Shame

Johnny Kjaer July 23, 2017 Genesis 2:20-3:7
Outline

3 Keys to Handling Shame in Christ Alone

I. Understanding Shame

A. God created the world without shame

Genesis 2:25 - And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

B. Defining shame

1. You are shunned

2. You are naked

3. You are worthless and it’s no secret

C. The origin of shame

Genesis 3:7 - Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked...

vv. 4-5 - The serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die!’ For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

II. Recognizing Shame

  • Hiding

Genesis 3:7 - ...they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.

Genesis 3:8 - They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

Matthew 7:5 - You hypocrite first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the spec out of your brother’s eye.

Romans 3:23 - …all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…

III. Covering Shame in Christ Alone

A. Confess your shame honestly

Proverbs 28:13 - He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper. But he who confesses and forsakes them will find mercy.

Hebrews 4:13 - And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with who we have to do!

B. Forsake your feeble fig leaf coverings

Proverbs 28:13 - But he who confesses and forsakes them will find mercy.

Genesis 3:21 - The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.

C. Embrace Christ’s substitutionary work on the cross

Isaiah 61:10 - 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, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with jewels.

2 Corinthians 5:21 - He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Matthew 26:59-60 - Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death. They did not find any…

v. 67­-68 - Then they spat in His face and they beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him, and said, “Prophesy to us, You Christ; who is the one who hit You?”

v.74 - Then he began to curse and swear, “I do not know the man!”

Matthew 27:26 - Then he released Barabbas for them; but after having Jesus scourged, he handed him over to be crucified.

vv. 27-30 - Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus in the Praetorium and gathered the whole Roman cohort around Him. They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head.

D. Live confidently in the perfect acceptance of Jesus

Romans 8:35-39 - Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Think back to when you were a child...did you have a favorite child hood game?

  • Was there a game that whenever your friends were together you were always lobbying for “(blank)?”
  • As a child...and maybe even into my middle to late teen years I was able to play both teams, whether that was baseball or football...those were the main sports I “pretended.”
  • Swing, and run, run, run...then dive, and then repeat. Swing, run, dive, repeat.
  • They were just having a grand old time watching me wear myself out pretending...and running the bases backwards...
  • But that little pretend world I would have much rather just kept covered up.
  • As a kid, it seemed like everyone wanted to hide.
  • Nobody wanted to be the one kid who was “it!”
  • If you got found first then you were “it” the next time and finding the last few kids was always the worst, because they found the good spots and they were hard to find...
  • Maybe no one is counting to 100 and then coming to find you.
  • Maybe the game doesn’t have a clear end in sight...
  • And maybe it’s actually not much of game anymore...
  • Uh yeah, I’m assuming is the answer for everyone...
  • And shame has put us into a never-ending game of hide-n-seek that is absolutely exhausting!

 

As a child I could make a game out of anything...I had quite the imagination. And in fact I didn’t even need other people to help!

 

I remember one day when I was very young, “getting caught” pretending to be playing baseball in the front yard. I had this little 18” souvenir bat that I would swing and then I’d run the bases and dive into home plat. I did this for HOURS! But because of the contours of my front yard I actually ran the bases backwards because with the down hill slope and the direction the grass grew, I could dive head first and slide like 15’ in home plate...and then get back onto my feet before I slid into the pavement of our driveway...

Now, my parents are here today so I guess “very young” is being used very loosely.

But the point is, I loved to pretend and I did it all the time. But I had no idea this time that my parents and my brother were looking out the window just watching me.

Well, needless to say when I found out about it, I was pretty embarrassed. I would have much rather, them not seen...then again, I guess the front yard wasn’t hiding from too many people anyways!

Another great child hood game was hide-n-seek.

Most hide-n-seek games seemed to end with the person who was “it” just giving up and having enough...

Do you ever remember playing a hide-n-seek game that ended like that?...I remember like every single one ending like that.

Well, that was great childhood game...but I wonder how many of us as adults are still playing hide-n-seek?

