John Newton (1725-1807) wrote the words to “Amazing Grace” –which became the best-known Christian song ever written. When you have a few minutes free, if you can get on the internet, please read a very interesting summary of his life here: https://shorturl.gg/3AYu4d.
God’s grace amazed John Newton until the day he died. He never got over the fact that God forgave his many sins, that God changed him from a slave trader into someone who loved the Lord and those around him.
The Apostle Paul’s life is another vivid picture of God’s grace. He was an important Jewish religious leader who hated the followers of Jesus Christ, and he harassed and persecuted them. He was doing that with great energy until God powerfully changed the direction of his life. You can read that story in Acts 22:3-13. After he came to know Jesus Christ as his Savior, he changed completely. He actually discovered immense joy in following Jesus and learned that he was blessed “… with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).
What about you? Is God’s grace amazing to you, or is it just a word from an old song you have heard sung?
Being amazed at God’s grace goes way beyond just hearing about it. It’s even more than understanding what the Bible teaches about the grace of God. God’s grace does not become amazing until it captures your heart.
Let me show you why God’s grace should astound you. You must begin by comparing what we all deserve to what God freely gives to those who turn to Him. “… we were dead in our transgressions, [but God’s grace] made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:5–6).
We are not amazed when we work hard and make our lives a little better. We assume we can do that. In order to be utterly amazed, we have to see our own sin and our inability to do anything about it. We have to see how bad we are in God’s eyes. He originally created humans as perfect beings, and since we have disobeyed Him, our dark, sinful hearts can never be welcomed into His presence by our own effort. To be amazed, we have to see our need for God’s spiritual heart transplant. In other words, before we can be amazed by God’s grace, we must first be “… born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).
We can’t make ourselves good enough for God in our own strength. That’s why God made this promise, “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26).
But that isn’t all! Not only does God give His followers the miracle of a changed heart, but He is also able to make them “… stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen” (Jude 24–25). Take a moment and think about the word “blameless.” You and I are far from blameless now, but the cleansing work of Jesus Christ is so thorough that we can stand in the full blaze of God’s glory as if we have never sinned.
I think that is the greatest thrill of God’s amazing grace!
When John Newton was on his deathbed, he gave this unforgettable summary of God’s amazing grace: “Although my memory’s fading, I remember two things very clearly: I am a great sinner, and Christ is a great Savior.”