“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:17,18)
God’s relationship with man was broken in the garden of Eden. There, man left God. The relationship he had with his Creator was not treasured. And so, when the naked couple heard the voice of the Lord God coming toward them in the “cool of the day,” they ran and hid from Him. (Gen. 3:8) Sin produces both guilt and shame. We are guilty because of what we have done. We are ashamed because of who we have become.
But guilt and shame are not enough to restore a broken relationship. Guilt caused Judas to repent of his treacherous deed, but shame drove him to self-destruction. Feeling lousy about ourselves and what we have done can lead to self-pity. God is not interested in pitying us; He wants to grant us the mercy we need to begin a new relationship with Him.
The offer of full forgiveness through the sacrifice of Christ “gets the ball rolling.” Forgiveness take away the guilt of our sin. But by delivering us from the person we used to be, the cross also takes away our shame. Then, through a spiritual resurrection He turns us into a new creature, one whom He is not ashamed of, but delights in. Through the new birth we become beloved children of God.
Don’t kid yourself. Until you are in Christ, you are as alienated from God as Adam. Shame and guilt has you hiding from your Maker. The Father sent His Son into this world to reconcile you to Himself. Don’t die estranged from God. Be reconciled today!