Summary: God’s grace is greater than anything we have ever experienced before.
What’s So Amazing About Grace?
June 1, 2008 Evening Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: God’s grace is greater than anything we have ever experienced before.
Focus Passage: Ephesians 1:1-9
Supplemental Passage: (Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB) For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
John Newton The word amazing means… Excellent, Incredible, Tremendous, Wonderful.
I. The Source of Grace (vs 1-2)
a. The source of grace is God our father and the Lord Jesus.
b. The result of grace is peace: Grace always Precedes Peace.
Grace is the expression of God’s love, while peace is the result of His love!
II. The Object of Grace (3-8)
a. WE are the object of God’s Grace: Look what He has done for us!
i. Blessed- The goodness & favor of God on us!
ii. Chosen- God singled you out to be His very own
iii. Predestined / Election - are words that are rooted together. Meaning choice / selection. Speaking of God’s Sovereignty.
iv. Lavished- (to give in abundance; shower with; a downpour) His Grace on us. Because he wanted to!
v. Adopted- God grafted us into His family as His own!
III. The Purpose of Grace (vs 7-9)
a. The purpose of grace is this, we have been:
i. Made alive IN HIM.
ii. Raised us up w/HIM.
iii. Seated beside Him in the heavenly realms.
John Newton described himself as a "wretch" in need of grace. Though his mother taught him to pray, she died when he was 7 and his heart hardened against God. He became a wild, young man who mocked Christianity and drowned himself in drink.
At 23, while a crewman on a slave ship, Newton was jolted awake by a violent storm—so terrifying that he cried out to the Lord. The John Newton who arrived safely in England was a repentant man. For the rest of his life he would refer to March 10, 1748, as the day of his conversion.
Unfortunately, Newton's conversion did not change his views of slavery for many years. He became the captain of his own slave ship. In time, under the influence of famed abolitionist William Wilberforce and Anglican priests John Wesley and George Whitefield, he had another spiritual awakening. In 1760 he became an ordained minister and a powerful foe of slavery.
He eventually settled in the Olney parish where he and his friend William Cowper spent four days a week collaborating on hymns for their prayer meetings. On Jan. 1, 1773, the hymn was "Amazing Grace," which accompanied a text on David's response to God's blessings (1 Chron. 17:16-17). The original title for the song was "Faith's Review and Expectation."
Two earlier forms of the tune were published in the 19th century, but recent scholarship credits William Walker's Southern Harmony (1835) with the marriage of Newton's text to an old plantation melody. Much of the hymn's early popularity was the result of the songbook, which sold 800,000 copies.
In 1852 Harriet Beecher Stowe added a verse to Newton's text in Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852)—the now familiar "10,000 years" verse. The revised hymn was published in Dwight L. Moody's songbook and later in hymnals of many denominations. Today, parts of Newton's story are retold in Amazing Grace, a feature film about the life of William Wilberforce. It arrives in theaters in February.
The redeemed sinner who wrote, "I was lost but now I'm found … was blind but now I see" was literally blind when he died—but he had seen clearly the wonder of God's grace.