Summary: Whose fault was it that Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden? Was it all THEIR fault? Did Satan influence Eve's choice? Was God at fault for their failure?
OPEN: One of the most popular Christian Hymns of all time was written in the 1700’s by a man named John Newton. Does anybody know the name of that hymn?
It’s such a popular hymn that it has been sung by numerous singers down through the years including such artists as Arlo Guthrie to Fats Domino, Joan Baez, Destiny's Child, Mahalia Jackson, Judy Collins, Aretha Franklin, Rod Stewart, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley.
It’s been sung acapella, it’s been played on pipe organs and bagpipes, pianos, and guitars and it's been sung by everyone from Opera singers to rock stars.
I read the comments of one person who believed “Amazing Grace” was America’s most beloved song. So, this morning I want you to sing the first verse of that great hymn along with me.
“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.”
ILLUS: Some time back I was visiting with a friend who loves to play the piano. He was playing songs from a songbook his mother left him and I was looking over his shoulder trying to sing the songs he played. At one point he turned the page and there was “Amazing Grace”. And he began to play it and I began to sing. But the words were different than those we just sang.
These are the words I saw on the page:
“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved SOMEONE like me”
My friend had scratched out the words “a wretch” and penciled in “someone”.
Now why on earth would he do that? Why would he scratch out the words “A WRETCH” and replace them with the word “SOMEONE?”
Well, because he didn’t like this idea of himself being a wretch.
He didn’t appreciate the idea that he would be called a sinner.
It offended him.
Now, of course he was wrong.
HE WAS A SINNER.
We’re all sinners.
Romans 3:23 tells us “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
And the Ephesian Christians were told that before they became Christians they were
• “dead in (their) transgressions and sins…” Ephesians 2:1
• And “were by nature objects of wrath.” Ephesians 2:3
And the Apostle John wrote that “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” 1 John 1:10
In other words – Jesus said he’d come to die for all of us because we’d sinned, but if we say we’ve never sinned, then we’re telling Jesus He didn’t die for us and we really don’t need His sacrifice. If we said that we’d be accusing Jesus of being a liar.
Now, while I was visiting with my friend he got quite worked about politics. Have you ever been around someone who gets worked about politics? You could see his blood pressure rise and his face turn red. And he began to go on a tirade like a machine gun telling me how much he hated this politician and that senator or congressman. Of course, they were all Republicans and he made no bones about the fact that he regarded all Republican politicians as evil and unprincipled animals.