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.
"I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile" (Romans 1:16)
There is power in the gospel. In fact, the gospel contains the essences of God’s strength, force, and ability. Paul exclaims that the gospel is the full power of God— an incredible statement. The word used for power is dynamis from which we get the English word for dynamite, an explosive and self-contained power.
At the moment of believing, this invitation in Christ—perhaps the greatest miracle of all—takes place
Throughout the New Testament, this very same word dynamis is used everywhere Jesus performed miracles. Amazingly, the same word is used when talking about Jesus’s resurrection from the dead (Rom. 1:4; Eph 1:19-20). It was dynamis power that raised Jesus and seated Him in heaven. In this epic moment, we are talking about an incredible amount of power from God.
Incredibly, this power is available for the salvation of everyone who believes. At the moment of believing, this invitation in Christ—perhaps the greatest miracle of all—takes place. Just as Jesus was raised from the dead by this power, we, too, are released from the control of darkness and immediately raised to belong to the kingdom of Heaven as God’s beloved children.
"I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome" (Romans 1:14-15)
As a Pharisee, I’m sure Paul felt obligated to give instructions on how to live. In fact, the Pharisees of his day were known for heaping lots of extras onto the Jewish Law. So much so, the people stood no chance of keeping the Law. Even Jesus
commented on their behavior by saying, “You nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down” (Mark 7:13a).
The gospel changes us from trying and coming up short to surrendering and gaining all
This is why I find it so amazing that after only one encounter with Jesus, Paul exclaims, “I am obligated—to people—to everyone—to preach Jesus! What a complete turnaround! Instead of insisting on rules and making the people miserable, Paul wanted everyone
to know the person of Jesus Christ.
The gospel of Jesus changed Paul from someone who had every reason to be confident in his righteous actions to someone who discounted it all for the sake of Christ. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul wrote,
“I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles” (Romans 1:13)
One of the most striking things about Paul’s statement is his confident assurance of what God would do among them once he was able to visit Rome. He was expecting a harvest because of the gospel message. I imagine this is because he experienced it everywhere
he went, and therefore Rome would not be different.
I wonder today, is there is a harvest ready for the picking?
The Christians in Rome were established and reports of their faith was spreading, so Paul desired to go and preach the good news of Jesus Christ to everyone he encountered because the gospel produces a harvest. Jesus told his disciples in John 4, “Do
you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest?’ I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest” (John 4:35). Jesus was preparing his disciples to reap what they had not sown themselves because others had already done
the preparatory work. The same thing was happening in Rome, where seeds had been planted, the harvest was ready, and Paul was willing.
“I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong—that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith” (Romans 1:11-12)
When the body of Christ is operating within our unique and special “giftings,” everyone benefits. God gives spiritual gifts to each of us so that we help build up and encourage each other. Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, “Now to each one the manifestation
of the Spirit is given for the common good” (1 Cor. 12:7). In other words, we need each other as we all have different gifts, and when brought together, they make the Church stronger.
Spiritual gifts are essential to a functioning body of believers
Paul was anxious to lay his hands on these believers to impart and share gifts in order to continue to strengthen and establish them. He explained in another letter that when the gifts of the Spirit operate within the Church they produce edification,
exhortation, encouragement, and comfort. Similarly, when used privately, they edify the believers (1 Cor. 14:3-4).
Many years ago, my pastor laid his hands on me and prophesied that I would write to encourage and bless the Church. At that time, I had no idea what that looked like. Although I had spent a lot of time writing stories and plays while growing up, my efforts
seemed a far cry from what he prayed over me. God had gifted me with a passion for writing, but this moment was significant in my journey to becoming a Christian blogger. He called out the gift of both knowledge and teaching and then encouraged me to
continue developing my gifts.
“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at
all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.” (Romans 1:8-10)
Imagine being a part of a community that was famous around the world because of its active faith. It’s interesting the Romans did not have a previous visit from one of the Apostles. After the persecution broke out in Jerusalem and the true believers fanned
out, they spread the gospel everywhere. They made it as far as Rome and their church was thriving, and soon reports of their faith made it back to Paul.
