2cor: 5.17.kjv Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Do you ever find yourself working hard to erase the shame of your past? After all, isn’t that what being a Christian is all about? Aren’t we supposed to do everything we can to be better than we once were? Well, when we look at God’s Word, His grace for the sins of yesterday (and today) is overwhelmingly undeniable.
To be redeemed, in the Greek translation, means to be “let go, [freed], by the paying of ransom.” Through the blood of Jesus, we, those who believe in Him, have been redeemed. Not by our striving, but by Christ’s death on the cross. This means we no longer have to work to “fix” the past or keep up appearances; we are forgiven and made free from the weight and bondage of sin.
Still, many times we look at our past and it’s difficult to believe that we actually are made right with God. So, we make vows to never be what we once were. These efforts are good-natured, but dangerous to put our hope in. When we trust in works and appearances, it’s like climbing up the slope of a steep hill and clinging on for dear life. One slip, one mistake, and all of our hard work leaves us empty-handed. Instead, our posture should find us open-handed, in need of God’s grace!
God’s grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9). James 5:16 says, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” Are there areas of your life still hidden in shame? Are there things you have yet to forgive yourself for? If so, the Bible says to talk and pray about these things with other Christians and you will see the transformative power of the gospel do its work. The past is truly in the past, and through Christ, all things are being made new (2 Corinthians 5:17).
DIG: What does redemption mean? How have we as Christians been redeemed?
DISCOVER: What areas of your life are still hidden in shame? Are there sins that you are hiding out of fear or regret?
DISPLAY: Pray to God about the things you’re ashamed of and ask for continued revelation of His redemptive power in your life. Talk and pray with another Christian about these things.