Is there anything that you’ve done before that you just wanted to hide? You just wanted to cover it up?...

 

Or maybe there has been something done to you that was really embarrassing or humiliating, or some kind of suffering or abuse that you thought, “Know one can know about this...I just need to burry this.”

Or maybe there are some of you here that are think, “I’d love to hide. I want to cover up, but I just feel like I’m completely exposed and there is nothing I can do about it.”

Well, wherever you are this morning, the Bible speaks directly to your situation. The Bible would describe the feeling or sense to need to cover and hide as shame.

With that in mind, I’d like to invite you to open your Bibles to Genesis 2. Genesis 2, which is on page 1 or maybe 2 of the Bible of the chair in front of you.

We’ll be reading through Genesis 3:7 to begin. So please follow along carefully, as I read God’s Word.

[Read Genesis 2:20–3:7]

We are continuing our series called, “Handling our Problems In Christ Alone,” which is part of our annual theme “In Christ Alone.”

  • What we’ve learned this summer is that problems like
    • Anger, pride, bitterness, anxiety, sexual struggles, and despair all find their solution when we look to Christ alone.
  • Their physical transparency is representative of a transparency that goes far deeper than just their physical bodies.
  • There were no blemishes,
  • There were no mistakes,
  • There was absolutely nothing to hide...and nothing surprising to seek out.
  • You see, shame can be the sense of being isolated, ignored, not being shown the dignity that all people created in the image of God deserve.
  • Shame in this scenario doesn’t come from people not giving you attention, it comes from people giving you attention. But the attention, whether real or perceived is that they are looking because there is something wrong with you...
  • But notice, in Genesis 2:25...Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed.
    • They were not shunned or isolated...there was an intimacy there, a tenderness and care between them
    • Notice, that Adam and Eve are naked and their eyes are on each other, but they are not looking at the other person because they are hideous...they are looking at the other person with care, love and desire.
    • Also, Adam and Eve have no sense of worthlessness. Yet at the same time, they are not focused on themselves.
  • Genesis 3 no doubt is a sad chapter, but at the same time there is so much truth in this chapter that if you try and live without a deep understanding of what happened in this 3rd chapter, you’re going to have all sorts of problems.
  • Genesis 3 is chalked full of critical worldview shaping truths.
  • Their eyes are opened for the first time to world of things to cover up and hide...
  • Do you see what the serpent does?
    • He gets Eve to be “it!”
    • He gets Eve to go seeking!
  • And who is she seeking???
    • She’s seeking God...she is seeking after something that she believes God has hidden...something God has kept from her.
  • Yes! He has kept back the fruit of the tree in the midst of the garden, BUT, it’s not because God is hiding something good from her!
  • Nothing is the same...and it’s not at all what the serpent promised it would be.
  • Our shame comes from the exact same problem...we haven’t listened and obeyed God.
  • We’ve listened to everything else except God.
    • And what has followed is exactly what followed for Adam and Eve...SHAME.
    • We’ve listened to all sorts of promises that are contrary to God’s Word, and every time they lead to shame...they lead to having to play the hide-n-seek game better and better...and it becomes more and more exhausting...
  • Have you ever wondered what Adam and Eve thought they were going to accomplish?
    • God created them and the trees! Did they really think God wasn’t going to be able to tell the difference between a tree and a man?
    • It’s like your little toddler playing hide and go seek with you, and they hide underneath the table...it’s obvious, even though they think they’ve found a killer spot...
  • But maybe you’ve tried to hide through blame shifting as Adam and Eve did?
    • Rather, than believing and applying Jesus’ words in Matt. 7:5 where he says, “You hypocrite (ouch!), first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the spec out of your brother’s eye.” Instead of that you choose to see your spouse or children or your boss or co-worker’s issues as the REAL problem.
    • So instead of owning up to your own failures, you see a log in everyone else’s eye and a spec in your own...
    • Instead of being able to forgive and asking others to forgive you, you have to exact every debt and point out every debt that everyone else has...
  • Maybe you’ve tried hiding your shame through success?
    • This game of hide-n-seek says,
      • I’ll hide the sense of unworthiness by PROVING that I am worthy by getting straight A’s, getting to the top of my career, making lots of money, or being the best athlete...
    • Why the incessant drive to prove yourself? Perhaps it’s that “deep sense that something is wrong with me...”
