Sermon Illustrations

For those of you who weren’t here a couple of weeks ago - before he became a preacher John Newton was a wicked man. If there was something evil he could do... and he could figure out a way to do it… he did it.

In fact, his wickedness was so obvious, that when his ship, the Greyhound, was caught in a terrible storm at sea, the captain seriously suggested throwing him overboard like Jonah because he believed Newton’s wickedness was the cause of all their misery.

During the 9 terrifying hours of a storm that had everyone – including Newton – praying.

John Newton said: "I concluded my sins were too great to be forgiven. I waited with fear and impatience to receive my doom."

Newton was afraid.

And he later came to believe that his fear was God’s tool to get his attention.

“It was grace that taught my heart to fear”

John Newton believed God had to bring him to his knees in FEAR before he would ever give his life to Jesus. But once he did do that - give his life to Jesus - he became a fireball.

He was determined, focused, and unstoppable.

According to one author “To London’s ‘smart society,’ John Newton was… an evangelical, but the “worst” kind: a fanatic who denounced all the self-indulgences and pleasures that society loved the most.” Focus On The Family Feb, 07 page 15, Paul McCusker

But Newton didn’t care. He didn’t care what they thought. He wasn’t in love with the world around him, he was in love with Jesus

.But he got that way because “it was grace that taught his heart to fear”

From Jeff Strite’s Sermon: It Was Grace That Taught My Heart To Fear