as if the world owes us for our benevolence. This is because we assign ourselves value based on the things we do. But there is risk involved in this mindset because we could go through life relying on our good deeds to gain God’s favor.

But Paul’s point is that boasting is excluded because of faith.

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Just and the Justifier—Romans 3:26

Just and the Justifier—Romans 3:26

"...He did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus"(Romans 3:26)

A good friend of mine was in a jury for an armed robbery case. He sat for three days listening to the prosecution prove its case. In the end, there was no question about the defendant’s guilt, however, what plagued my friend was knowing that this man was facing 25 years in prison and so voting him guilty would have condemned this man to this fate.

To be just, God cannot overlook sin. He cannot merely forgive sin because He pities the sinner

After the final summations had been given, the judge instructed the jury that their only responsibility was to render a decision based on whether or not the prosecution proved this man was guilty. He went on to say that the sentence was outlined in the law and weighed completely on him as the judge. 

This freed up my friend to fulfil his duty as juror. His only job was to be just and render his decision based on the evidence. If it had been up to him, I’m sure he would have been merciful, but in reality justice and mercy are at odds.

The same is true with God. Without Jesus, God cannot be both just and merciful—take a minute to let that sink in.

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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.


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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Juli Camarin

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