Summary: Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!
Reading: 1 Timothy 1:12-17
Ill: Dental hygienist, newly baptized, told me about Amazing Grace movie.
“Amazing Grace”, the classic Christian hymn written in 1779 by John Newton is said to have been recorded more often and by more artists then any other song. The Hymn was written by John Newton as a testimony of the grace of God in his life. By his own account, before his conversion, John Newton had lived a Godless and sinful life. Chief among his sins was his role in the African slave trade as the captain of a slave ship. After his conversion to Christ he became an Anglican minister.
The original title of the song was not “Amazing Grace” but was “Faiths Review And Expectation”. The title was later changed to the one we are familiar with.
Also the original hymn had six verses and not five as found in our hymnal. Interestingly one of the verses as found in many current hymnals was added later and was not penned by John Newton. The melody that was added to John Newton’s poem was a familiar folk song of the day, “Virginia Harmony”.
What Is Grace?
Grace is much easier to illustrate than it is to define.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary: 1 a: unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification.
Justice is – Getting what you deserve. Mercy is – Not getting what you deserve. Grace is – Getting what you don’t deserve.
In John Newton’s Hymn – “Amazing Grace” – We can also find a definition of Grace.
This morning we are going to use the verses of this hymn and discover John Newton’s powerful illustration and testimony of Amazing Grace.
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind, but now I see.
1)How many of us have felt like the one John Newton describes in this verse? How many of us can recognize ourselves in this verse, a blind, lost, wretch of a human being? Ephesians 2:1-8
John 12:46 “I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.”
Colossians 1:13-14 “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
B.This verse tells us how grace will bring us from darkness into light.
T’was grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear, The hour I first believed!
IIl: John Newton in the storm, crying out for the mercy of God.
1)It is terrifying when we first come to realize what it means to be “children of wrath.” Understanding the consequences of being under the dominion of Satan, lost and in fear of judgment.
Hebrews 10:31 “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
Romans 5:1-2 “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.”
2)At one time we were enemies, alienated from God but now we have peace with God.
B.This second verse tells us how grace justifies, saving us from the power of sin.
Through many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come;
‘Tis grace that brought me safe this far. And grace will lead me home.
1)It is important to realize that God’s Grace does not stop at our salvation. Through His Grace God also extends to our life in Christ. Titus 2:11-14
B.Tribulation will come into our lives; Grace will help us in dealing with those troubles.
Romans 5:1-5 “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
C.This verse tells us that Grace is with us always and works in our lives to help us through all of the trials and tribulations that we go through.
The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be As long as life endures.