Last Sunday, Pastor Boyd unpacked some truths of how the gospel impacts our shame. The truth is, while our shame would be completely justifiable before we were redeemed - we now have been given a new identity in Christ.
It's important that we define the differences between guilt and shame. Guilt, which Pastor Boyd discussed from the pulpit as well, is the feeling or notion that you have done something wrong. This is what happens when you fail to meet a standard either you or someone else set.
Shame, however, is the feeling that there is something wrong about you. At its core, it is an identity issue. Knowing this is key to understanding how the gospel will help us defeat it. As we fight back against shame, the greatest weapon we have in our arsenal is our new identity in Jesus.
One of my favorite passages that talks about our new identity is 1 Peter 2:9:
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
This verse is an excellent summary of who we are. It starts off telling us that we are a chosen race. Just like God chose the nation of Israel in the past, He has chosen us to be his people and his representatives on earth.
Next, we are described as a royal priesthood. We are given access to the sacred presence of God through prayer and praise. We are now counted among the few of ancient times who were allowed in His presence.
Finally, we are told that we are a holy nation. God took special care to ensure that the nation of Israel was set apart from those around them. Just as with them, he has worked in our hearts to set us apart from the world. Because of the work of the Holy Spirit and the blood of Christ, we are distinct from those around us.
The latter part of the verse is also an indication of how we can begin to embrace our new identity: by proclaiming the excellencies of God, specifically as the one who pulled us out of darkness into marvelous light. Our new identity shines forth when we put our focus on God as the one who gives us our identity, instead of ourselves.
Such a declaration of God's goodness is also an opportunity for sharing the gospel, which is our primary mission. Take some time this week to share with an unbelieving friend how excellent God is, and what He has done for you!