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Amazing Grace

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. 
 Ephesians 1:7

 It seems the older I get the more I think about the hymns I grew up singing. They are full of theology. They help us praise God. I find myself singing them as I walk around the house or drive down the highway. What an influence they have had on my life! This week I want to share some of the history of a few of these great hymns.

 Of course, I have to begin with “Amazing Grace,” the most recognized and the favorite hymn of most of the world. The word “grace” certainly has a sweet sound. Grace is God doing for us what we don’t deserve. “Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me”—nothing can be more uplifting.

This great hymn, written by John Newton in 1779, describes the way God had reached out and saved a wretch like him. Mr. Newton had a godly mother. Because she was not in good health, he spent hours standing by her knees hearing Bible stories and memorizing Bible verses. She died when he was only seven years old. As Mr. Newton grew up, he fell deeper and deeper into sin.

As a part of the British navy, he spent much of his life on ships. Once a ship Mr. Newton was on was met by a brutal storm. He realized the danger he was in and called out to God. He remembered the verses his mother helped him memorize as a young child. He recalled the Bible stories she had taught him. He recalled the tearful prayers she had prayed for him.

God, in his grace, reached out to Mr. Newton. John Newton had chosen an evil lifestyle. Because of God’s grace, his life was changed. Mr. Newton later became one of the most powerful evangelical preachers in British history. That’s why he called God’s grace amazing.

The words of this hymn tell how God gives us life, calms our fears, pulls us through dangers.  

Regardless of our present lifestyle or things in our past, God’s grace, His goodness toward us, can save us and can raise us to our heavenly home. Paul’s writing in Ephesians 2:8 tells us we can only be saved by God’s grace. There is nothing we can do to earn salvation. It is God’s grace alone that saves us.

Source: Then Sings My Soul, by Robert J. Morgan, 2003


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