Sin 14: Naked and Ashamed

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, June 17, 2022 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Now that we have examined what sin is, what sin does, what it costs, what it is not, and what happens when we get it wrong, we can now look at the proper response to sin. We’ll first look at the instinct God has instilled into all mankind from the start: shame. Let’s look at the origin of shame.

Adam and Eve were created naked in the garden, and they had no shame. It never entered their minds that they were naked. But then they ate from the tree. Suddenly, they realized they were naked, and they were ashamed. I want to make clear that public nakedness is the ultimate form of humiliation and shame in the Jewish mindset. Adam and Eve were naked and now were ashamed of it. Nakedness is a huge theme throughout Scripture, and this is a Gospel issue – a CENTRAL Gospel issue.

Being naked means that you are fully exposed. Every little bit about you is revealed. What triggers you, what set you off, what motivates you – everything is exposed. Physical nakedness is just a picture of spiritual nakedness in which you are exposed before God. Prior to sin, there was no shame. Nothing wrong, nothing to hide, nothing to fear. But now they knew they were naked, and they felt shame, exposed, guilty, dread, regret, and all the emotions that come with it. Shame makes you feel little and strips you of your power.

There are various accounts where the shame of nakedness appears throughout Scripture. It was a common practice of ancient nations when they conquered their enemies that they would parade their captives naked to showcase their dominion over them. David had to deal with a case of such humiliation. After conquering various nations and establishing his throne, he wanted to offer a gift to the king of Ammon because they had housed David’s family while he hid from Saul. But he thought David’s envoys were spies and sent them back with their beards cut and naked from the hip down. It was a big mistake because David came with his wrath upon them. The seven sons of Sceva also suffered a similar humiliation attempting to exorcise a demoniac by riding on Paul’s ministry. They got their tails kicked and fled both bleeding and naked.

The ultimate humiliation in Scripture was Jesus’ crucifixion. Jesus, bearing the crown of thorns, the very physical symbol of sin, was crucified and publicly hung stark naked. He was fully exposed, and the wrath of God was poured out upon Him. Jesus endured not only one of the cruelest forms of execution known to man, but He also had to deal with the greatest shame of forced public nudity.

There are two primary responses to the shame that comes with sin. I’ll focus on one for this post and the other one next week. The two responses are self-justification and brokenness. The first is showcased clearly by Adam and Eve. But brokenness is best showcased by King David in Psalm 51. Self-justification is how sinful man responds to the shame of sin. Brokenness is how the believer responds to the shame of sin. Let’s examine the sinful man’s response of self-justification.

Adam and Eve did three things once the shame of their nakedness was revealed. They first covered up their sin. They sewed fig leaves together, having nothing else in sight, to cover themselves. Now think about how silly this is. They were naked this whole time. Now they had fig leaves covering their intimate parts. What greater way could you say, “Hey! Lookie here!” They were announcing to the whole world that they had done something wrong. And don’t we see this over and over again? Parents, don’t your kids do this all the time? They want to hide from the wrong they did, yet they so easily give themselves away that they did something? They make it so obvious too.

The second thing they did was hide. They hid from God. At first, they were open and exposed before God, but now they ran and hid like cockroaches when the light turns on. Again, it was another giveaway that they had sinned. How obvious do you want to be that you sinned?! I know we can laugh at this, but we really aren’t any different; we do this all the time, and it’s so stupid. We can look at Adam and Eve and say, “Come on, just confess. You’re already busted.” Yet how many times do we do the same thing?

The third thing they did was shift the blame. God dragged them out and confronted them. Adam blamed Eve for giving him the fruit, and then he blamed God for giving Eve to him. Eve blamed the serpent. Neither came forward and confessed their sin before God. But they did confess to doing the deed. They did say “I ate,” but neither said, “I am sorry. I disobeyed You.” But I will give them this credit that there was one thing they did not do. They did not lie about it, though that wasn’t far down the road. Cain lied to God’s face unfazed when confronted about his murder of Abel just one generation later.

One thing that is key to notice when sinful man attempts to self-justify himself against the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the shame that comes with sin is that the conscience becomes worn out and ultimately seared. Look at today. I still remember the days when both homosexuality and woman who had abortions felt great shame. Today, they boast about their sins publicly as though they are daring God to do something about it. But that shame has not gone away. Those in the LGBT arena face some of the greatest bouts of depression we’ve seen, comparable if not greater than soldiers in combat. Why? The answer is simple: because their chosen lifestyle can’t do what they were seeking. They KNOW something is wrong, but sinful man cannot and will not accept the fact that it is their sin that is causing their shame – not the Christians who call out such sinful lifestyles. The same is true with abortions. So many women (and men too) are utterly devastated every time they see a child that is the age of a child theirs should be. It’s extremely shameful. While many have so hardened their hearts that they don’t care how evil they get and will continue that path no matter the cost, some are seeing the emptiness of sin and the death that it produces. We as the church need to be there to support and pick up those people by showing them the true response to sin.

The first proper response to sin is brokenness. I am only going to introduce it here now, but I will go into detail on it next week. Brokenness is the admission and recognition of what your sin is and the understanding of the weight of it. Brokenness leads to confession of sin, which will then lead to repentance from sin. When this happens, and we put our faith in Christ, we will be clothed with Christ and our nakedness will be covered.

While salvation is offered to us freely, there still needs to be a response on our part for it to apply. Jesus’s ministry can be summed in this phrase: “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” That was His message. But we cannot and will not repent unless we are first broken over our sin and confess it to be what it truly is. With repentance comes salvation – salvation from the penalty of sin, salvation from the power of sin, and soon salvation from the presence of sin. And with that comes the ultimate judgment and defeat of sin once for all. Stay tuned for the answer to this whole problem of sin over the next few weeks – the answer found in the Gospel of Christ.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.