As soon as you place faith in Christ, you are forgiven for your past, present, and future sins so there is no reason to be shame about past, present, or future sin. Satan will try to cause doubts and feelings of shame to come into our minds, but this is one of his tactics to make us ineffective for God. Satan wants to hamper our work for Christ. He wants you to dwell on the sin until you spiral downward with negativity.
Romans 8:1 NIV  Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
The Difference Between Shame and Guilt
Guilt is feeling remorse over a sinful action or behavior. Guilt is a design God has put in our souls. It is like the pain we feel in our bodies when something is wrong. If I’m walking down the street barefoot and step on a piece of broken glass, a signal goes through my body, saying, “Red alert! Don’t step any further!” The pain effectively warns me that more pain is coming unless I stop. In the same way, when we experience guilt, our conscience says, “Warning! Don’t do that.” That is the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
That very conviction is a reminder that you are a child of God. So, rejoice when you feel guilty. If you can live in sin without any guilt or remorse, then one must question whether you are a child of God. Thank God for guilt.
1 John 1:5-10 (NKJV)5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. (Emphasis mine)
Shame is placed on us by Satan to make us ineffective. Since God has forgiven us, there is no longer a reason for a Christian to feel shame. We will still experience guilt at times after we commit a sin, but we can make that feeling go away by confessing to God and turning away from the sin. I do have to acknowledge that guilt can linger at times, but it is still different from shame.
As Christians, there is no place for shame in our lives. Jesus died so that we have life and have it to the fullest.
John 10:10 NIV  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Jesus didn’t die for our sins just for us to feel ashamed and become ineffective for His kingdom. He died and rose again for us to proclaim His goodness, love, and a new life through His Name.
As believers, we are not bound to the sinful flesh. We are free in Christ
Galatians 5:1 NIV  It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
We still have the sinful flesh, but we are longer slaves to it.
Romans 6:15-18 NIV  What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means!  Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?  But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance.  You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
The Holy Spirit indwells us at the moment of salvation, and because of the indwelling Holy Spirit we have the ability defeat the sinful flesh The Holy Spirit assure us that shame has no place in our Christian walk. He will remind us that nothing can separate us for the love of the Father.
Romans 8:31-39 NIV  What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?  Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.  Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Holy Spirit will remind us of the debt Jesus paid on our behalf in order for us to have life. When Jesus said, “It is finished” His work of salvation and forgiveness was finished indeed.
John 19:30 NIV  When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Since it is finished, salvation gives us the freedom to live without shame. When God looks at us, He sees His Son, Jesus Christ, when He looks at us. He sees the forgiveness and the blood that Jesus spilled for our sins. We are no longer sinful people before the Father, we are His forgiven and redeemed children.
When we stop allowing shame to get into our heads, hearts, and minds, we can live more productive and obedient lives for God. This doesn’t mean that we will not feel a sense of shame at times, but it does mean that we have the tools to fight against it. Satan will try to cause you to feel shame, but you don’t have to let him win.
Shame has no place in the Christian walk. Shame will only weigh you down and give you false, negative feelings. Turn to the Lord when you are having these feelings and ask for His help. God is faithful, and He will help you. He doesn’t want you to experience any feelings of shame over the past, present, or future. He has given you forgiveness in His Name, and this forgiveness endures forever.
A Christian never has to feel shame because:
- God has forgiven them
- God defines who they are
- The Holy Spirit awakens them to the truth that they are children of God