The hymn “Amazing Grace” was written by John Newton, and it was a response to goodness of God’s grace on a man who recognized he was not worthy of God’s mercy and grace. John Newton’s mother was a Puritan and a godly woman, however, she died when he was just 7 years old. John raised by his father who was a sea captain and became a sailor at a very early age. Eventually John became a captain of his own ship and he became a slave trader.
One night on his return to England, his ship was caught in a horrible storm. The ship was almost torn apart – however, John Newton cried out to God to have mercy on them. As he cried out to God for mercy, he realized that he had done nothing to deserve God’s mercy because he had lived his life completely away form God. This storm completely changed his life, and he began to read the Bible. By the time he reached the harbor in England, he had given his life to Christ.
Despite his conversion, Newton did not leave the slave trade behind immediately, but through the Holy Spirit he began to see the evil in it. He began to develop compassion for the slaves and he got to a point where he could not, in good conscience, continue as a slave trader. Eventually he did leave the slave trade, and he became a pastor and an outspoken advocate for the abolishment of slavery. His life was forever changed by the goodness of God’s grace and mercy. John Newton’s life is a testimony to the hope that we have in God’s grace, because it serves as a reminder to the goodness of God and that none of us are deserving of God’s grace.
This week we will be looking at the truths of God’s grace and mercy as we look at Ephesians 2:1-10. In this text we will dig into three truths about who we are, who God is and what He has planned for us. We will see that apart from God we are spiritually dead and there is nothing that we can do about it. However, because of the goodness of God, we do not remain dead – we are made alive in Christ! We have in this new life in Christ, and God will use us to reveal His glory, both in our life and the life of others.
Pastor Justin Nelson