Our past marks us. Those experiences go into making us the people we are. But some of those experiences we would rather forget. Guilt, shame, and regret can carve deep gashes in our souls—permanent reminders of another life we would prefer to leave behind. But God reminds us that He can free us from the unwanted narrative of past failures and sins. Through Christ, freedom is real and rewarding. And it’s possible for all who follow Him.

Discussion Questions

1. The subject of sin is part of the story of humanity. What is sin? What sins in your past are still a cloud over your head?

2. God dealt a death blow to sin through the death of Christ. Read John 1:29. How did Jesus take away your sin? Compare 2 Corinthians 5:19.

3. In the new covenant, God offers a new strategy for dealing with sin. Read Hebrews 8:12-13 and Romans 11:27. If God knows everything, in what sense does he “forget” your sins?

4. When you think of the word “shame,” what other similar words come to mind. What does shame feel like? When have you most recently felt shame?

5. We might also describe shame as “the feeling of not being enough.” Why is this feeling particularly destructive? When have you experienced the feeling of not being enough?

6. Shame is first mentioned in the earliest description of the first man and woman’s connection with each other and with God. Read Genesis 2:25. Why do you think being “unashamed” is mentioned here?

Further Reading

A Call to Action

It is great to gather as the church. But we are also told by Jesus to “go” as the church, sharing God’s word with others and making them disciples. Fulfilling the Great Commission is not an option or a suggestion. It is a command to each of us as believers to actively...

A Brand New Day

While God never changes in His nature, He does change the way He works with human beings. Jesus announced a significant change when He held up a cup and identified it with His blood that would establish a new covenant. After being raised from the dead, Jesus told His...

The Meal of the Movement

The church can be described as a body, a family, an army. It’s a movement of influence—one that seeks to bring glory to God and point people toward the Savior. On the night Jesus was betrayed and arrested, He initiated the movement with a meal. He chose food and drink...

We Are Family

Many people say that kids and students are the church of tomorrow but that statement could not be further from the truth. They are the church of today. There is so much hope and promise in the younger generation. Throughout the summer, we have talked about how to be...

The Power of Vulnerability

It might seem natural to equate spiritual health with an absence of weakness and vulnerability. Maybe it’s exactly the opposite. Sometimes power and strength are found where we least expect them. Could it be that running from weakness is actually a weakness? We become...