(Our apologies for the poor audio quality. Listen at your own risk!)
Sunday morning we looked at the topic of shame—distress or embarrassment caused by feelings of guilt, foolishness or disgrace. According to the Christian message, shame is more than an emotion. It is the inevitable result of sin and guilt before God; a state which eats away at our souls and our relationships.
Through the account of the fall in Genesis 3 we see the origin of shame and we see three things it produces in us: 1) it causes fear, 2) it alienates and isolates, and 3) it blame-shifts.
Our first ancestors responded to shame by separating themselves from God, hiding their nakedness and searching for something to cover their shame. We aren’t much different are we? How much of our lives is spent avoiding vulnerability? How much is spent providing layers of covering so that our true selves remain unseen? Yet none of those coverings is enough to remove our shame.
This is where the good news of the gospel comes into our lives, even here in Genesis. Despite their guilt and shame, God loved Adam and Eve. There are three steps in the solution God provides for our shame:
- God pursues us.
- God provides a covering for us.
- God takes the blame for us and removes the stain of guilt.
The shame of Adam and Eve is like a mirror to help us see ourselves accurately and to see our need. And God’s work on their behalf is an invitation to come and find the help we need in Him.
In Christ, you can be absolutely free of guilt and shame.
Can you imagine going back to a state of innocence and purity? Can you imagine feeling absolutely free of guilt and shame? Completely free to know and be known? Friends, this is the incredible reality of the gospel—all of that can be yours in Christ.
“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”
“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD;
my soul shall exult in my God,
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness…”
Tom Brown is the planting pastor of Vintage Faith Church in Wichita. Tom and his wife, Mandy, have worked together in ministry for 18 years and have four children. More about Pastor Tom Brown