  • Maybe the hide-n-seek game you’re playing is more individual and instead of trying to fool others you’re hiding from yourself by numbing the deafening sense of shame?
    • Instead of thinking about the sense of unworthiness, rejection or isolation... you just keep very busy so your mind doesn’t have a moment to think about it.
      • If I just keep my schedule full, I won’t have to confront that inner sense that something is wrong with me...
    • Maybe instead of busyness I’ve tried entertainment...
      • Instead of dealing with my own shame, I’ve invested my time into TV shows, movies or video games...
      • I’ll invest my mind and time into a fantasy world that numbs the inner shame...at least until the show is over. Then I have to start the next one.
    • Maybe you’ve tried something more potent like drugs, or sex...
      • Instead of facing my unworthiness you’ve looked to drugs to cover up the pain...
      • Maybe sex has become the tool to prove to yourself that you are worthy and acceptable...
  • Because all have sinned, all have shame!
  • Everyone has disobeyed God and not listened to him and just like Adam and Eve, shame has followed!
  • Where is shame causing me to hide...
    • Am I telling lies?
    • Am I pursuing anything that will numb the sense of shame?
    • Am I blame shifting and focusing more on the problems of other people?
    • Am I incessantly trying to prove myself?
  • She’s always been fighting to “conquer some horrible feeling of inadequacy”
  • She’s always trying to prove that she’s someone special...
  • She’s incessantly pushing to avoid being mediocre...
  • And she says, “The struggle hasn’t ever stopped, and it probably never will!”
  • And yet, she is incredibly honest...we must commend her for this, because I don’t think many of us are this honest...
  • But she is incredibly honest and admits that she is in a never ending battle to fight the feeling of inadequacy.
    • That’s what drives her!
  • Shame doesn’t necessarily come from being in poverty, or losing your job or even something horrible done to you.
  • Shame can and definitely does come from those things!
  • I don’t think many of us are that honest with ourselves.
  • I don’t think many of us are that honest and aware of our own shame...
  • Yes, she was seeking to cover and hide it, but wow could she articulate it. Could you?
  • We’ll the good news is, that your shame, and my shame can be solved once and for all, but it’s only in Christ alone.
  • Our culture has tried to deal with the feeling of inadequacy and depression that comes from this inner sense of worthlessness or could we say this inner fear that I’m actually a fraud...we’ve tried to deal with it by telling ourselves it’s not true!
    • Just rehearse how good of a person you...
    • Look at all your achievements...
    • Everyone is special, including you...
  • We’ve tried to ignore it, and it hasn’t worked
  • We’ve also tried covering it up in all sorts of ways and it hasn’t worked!
  • But the first step in dealing with shame is to confess it honestly.
  • We naturally live in the first half of that verse...we naturally conceal and hide and cover ourselves.
  • But when we live that way, we cannot conceal enough to get rid of that sense that “I’m a fraud. That someone will find me out. That I really am worthless.”
  • He’s ultimately the one whose gaze I’m most ashamed of!
  • He’s the one I’m trying to fool the most with the fig leaves and hide-n-seek!
  • He’s the one we’re most ashamed of, because our sin is first and foremost again him!
  • Madonna confessed her shame, but notice that she never forsook the god of success and achievement. She kept going and trying to climb higher and higher to cover up the feeling of inadequacy.
  • What I mean by that, is it’s possible to say, “Oh, if I just do really good at confessing and forsaking, then I’ll be okay.”
  • You see, it’s possible to try and take Scripture and in my own strength quote on quote, “pull myself up by my own bootstraps.”
  • But we can’t do that...it won’t work...it’s just another fig leaf covering.
  • HE GOES TO THEM!
  • Do you see that? He pursues them!
    • Adam and Eve run! They hide! They try and get away from God, but God in his incredible love goes to the very people that rejected and disobeyed him.
  • Look at v.21 in Genesis 3—notice what God does—“The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.”
  • Adam and Eve brought shame upon themselves.
  • They deserved the shame...they deserved the nakedness and bankrupted SELF WORTH.
  • God knows your shame and he is standing by ready to cover you if you’ll accept it.
  • Adam and Eve in this passage are not exactly the model examples of confession and repentance.
  • But they had to forsake their fig leaves in order to wear the clothing of skins that God made them.
  • You see Christ became our substitute!
  • The sin and shame that we deserved became his on the cross, AND the righteousness and perfection of Christ became ours!
  • There was nothing to shame Jesus about...he had nothing!
  • They searched and searched and there was nothing!

