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The Chain of Shame



What have you allowed to DEFINE you? Is it who God says that you are, or is it the memory, the guilt, or the shame of your past mistakes? Many of us walk around daily carrying a chain of shame, preventing us from walking in the freedom that was purchased for us at the Cross. But the pathway to freedom is open to all in the covering of Grace. After all, grace redefines us from failure to family.

Key Takeaway

Grace cancels guilt and redefines your identity. Jesus died and rose again so you could walk in freedom, it's strong enough to overtake your guilt and leave it at the cross where it was atoned for already.

We can live free from guilt and shame. In Genesis 2:25, from the beginning, this is how we were meant to live. Adam and Eve were naked in the garden and felt no shame. Paradise has no shame in it.

Guilt- Legal term and state. The POSITION of being accountable for our sins and our shortcomings. One has to take responsibility and accountability.

Shame- Emotional and mental state. The PROCESS of being defined by our sins and shortcomings.

Grace is the way to freedom from guilt and shame.

1) Grace cancels guilt.

Grace is not a milquetoast, weak thing. It's a left hook of releasing power in our lives.

Isaiah 6:1-7.

Isaiah describes recognizing his own sins and shortcomings as he was before the Throne of God. He repents and instead of being met with wrath, an angel touches his mouth with a live coal and says his guilt was forgiven and his sins atoned for. In the same way, we recognize our guilt and know it needs to be atoned for. There's a finished work of Jesus on the Cross that we receive through grace and repentance. God immediately moves towards His children's repentance. Repentance is a door opening to His grace. Jesus took our guilt away and atoned for our sins. He is the reason we can walk guilt-free. See 1 John 1:9

The enemy knows you're saved and going to Heaven, but he will take you on a lifelong guilt trip, rendering you ineffective in the Kingdom work. He's going to wait you out, he's going to try and keep a hold on you. To keep you ashamed in darkness and isolated. The only way out is to step into the light with God, where He has your freedom.

2) Grace redefines you from "failure" to "family".

He makes you His child, giving you full access as a coheir with Christ and His inheritance.

1 John 2:1- we are called children

1 John 3:3- children

Galatians 4:4-7- adopted as children

Peter and breakfast on the beach. John 21

Peter made a promise to be there for Jesus but betrayed him 3 times. However, even though Peter bailed on his word, Jesus didn't bail on His. The rescue mission of God continued. Jesus gave His life and was resurrected 3 days later. As soon as Peter hears, he runs to the tomb but finds it empty. Jesus appears to the disciples a couple of times and tells them to head to Galilee. Peter went straight back to fishing because it's what he knew. Jesus goes down and meets Peter and the disciples after they have fished all night. Jesus invites Peter for breakfast. Not for an interrogation of Peter's denial, or in the halls of justice to prove him guilty, but to tell Peter something amazing that would change the stakes of his life. Jesus had a plan and purpose for Peter and came to find him personally to tell him.

Jesus restored a fallen brother on His 3rd appearance to the disciples. He has this conversation with Peter in front of all of them, it wasn't a side conversation. Jesus didn't accuse Peter of anything. He didn't ask him why he had let him down or if he was sorry. He didn't need to. Jesus knew that Peter had been agonizing over his actions. So when Jesus asked him, "Do you love me more than everything I pulled you out of?" and Peter confirmed, Jesus told him to "Feed my sheep." Essentially, He's calling him to the leadership He had placed on him.

Are there consequences? Of course, there are, but Jesus would rather restore your identity. Jesus had already paid for Peter's sin, but He knew that Peter was being defined by shame. He wanted to redefine who Peter was and remind him of his true identity.

Do you love Him more than your past, your dreams, your pleasure? If you answer "yes", then Jesus wants you to be a leader and help build the Church.

Peter was the rock that Jesus built His Church upon, a gospel proclaimer. He preached the first sermon in the power of the Holy Spirit and 3000 people were saved that very day. Peter isn't remembered as the shameful denier of Jesus. He's remembered as a hero of the faith, filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. A legend, not a failure.

Jesus does the same for us. We don't have to be defined by shame, we are defined by our Savior. He wants us to serve Him and bring glory to His name. Get busy building the Church.

Psalm 34:5 says those who look to Him are radiant, their faces are never covered in shame. Radiance is the opposite of shame.

The enemy tries to get you to look away from the Lord, but it gets worse...

We end up believing that Jesus did cancel our guilt and forgave us, but we often say, "I can't forgive myself." That is an outright work of the devil.

You never could forgive yourself. You were never in a position to forgive yourself, but while you stood bound by your sin and couldn't, God stepped into position to do what only He could do, which was to forgive you.

You need to humble yourself under the finished work of Christ and say, "I agree with God." If He says you're loved, then you say you're loved. If He says you're forgiven and free, then you say you're forgiven and free. If He says His Son bore the shame for you, then you say, "I will not bear what my Savior bore." If He says you can go forward, you say you can move forward.

Saying "I agree with God" breaks the pride of "I can't forgive myself." which says when You (Jesus) rang the bell of my freedom, "it wasn't good enough." Jesus's bell shook Hell and it's good enough.

If you do choose to defy the enemy and look at Him, He won't meet you with condemnation; He'll meet you with breakfast, He'll meet your needs, He'll meet you with serving.

Our strongest sense of the sense of smell. It's no mistake that Jesus made breakfast at a charcoal fire. It's only mentioned twice in Scripture.

The first one represented denial to Peter. The second one replaced that with restoration, a new beginning, and a Savior with a face full of grace. There's no shame on Jesus's face, just glory- it gets transferred to ours. Once we surrender, our faces are never covered in shame.


"Saying 'I agree with God' breaks the pride of 'I can't forgive myself.' which basically says, when You (Jesus) rang the bell of my freedom, 'it wasn't good enough.' Jesus's bell shook Hell and it's good enough."

Louie Giglio

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Scripture References

  • Isaiah 6:1-7
  • Genesis 2
  • 1 John 1:9
  • Galatians 4:4-7
  • John 21
  • Psalm 34:5
Louie Giglio

Global Pastor

Louie Giglio Louie Giglio is the Visionary Architect and Director of the Passion Movement, comprised of Passion Conferences, Passion City Church, Passion Publishing and sixstepsrecords, and the founder of Passion Institute.