Feeling No Shame

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Romans 6:19-21
I am using a human analogy, because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you offered the parts of yourselves as slaves to moral impurity, and to greater and greater lawlessness, so now offer them as slaves to righteousness, which results in sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free from allegiance to righteousness., So what fruit was produced then from the things you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death.

There are two things in this portion of Scripture that I would like to point out. First, Paul is results orientated. He sees the Christian life as a life that is to result in good and righteous effects, or fruit. He is stating that the former life of sin that the non-christian lives is pointless because it only results in bad fruit and shame. Essentially he is like, “hey, what’s the point peoples?”

The second thing has to do with the non-Christian having shame. He is writing to Christians who were former slaves of sin and unrighteousness. He tells them that their former life produced no good fruit and has only resulted in shame now that they are Christians. But he is not saying that when these people were non-Christians they had shame. He says earlier in Romans that the non-believer’s conscience can become calloused when God gives them over to their sin. These people suppress the truth in unrighteousness.

I am addressing this because it is true of me. I lived a very sinful non-Christian life growing up, and well into my 20’s. What I remember from that time period is that my conscience was indeed hardened to the point where I did not feel any shame. When the Lord began a work in my heart, my conscience was softened, and I went through a period where I was awakened and overwhelmed with shame. This was prepatory work that God began before bringing me to Christ. Paul picks up on this when he is writing to the Roman Christians and reminds them of the shame that they now feel after coming to Christ. It is The Holy Spirit that convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and the judgement to come.

I do believe that Jesus cleanses us through a process of sanctification from our shame. And we will someday be completely set free from shame. My point is really just that non-Christians may not feel the shame that you as a Christian may think they should. They may have become hardened and need you to speak the truth of Jesus to them in love.

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