Made for a World Without Shame | Genesis 3:7-11

Genesis 3:7-11 shows us when shame entered the human experience. How does shame shape how we view ourselves and how we live? Timothy “TA” Ateek walks us through how God’s grace is greater than our failures, guilt, and shame.

Timothy "TA" AteekNov 20, 2022
Genesis 3:7-11

In This Series (15)
Made to Work | Genesis 3:17-19
Timothy "TA" AteekDec 4, 2022
Made to Gospel Our Relationships | Genesis 3:12-13
John ElmoreNov 27, 2022
Made for a World Without Shame | Genesis 3:7-11
Timothy "TA" AteekNov 20, 2022
Made for a Different World | Genesis 3:1-7
John ElmoreNov 13, 2022
Made for Relationships: Marriage | Genesis 2:18-25
Timothy "TA" AteekNov 6, 2022
Made for Relationship | Genesis 2:18-20
John ElmoreOct 30, 2022
Made to Rest | Genesis 2:1-3
John ElmoreOct 23, 2022
Made to Flourish | Genesis 2:4-25
Blake HolmesOct 16, 2022
God’s Heart for The Nations | Revelation 7:9-17
Timothy "TA" AteekOct 9, 2022
Made in the Image of God | Genesis 1:26-27
Timothy "TA" AteekOct 2, 2022
Great Questions Q&A Panel + MADE: to Teach | Genesis 1-3, 2 Timothy 2:24-26
John Elmore, Cassidy Webber, Brett Bruster, Steven Ateek, Alan BeamSep 25, 2022
How to Hear From God | Genesis 1:1-31
Timothy "TA" AteekSep 18, 2022
The Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit | Genesis 1:1-5
John ElmoreSep 11, 2022
To Know God is to Worship God | Genesis 1:3-25
John ElmoreAug 28, 2022
Is Your God Too Small? | Genesis 1:1-2
Timothy "TA" AteekAug 21, 2022


We were made for a world without shame. Shame is a consequence of sin and affects every human being, our relationships with one another, and our relationship with God. Whereas guilt is a recognition that “I have failed,” shame is the sense that “I am a failure.” But the Bible says that’s not the end of your story. Even though we are guilty of many sins, God’s grace is greater.

Here are three “soundbites” that shame puts on repeat in our lives, and how to speak back with the good news that we can experience healing and freedom from our shame because of Christ:

  • You’re not who you should be. The first soundbite of shame tells us we are broken, defective, and a failure. Shame roots itself below the surface of our lives, impacting how we view ourselves and how we live.
    • Shame is a consequence of sin. In Genesis 3:7, Adam and Eve’s eyes were opened, and they realized they were naked. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit, they gained knowledge of internal evil. This resulted in shame because they realized they were not who God made them to be. They hid from God because they were afraid and naked.
    • In contrast, we were made for a world without shame. Genesis 2:25 tells us the man and his wife were both naked and not ashamed. God’s intention for nakedness was that humanity was created to live in complete openness and vulnerability. God made us to operate openly with complete trust and freedom with Himself and others.
    • Shame can shape and become the center of our identities. Many of us can trace our personal soundbites of shame to our sin, our reaction to sin, or the effects of the sin by comparing ourselves to others. For others, our shame can be related to an event, like divorce, abortion, or a failed career. Shame as the center of our identity can lead to guilt, anxiety, depression, isolation, and even suicide.
    • God’s truth tells us that shame is not the end of our story. The Bible tells us that we are forgiven through the riches of God’s grace (Ephesians 1:7). He is at work in us, transforming us into the image of Christ.
  • If they see all of you, they won’t love you. The second soundbite of shame tells us that if other people see all of you, they will reject you and will not be able to love you.
    • Shame sustains the separation that began at the Fall.In Genesis 2:16-17, God warned that the knowledge of good and evil would bring death to Adam and Eve. Death, at its core, is separation from God. We see a separation between Adam and Eve, and then we see a separation from God.
    • Shame convinces us that we must hide from God and others. We see in Genesis 3:7 that it now felt dangerous for Adam and Eve to be fully known. In this passage, they used fig leaves to cover themselves. Still today, we can hide from others with our own version of fig leaves like designer clothing, physical fitness, accomplishments, wealth, workaholism, and our social media image. We can even hide behind the right Christian activities or jargon to divert people from our brokenness.
    • Shame can cause us to hide in community. Shame, even in the community of God, can cause us to spin things or leave things intentionally vague. We polish up our sins because we don’t want people to see all of us. In doing so, we prevent ourselves from being truly known (1 John 1:5-7).
    • We must speak back to and confess our sin and shame.It is only through confession that we can genuinely find healing (James 5:16). The truth we must respond to and hold to is that Jesus’ blood has purchased us into the family of God. It is God’s desire for us to be fully known and fully loved.
  • If God sees all of you, He can’t love you. The third soundbite of shame tells us that if God knew all I have done or knew about my imperfections, He wouldn’t love me.
    • Shame brings fear. In Genesis 3:8-10, we see that Adam and Eve hide from God when previously they would run to Him. We run from God because we do not want God to see the things that make us feel shameful. We will use busyness, entertainment, or substances in an attempt to avoid God.
    • God sees everything and is in continual pursuit of our hearts. Although we may know God sees everything, it can be difficult to acknowledge that because we are afraid of God’s response. The good news is that God is a God who pursues and initiates His love for us. God wants us to see our sins because we must be the ones to acknowledge those sins to Him.
    • We must speak truth to shame. The Bible tells us that although Adam’s sin led to condemnation, God gave us the free gift of salvation through the death of His Son. Through faith, we are made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. God’s grace is greater and sufficient for every sin in your life (Romans 5:15-17).

Discussing and Applying the Sermon

  • What are the “sound bites,” or things people have told you or spoken into your life, that have shaped how you see yourself and how you live? How does God’s truth counter that?
  • What is the sin that is preventing or hindering intimacy with God in your life right now? How is that sin causing shame or condemnation in your life?
  • Do you really believe that God’s love and the gift of His Son have covered all your sins? Are you living with freedom, or do you feel burdened by shame?
  • What role does God’s grace play in dealing with shame? Confess to God and your community anything that is holding you back from finding your identity in Christ.