THE STORY OF AMAZING GRACE
A few years ago, I came across the following “Story of Amazing Grace” and copied it, primarily for my own use. Therefore I didn’t record the source from which I obtained it. I have since either misplaced or lost the material, and I cannot give the proper credit for this short article here. However, I want to publish it for the encouragement of our readers: - The late Claude King, Sr.
John Newton, the celebrated English preacher and hymn writer, realized that he was a trophy of divine grace. A while before his death, a brother minister came to have breakfast with him. Family prayers before the meal. Mr. Newton’s sight had almost failed him, and he was unable to read. He sat and listened to his friend as he read the 15th chapter of I Corinthians. When the tenth verse was read, “By the Grace of God I am what I am,” Mr. Newton began to speak. “I am not what I ought to be. Ah! How imperfect and deficient! I am not what I wish to be. I abhor what is evil, and I would cleave to what is good. I am not what I hope to be soon. Soon, I shall put off, with mortality, all sin and imperfection. Though I am not what I ought to be, nor what I wish to be, nor what I hope to be: I can truly say that I am not what I once was, a slave to sin and Satan; and I can heartily join with the apostle, and acknowledge, by the grace of God I am what I am.”
John Newton could say that with conviction and joy. What had he once been? When he was seven years old he lost his mother. A little later, he went to sea with his dad and learned all the evils of the seaman’s life. Still later, he was forced into the navy. He deserted, but was caught and striped and beaten until the blood flowed from his wounds. He had now become a hardened infidel. He fell in with African slave traders. He went from bad to worse, until he himself was sold as a slave. It was a Negro woman who bought him, and she gloried in her power over him. She made him depend for his food on the crusts she tossed under the table. He had fallen to the depths of human degradation. And yet the grace of God found him, and saved him, and made him one of the greatest ministers of Christ, and a writer of hymns that have stirred the hearts of men the world over. Truly he could say, “I am not what I once was.” And truly he could say, “By the grace of God I am what I am.”
Knowing this do you wonder at John Newton’s message in the grand old hymn:
“Amazing grace, How sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.”
When we read this story of John Newton’s life we can understand why he wrote the eight verses (along with the regularly sung verses) which are so seldom used today. We have gotten so busy that we do not have the time to sing all the verses of many of our grand old hymns, and many times we fail to get the message that the songwriter meant to convey. This is certainly true of t his great song. Read carefully the eight “missing” verses:
In evil long I took delight,
Unawed by shame of fear;
Till a new object met my sight,
And stopped my wild career.
I saw One hanging on a tree,
In agonies and blood;
Who fixed His languid eyes on me
As near His cross I stood.
Sure, never till my latest breath,
Can I forget that look;
It seemed to charge me with Hid death,
Though not a word He spoke.
My conscience felt and owned the guilt,
And plunged me in despair;
I saw my sins His blood had shed,
And helped to nail Him there.
Alas, I knew not what I did,
But all my tears were vain;
Where could my trembling soul be hid,
For I the Lord had slain.
A second look He gave that said,
I freely all forgive!
This blood is for thy ransom paid,
I died that thou mayest live.
The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess within the vail,
A life of joy and peace.
WE INVITE YOU TO ATTEND
FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS
‘Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the
gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye
stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto
you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all
that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the
And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures”: I Corinthians 15: 1-4.
TWO: Hearing and believing t he true Gospel will mean your eternal salvation.
“The word of faith, which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10: 9-10.
THREE: A very important reason to attend a Bible believing church, like ours, is the fact that many so called churches in these evil times are actually misleading people and endangering the soul’s welfare.
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. “ II Peter 2: 1-2
FOUR: You need the ministry of our church. In this troubled era with its problems and perplexity, you will find our church a place of encouragement, comfort and blessing.
“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”