This morning, we’re looking at “Handling Shame in Christ Alone.”

The outline we’ll be following is simple...I’m a simple man so I come up with simple outlines.

We’ll begin with understanding shame, then recognizing shame and finally covering or solving shame.

  • Understanding, 2) recognizing and 3) covering or solving shame.

Let’s go.

I.            Understanding Shame

The first step in understanding shame is grasping that God created a world without shame. He created a world completely devoid of any shame!

God created the world without shame (Gen. 2:25)

That’s the point of Genesis 2:25 – “And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”

Both Adam and Eve are physically, emotionally and spiritually bare and exposed before each other and there is no shame!

We can only imagine what that world must have been like. None of us have known a world without shame...a world where there is absolutely nothing to hide.

Nobody is playing hide-n-seek...everything is open and transparent.

God created the World whole...he created Adam and Eve whole, without any blemish or anything needing to be hidden.

This is important for us to grasp, because we must see that our problems today are not because God created us that way. We do not have the problems that we have today because God messed up!

Defining shame

Now, we should probably take some time to define shame, so that we’re on the same page as far as what we’re talking about.

Ed Welch defines shame in his book Shame Interrupted as,

Shame is the deep sense that you are unacceptable because of something you did (and I would add or something you didn’t do), something done to you, or something associated with you. You feel exposed and humiliated.[1]

Only a few pages later he asks, “What is shame?”[2] And he responds with 3 statements.

  • You are shunned
  • You are naked and
  • You are worthless and it’s no secret

You are shunned.

The first statement, “You are shunned.” He writes, “Faces are turned away from you. They ignore you, as if you didn’t exist.”

You are naked.

The second statement, “You are naked,” He writes about that, “Faces are turned toward you. They stare at you, as if you were hideous.”

You are worthless and it’s no secret.

The third statement, “You are worthless and it’s no secret.” He writes about that, “You are of little or no value to those whose opinions matter to you.”

One of those statements probably resonates with you more than others, or perhaps all of them to a certain degree.

No aspect of shame or hint of shame was known to Adam and Eve in the perfect state that God created them.

At least, not in Genesis chapter 2...

The origin of shame

Genesis 3 is one of THE MOST IMPORTANT chapters in the Bible because introduces us to why the world is the way it is...

One of those critical worldview shaping truths is the origin of shame.

Genesis 3:7, says it this way, “Then (after eating the fruit that God commanded them not to eat) the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked...”

Boom...que the first game of hide-n-seek.

Notice how the serpent gets Eve to eat the fruit in vv.4–5; “The serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die!’ For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

And what’s the answer to that, “has God kept something from her?”

But, the serpent gets Eve to go seeking and her seeking leads her to disobey the clear command of God, and because of that, everything changes.

What we see here in Genesis 3, is the root to all of our problems. It’s the root to all of our problems and it’s the root to all of our shame and the exhausting, never ending, hide-n-seek game that we’ve born into.

Shame entered this world because Eve listened to something other than God.

