Genesis tells us the story of beginnings - how the world and humanity were created by God to be “good.” The world God made was perfect without sin where Adam and Eve could live in harmony with God. In Genesis 3, we read of humanity’s downfall into sin and shame. After Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they realized their nakedness and fled from God and each other.
From this point on in Genesis, the book chronicles broken relationships with God and among families because of sin: Cain and Able, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, etc. These individuals attempted to fix this broken relationship with God in their own strength rather than relying on the covering that was theirs in Christ.
Guilt and Shame
Guilt can be defined as, “I did wrong” whereas shame says, “I am wrong.” Guilt becomes shame when it is internalized and not dealt with. Jesus finds us in our shame and guilt and redefines our standing before God.
In Christ, our shame is done away with because we are new creatures (1 Corinthians 5:21). When we repent, our guilt is released by the perfect work of Christ on our behalf.
In regeneration, Christ’s perfect righteousness is applied to our debt so that we receive the fullness of Christ’s inheritance as we are made alive in Him. This is done through the Spirit of God who gives life to that which was once dead.
Adam and Eve could not fix the sin problem. This attempt to hide and fix the shame problem only caused further pain. They attempted to cover, blame-shift, and appease God’s wrath through those means outside of Christ.
All of this points to the fact that God has made a covering for us in Jesus. We have no need to mediate, manage, or manipulate because we can come to God through Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:1-2). When we try to fix this issue on our own, we condemn ourselves further. We can rest in Christ where there is true peace from guilt, shame, and anxiety. He gives peace not as the world gives and admonishes us to not be afraid (John 14:27). Christ alone can clothe us in righteousness.
Brittany Proffitt lives in Dallas and is a writer and content manager for So We Speak.