God’s Gift of Amazing Grace

God’s Gift of Amazing Grace

The story of John Newton.

“Amazing Grace” is one of the most popular hymns of all time. The man who wrote its lyrics was named John Newton, and he wrote the song to express his gratitude for God’s amazing grace in his life.
John Newton grew up as the son of an English sailor. He spent his early years around the water, pursuing adventure and wealth. When he was nineteen years old, he was drafted into service in the British navy. After some ups and downs, he was transferred to serve on a ship that transported slaves to England. Eventually, he became the captain of the ship and benefitted financially from the slave trafficking business.
Newton had no care or concern for God until one fateful day in May of 1748. While out at sea, his ship encountered a violent storm. Strong winds and overpowering waves hammered the crew. They all believed that they were beyond hope. There was no way they would come out alive. That’s when Captain Newton cried out to God: “Lord, have mercy on us!”
The storm passed and the crew survived. Newton was convinced that God had spared his life. He opened his heart to the gospel of Jesus Christ and marked the date as his “great deliverance” from the storm, but also from sin.
Years later, he retired from his life on the sea and became a pastor in England. His sermons were riveting. He preached the Scriptures with all of the energy and passion that one might expect from a man who knew the depth of both his sin and God’s love. It was during this time that he wrote the famous words of “Amazing Grace”: “Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now I’m found; was blind, but now I see.”

Grace is a gift from God.

The word “grace” appears 155 times in the New Testament. It’s an English translation of the Greek word charis, which means the undeserved gift of God’s favor. In Romans 3.24 ESV, the Apostle Paul explains that we are “justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
Because grace is a gift, it’s clear that no one can earn it. Grace isn’t something you earn; it’s something you receive. It’s also clear that grace comes to you free of charge. The one who gives the gift is the one who bears the cost.
Grace is free to you because Jesus paid for it. Finally, because grace is a gift, no one can take it away from you. Once you’ve received God’s gift of grace, it is always yours. From start to finish, your relationship with God is completely rooted in His gift of grace. 
This blog features an excerpt from one of our Student Series books, Walk With God.

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