II.           Recognizing Shame

I hope with what we’ve discussed so far your starting to see where shame is rearing its ugly head in your life. But there is more that Genesis has to offer to help us recognize shame.

Follow with me from Genesis 3:7.

[Read 3:7–13]

The prime indicator of shame is hiding.

Hiding

Genesis 3:7 “...they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.”

Genesis 3:8They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.”

Shame causes us to hide. It causes us to cover up and disguise ourselves any way possible.

One author defined shame as, “A deep sense or awareness that something is wrong inside of us.”

That awareness, that fear of exposure causes me to hide...it causes me to bury the problem as deep as possible...but the only problem is, our attempts to hide are as sophisticated as playing hide and seek with God.

Now, perhaps you haven’t physically hidden in the trees or sewed yourself a nice fig leaf suit...

Friends, everyone of us has shame. I know it because we’re all sinners.

Consider Rom. 3:23 that says, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

We must recognize where shame is controlling our life.

A really good question to ask yourself in order to reveal where shame is in your life is, “What area of my life do I not want anyone to find out about?” Or “What’s the area that you’re most defensive about?”

Once you’ve answered that, you’ll know where shame is.

Here’s a pretty incredible example of shame. I’m not bringing it up so we can point our fingers in judgment...if we do that we’re probably just trying to cover our shame up by focusing on someone else’s shame!

But the example is pop legend Madonna...now the quote I’m going to read you isn’t super recent, but it is still very telling and may help you identify shame yourself...she doesn’t use the word “shame” but listen to what she says:

I have an iron will, and all of my will has always been to conquer some horrible feeling of inadequacy.… I push past one spell of it and discover myself as a special human being and then I get to another stage and think I’m mediocre and uninteresting.… Again and again. My drive in life is from this horrible fear of being mediocre. And that’s always pushing me, pushing me. Because even though I’ve become Somebody, I still have to prove that I’m Somebody. My struggle has never ended and it probably never will.[3]

 Did you hear what she said?

Now the reason this is such a good example for us, is whether you agree with Madonna or not...she has influence and fame and more achievements in her field and career than probably any of us ever will!

Well, what’s she doing? She’s hiding...she’s constantly in the sewing room putting together fig leaf clothing!

She’s in a never ending game of hide-n-seek!

As soon as she achieves something great, it’s as if she’s dealt with that haunting feeling that she’s a fraud...but then as soon as the achievement is over, she must achieve something else greater to prove again that she’s not a fraud.

Friends, that is shame...that is the sense and awareness that something is wrong inside of me!

But notice how haunting shame is for someone who was quote on quote at the top!

Brother’s and sisters, I’m not sure if can say this in the church house, but we need to learn from Madonna!

I think one of the reasons we’re not honest with ourselves, is we believe the lie, that if I climb the corporate ladder a little bit higher, THEN I’ll have proved that I’m WORTH SOMETHING!

Or as soon as I make this much money, THEN I won’t have to keep driving myself like I have been. I’ll finally be SOMEBODY.

Or as soon I find that one person that I’ll be with the rest of my life, THEN I’ll be SECURE.

Friends, we must learn from Madonna, there is nothing on this earth, no achievement, no person, no amount of money or reputation that could ever wipe out the shame.

And at this point, you’re thinking wow, what a downer. Who put him on the preaching schedule? Keep “those” people on the other side of the river!

Let’s look at how to cover shame in Christ alone. And this is where it gets really good.

III.          Covering Shame in Christ Alone

I’m intentionally using the word “cover” because the argument of Scripture is that shame must be covered. It cannot be ignored.

So instead of ignoring or looking to our own attempts to cover our shame, we must look to God...we must look to his word for how to deal with it.

And the first step is to confess your shame honestly.

Confess your shame honestly

We’ve seen that shame wants to isolate. It wants to hide.

Proverbs 28:13 says, “He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper. But he who confesses and forsakes them will find mercy.”

That verse is teaching that honesty and openness is the only path towards finding mercy...it’s the only path towards receiving true help.

