When you read those words, what is the first thing that pops into your mind?
Even if a person is lost, I think they are familiar with these words because it is the title of one of the most familiar hymns known to man, second only to “How Great Thou Art” or "The Old Rugged Cross."
For a Christian, our association with these words is a whole lot deeper and significant.
Most likely, a Christian is familiar with some of the history of this song. They probably know that the writer was John Newton, a scoundrel slave trader who was saved from a wicked life. He came to know God’s amazing grace personally.
Of his life, Newton wrote in 1778, “How industrious is Satan served. I was formerly one of his active undertemptors and had my influence been equal to my wishes I would have carried all the human race with me. A common drunkard or profligate is a petty sinner to what I was.” Moyers, Bill (director). Amazing Grace with Bill Moyers, Public Affairs Television, Inc. (1990).
Mr. Newton’s description of his life prior to salvation reminds us of Paul’s words when he said that he was the chief of sinners. However, being confronted with God’s amazing grace changed everything. Neither Paul nor Newton were the same after they were touched by amazing grace.
Every Christian can echo Paul’s words from Romans 3:24, “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” We, too, have experienced the amazing grace of salvation. Our lives were changed in an instant.
What makes this grace so amazing? It is amazing that God desired to show me grace. It is amazing that God would send His Son, Jesus. It is amazing that after bearing my sins on Calvary and experiencing the depth of my depravity that Jesus would still want to save my soul. It is amazing that God would – and could -- break my heart so that He could save me. It is amazing that Jesus would want to share His inheritance with me. It is amazing that I will be welcomed into heaven someday.
It is amazing grace. Those words are such a sweet sound. And, His grace continues…