Amazing Grace

Amazing GraceHave you ever heard of John Newton? John Newton was born in London, England on July 24, 1725. His father was sailor, his mother a Christian. Mrs. Newton, however, died from tuberculosis when John was only seven years old. By age eleven, he was sailing with his father. Eventually, he became a merchant marine and later was pressed into service in the British Navy.

Raised among sailors, Newton grew up to be a scoundrel. At one point, he deserted the Navy, but was caught and punished. Eventually, Newton found work aboard slave ships, transporting slaves to the New World to work in cotton and tobacco fields. In time, he became the captain of his own ship.

During his travels to and from Africa, Newton came into contact with Christian missionaries and heard the good news of Jesus’ love and forgiveness.

John Newton, the slave trader, eventually became John Newton, the Christian.

John Newton, the Christian, eventually became John Newton, the pastor.

John Newton, the pastor, eventually became John Newton, the hymn writer, who wrote arguably the most famous hymn of all time.

“Amazing grace,” Newton wrote, “how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found; was blind, but now I see.”

Grace is undeserved love. Grace is loving the unlovable. Grace is God loving even wretches like John Newton. Grace is God loving wretches like you and me.

“But wait a minute, pastor,” you may be thinking. “I never kidnapped people and sold them into slavery. I’m not a scoundrel like John Newton.” You’re right. You’re not a slave trader.

You are a liar. You are a disobedient child and unfair parent. You are an imperfect wife and an unfaithful husband. You are an underachieving student and a lazy worker. You are a wretch, just like me and just like John Newton.

Yet God loved the unlovable. He loved you. In fact, he loved you so much, he left behind the glory and joy and perfection of heaven to be born in a manure smelling barn. God loved you so much he suffered beatings, whippings – people spitting in his face. God loved you so much he suffered your hell in your place, and because he did, you are forgiven. Because of God’s amazing grace, you will live forever in a heaven you don’t deserve.

Amazing grace – how sweet the sound! Never stop singing that sweet sounding song. Never stop sharing that sweet sounding truth with everyone you can. Never forget what God has done for wretches like you and me.

Never forget that, because of God’s amazing grace, one day you will sing that sweet sounding song with the angel choirs of heaven.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we’d first begun.

  6 comments for “Amazing Grace

  1. Sunny Roberts
    November 21, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Love stories like these to find out the meaning behind the hymn for our daily use. It makes hymns, like the Bible more personal to each of us and our lives. I watched a show, a few years ago, about the original story behind many of our old hymns and it was wonderful. Maybe you could put more hymns and their histories on your website.

    Thank you.

    • schroera
      November 22, 2014 at 8:07 am

      Thanks! I plan on writing more articles about hymns.

  2. Gloria Estrello
    November 30, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    I so enjoyed reading this never knew there was a story about how this song came to be. Thank you for enlightening me.. can not wait for you to write about another song..

  3. Tim Matas
    February 11, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    As unlikely as it seems, I had never heard the story behind the writing of “Amazing Grace,” either. The other day I heard that one young fellow complaining about the hymns in church being so “awful” as he put it. His father told him, “If you think you can write better hymns, do it.” And so he went out and wrote some of our more popular hymns.
    All this talk about grace and yet I run into so many people who don’t understand that grace is the key. We, by our selves are unable to lock the key to the door of heaven but for some reason no one know why other than God IS LOVE and he love us so that he gave his only begotten son to suffer and die and rise again from the dead so we could be saved without any cost or effort on our part. It is God’s grace, which is undeserved love and kindness, which allows us to believe in Jesus Christ and that is all it take to get into heaven. Mercy is the other side of the coin. While we are receiving this grace which is our get-into-heaven-free card, it is God’s mercy which keeps us from having to suffer the punishment we actually deserve because we have broken all of God’s rules and laws. SO NOW IT IS ONLY NATURAL THAT WE LOVE GOD WITH ALL OUR HEARTS AND MINDS AND OUR VERY BEING AND TRY TO DO WHAT HE ASKS US TO DO AS RECORDED IN THE BIBLE. WE TRY OUR BEST AND WHEN WE SLIP UP HE FORGIVES US. — A great and wonderful thing –so why would some people want to turn down all these offers of salvation and forgiveness God offers us. Why would they choose to live in sin and darkness — to live without God, not only in this world but for everlasting in the world to come. Go figure!

  4. Jason
    February 17, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    I think it is safe to say that most here would enjoy a very nice movie related to this history also titled =
    “Amazing Grace” Here’s a trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqlcjI85gaY

  5. Jason
    July 1, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Hopefully you have the opportunity to watch this good movie. A little more on the story behind the song…

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