When we can recognize the way God is working in others, we will see how He’s working in us
One of Paul’s main goals in life was to visit Rome for mutual encouragement (Rom. 1:11-12). Paul was actively praying for an opportunity to
go, but later in this letter he explains why he hadn’t been able to come (Rom. 15:20-22). He was hindered because there were many places
in between that needed the gospel, which delayed his trip.
I want to be a joyful person, and I’m not really sure I always am—yet. Now, I’m positive (all of the time), I’m happy (most of the time), and I’m a glass half-full kind of gal. But joyful? I wonder....
I’ve been preparing to speak at an Advent Dinner on the topic of joy, so I’ve been thinking a lot about it. As I study, I am convinced that joy is a choice, which seems untrue because I have always associated joy with emotion, but I now realize
happiness is the emotion and it doesn’t automatically lead to joy.
“To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:7)
The Apostle Paul starts most of his letters by greeting the recipients in this way. It would be easy to quickly read this as you would any salutation by thinking that the best is coming next. However, Paul does not waste words, and each one is intentional
and powerful—after a moment or two of reflection.
"Did the people of Rome ever dare to dream that God would love them? How many of us dare to dream that God loves us too?"
Consider "To all in Rome who are loved by God…." Reading this, I wonder: Did the people of Rome ever dare to dream that God would love them? This culture was steeped in worshipping gods who were hateful and vengeful. What a beautiful breath of
fresh air this simple statement must have been to the original readers. Today, how many of us dare to dream that God loves us too?
"Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ" (Romans 1:5-6)
It’s so true: You can’t give what you don’t have.
I’ve learned and relearned this truth over the years. For instance, I recently taught at church, and each time I’ve done this I’ve felt unqualified, unskilled, and woke up wondering, what in the world do I have to say? At those times, I was especially
concerned about the people who are searching, who need Jesus, and who need hope for the next week. I was humbled as I felt like I had nothing to give.
God extends grace to us in every moment and is at work in our stories even before we realize it
However, early Sunday morning, the Lord reminded me of this exact verse from Romans, “…we’ve received grace…to call…to obedience.” You can’t give what you don’t have. It is God’s grace working in my life and through my experiences that enables me to open
the Word of God uniquely in those moments. He’s been present in my life from the beginning, has given me grace, and now is using my story to support and encourage his church.
Watch this video teaching by Juli entitled I.dol.eyes—Greed*
Idols are dangerous and demanding, while continually over-promising and under-delivering. Just as idols are good things turned into ultimate things, so the desires they generate become paralyzing and overwhelming. If unchecked, these beliefs magnify ordinary disappointments and failures into life-shattering experiences.
In this teaching, Juli examines the deep idol of greed by showing how the love of money displaces God from His rightful place of worship. Juli unravels the account of Jesus’s temptation by Satan in the desert and explains how He overcame the idol of greed and then revealed to us the one thing that could topple the idols in our lives.
*Juli taught this sermon at Orchard Hill Church on November 15, 2015.
“Regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 1:3-4)
It is important to see Jesus in light of his humanity and divinity. Both natures had specific roles to play in the redemption of mankind. This is why Paul opens this letter with the revelation of this duality.
Paul is setting the stage to prove our redemption was done legally and would be verifiable in the highest of courts
In this letter, we learn the gospel promised beforehand that God’s Son Jesus was a descendant of David. For the Jews, this would have been critically important information. Beginning in Genesis and going forward, there were many prophecies about the lineage of the Christ coming through the line of King David. I doubt few people would have listened to Paul’s claims if Jesus hadn’t been a descendant of David.
However, what I find fascinating is that Christ had any ancestors at all! Simply put, Jesus had ancestors because He had a human nature. And guess what? A human redeemer was also a promise foretold in the scriptures.