Let’s learn from Genesis 3...God, knows our shame. God knows and sees all!

Hebrews 4:13 says, “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with who we have to do!(emphasis added)

What a terrifying verse...except for the promise that those who confess...those who are willing to be open and honest about their shame...to them God promises MERCY!

Forsake your feeble fig leaf coverings

But we cannot JUST confess. We cannot just admit our shame like Madonna did. We have to go further!

We have to do the next step that Proverbs 28:13 says, “...But he who confesses and forsakes them will find mercy.”

We must forsake our feeble fig leaf coverings.

Here’s what I mean, we must be honest and confess the shame that we have. But then we must forsake the tools and the methods that we’ve used to try and cover our shame!

Friends, it doesn’t matter how honest or how much “confessing” you do, if you do not also throw off the fig leaf coverings you’ve used, you’ll never find mercy!

Now, lest we begin to think that we do this all on our own, and we just trade one pair of fig leaf clothing for a “religious pair of fig leaf clothing.”

So notice the grace and mercy of God in this passage. Yes, God curses creation and we can’t really get into that today, other than simply recognizing that he was right and just to do so.

But notice what he does right after Adam and Eve sinned against him...

BUT, God goes even further than that...

Do you see what just happened? God went to them! He pursued them! He clothed them!

But God, being the incredibly loving, incredibly gracious, incredibly merciful God that he is, covers them!

Are you willing to give up your fig leaf coverings?

God is offering you a better way...he’s not offering to repair your fig leaf coverings...he offering you a completely different covering, but you have to actually confess and forsake the one’s you have been using!

And it’s not until the New Testament that we fully see what God is offering.

Genesis 3:21 is just a tiny taste and foreshadowing of the coverings that God has made for us! When we come to the New Testament, we find that Jesus Christ is the ultimate covering we need.

So, we must confess our shame honestly, and then forsake our feeble fig leaf coverings, but then we must embrace Christ’s substitutionary work on the cross.

Embrace Christ’s substitutionary work on the cross

Friends, the gospel and Jesus Christ is the only answer to our shame. Our shame must be covered, but there is nothing other than Christ that can cover it for us!

Isaiah 61:10 says, “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, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with jewels.”

The garments of salvation and the robes of righteousness is Jesus himself!

2 Cor. 5:21 declares, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

We have to look to Jesus. We have to turn to him to see what he did for us and we must embrace it!

Jesus literally took our shame for us, so that would have none.

Look at Matthew 26:59–60 – “Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death. They did not find any...”

How long would it take a council to find something in you??

Although Jesus had absolutely no shame, they wrongly accused him and endured incredibly shame on our behalf.

Let these words and images impact you as you consider what Jesus did for you, even though we have done nothing but sin against him.

v.67­–68 “Then they spat in His face and they beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him, and said, “Prophesy to us, You Christ; who is the one who hit You?”

Just a few verses later, Peter—one of Jesus’ closest companions and disciples, denies even knowing him...

v.74 – “Then he began to curse and swear, “I do not know the man!”

  • Jesus is going to the cross, bearing the sin and shame of Peter and Peter is ashamed of Christ...
  • Friends, we have a lot in common with Peter...
  • Like Peter, we cling to our fig leaf coverings and reject the perfect robes of righteousness that Christ himself offers...
  • He took all of the shame that we deserved so that we might have none!
  • He offers to take all our sin and shame,
  • And in return he offers us all of his perfection and righteousness!
  • first confess your shame and sin.
  • You must forsake all attempts to cover yourself and build up your own self worth.
  • And you must trust in Christ’s perfect sacrifice on your behalf.
  • There is always something to hide, something to cover up, something to be worried or afraid that’s going to be uncovered...
  • You see, he credits to our account all his perfection and righteousness.
    • If that’s really true, AND IT IS, then what do I have to cover up?
    • What do I have to fear being exposed?
  • I don’t have to live in fear that I’m going to be found out...I don’t have fear people finding out there’s something wrong with me or that I’m a fraud!
    • I’ve admitted that I’m a fraud!
    • I’ve confessed that there is something incredibly wrong with me!
  • So what are you going to do, when some attacks you, and pokes at your unworthiness?
    • Living confidently in the perfect acceptance of Jesus would look like admitting, “You’re right! I am unworthy. I do mess up. I do have things that I’m ashamed of, but I confessed those things and I’ve traded my shame for Christ’s acceptance.”
    • So instead of protecting myself and covering myself, I’m looking to the cross where Christ’s perfect sacrifice covered me.
    • Where he was exposed and humiliated so that I could be covered and exalted in him!
  • It’s my amazing skill, or my successful career, or my incredible intelligence, or my model family, or anything I do that I present to Christ to be accepted!
  • Rather, it’s because Christ took my sin and shame and gave me his righteousness and acceptance instead.

