Romans 7:24-25 “Who can deliver me from this body of death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
“Most people who get lost in the wilds die of shame – ‘How could I have gotten myself into this situation?’ So they sit there in their guilt and shame and they die. They don’t do the one thing which would have saved their lives – think.” In the 1997 movie ‘The Edge’, Anthony Hopkins explains to his friends that rather than feel shame and surrender to their hopelessness, they must think how to be rescued out of their situation.
Guilt and shame do that – especially when it comes to moral failure. When we violate our moral standards of right versus wrong, we not only feel guilty but shameful. How are guilt and shame different?
Guilt is how you feel when you violate your moral standards. Shame is that feeling you get from guilt, that there is something wrong with you. Each of us, regardless of economic status, ethnicity, or gender, either live with guilt and hope we can be saved out of the shame we feel, or we will try to fix it ourselves.
But unlike the movie, no one can erase the guilt and shame from moral failure. Once you have scrambled that egg, you cannot unscramble it. If you lie to someone close to you, or cheat on a loved one, even if they say they forgive you, they will not forget. You now have a record – you are a sinner. Everyone is a sinner.
In the book of Romans, Paul explains his own situation in a way that all of us can understand: “I know that the law of God is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I will to do, that I do not practice. But what I hate, that I do… For I know that in me nothing good dwells. The good thing that I will to do, I do not do. But the evil I will not to do, that I practice” (Romans 7:14-18). Everyone, even Paul, is a sinner.
in this week’s verse, after Paul acknowledges his own shame – as a wretched man who cannot stop doing what he knows is wrong – he asks who can save him from himself. He answers his own question. Unlike in
‘The Edge’, it is not himself. He thanks God’s Son Jesus Christ, who provides the way to freedom from guilt and shame through His death for Paul on the Cross. And this is how all of us come to a saving knowledge of God and freedom from the guilt and shame that sin has put on us: by thinking! By understanding what Jesus has accomplished for each of us. God, because He dearly loves you, has paid for your guilt.
The only thing left to know you are freed from your guilt and shame is to trust Jesus Christ personally for who He is – the Son of God who loves you – and what He has achieved for you – payment for your sins.
The Evidence of Faith’s Substance _ Article #515