If you jump down to Matthew 27:26, consider the shame of being rejected for a notorious prisoner like Barabbas...

v.26 – Then he released Barabbas for them; but after having Jesus scourged, he handed him over to be crucified.

vv.27–30 continues, “Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus in the Praetorium and gathered the whole Roman cohort around Him. They stripped Him and put a scarlet rob on Him. And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ They spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head.”

We could march on down every detail of the crucifixion and wring out the incredible shame that Christ bore for us.

What Christ offers us in the gospel is the greatest trade and exchange ever made!

On the cross he was unclothed and humiliated for you, so that you would be clothed and exalted in Him!

But friends, if you’re going to embrace the substitutionary work of Christ on the cross, you must

And if you’ve done that, then final step is to live confidently in the perfect acceptance of Jesus.

Live confidently in the perfect acceptance of Jesus

 What Jesus has done for us in the gospel is incredible.

The gospel isn’t just a solution for our shame in eternity. It’s also the solution for our shame RIGHT NOW.

All of us are born into a never ending game of hide and seek because of our shame...

But what Christ does for us in the gospel, is he totally removes every reason for hiding! He removes every motivation for continuing to play the game!

...Now it’s true that you and I still do things that deserve shame, but the beauty of the cross is that Jesus has covered all my shame past, present and future!

That’s why Jesus had to come! Jesus didn’t come because I was okay. He came because I was not okay! He came because I needed a Savior.

Do you see the stability that offers you? Do you see the incredible resources the gospel offers to you on a daily basis?

Shame says, “You’re unworthy. You’re a fraud. You’re rejected.”

The gospel says the opposite, “In Christ alone you’re worthy. And in Christ alone you are perfectly accepted.”

Therefore, I can live confidently each and every day no matter the challenges that come my way.

That’s exactly what Paul was driving at in Romans 8:35–39

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Amen.

Because of Christ we can live confidently in the perfect, never ending love and acceptance of Christ rather than the shame of our sin.

Because of Christ, you don’t have to play hide-n-seek anymore. You can come out of hiding and be covered in the perfect love and acceptance of Christ.

Let’s pray.

 

[1] Edward T. Welch, Shame Interrupted: How God Lifts the Pain of Worthlessness and Rejection (Greensboro, NC: New Growth Press, 2012) Kindle Loc. 142-144.

[2] Ibid. Kindle Loc. 178. The following quotes in the next couple points come from this same location.

[3] Lynn Hirshberg, “The Misfit,” Vanity Fair, April 1991, Volume 54, Issue 4, pp. 160–169, 196–202.

 

Johnny Kjaer

B.A. - Church Ministries, Maranatha Baptist University
M. DIV. - Faith Bible Seminary
D.Min. - Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (in progress)

Johnny is married to Tori.  They have 3 children Leif, Tryggve, and Kjirsti.  He has been a part of the youth ministry at Faith since his internship began in 2010.  He has been in the position of Pastor of Student Ministries since 2013.  Johnny is an ACBC certified counselor.  He also serves the church by directing the Lafayette Living Nativity and the Lafayette Passion Play.

Read Johnny Kjaer's Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Kjaer to Faith Church.