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Amazing Grace - How Sweet the Sound, that Saved a Wretch like Who? Eph 2:1-22 PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Tsang   
Monday, 16 October 2017 12:49

 

There are so many wonderful and familiar verses in Ephesians 2 that speak of the radical transformation that comes through the gift of salvation – “dead in your sins but now made alive in Christ”, “deserving of wrath but God showed us the incomparable riches of his grace”, and “saved by grace through faith and not by works from yourselves”. This past Sunday, Steve helped us to reflect on this dramatic transformation that we call conversion.

 

Today, transformation is often achieved through what we strive to do on our own efforts. But here in Ephesians, the transformation is what God does for us – He made us alive, He raised us up in Christ, He seated us with him in the heavenly realms, He saved us, and He prepared good works in advance for us to be a part of. Then in the second half of the chapter, Paul explained how the Gentiles are now welcomed into the covenant family, how Christ death on the cross removed the diving wall of hostility because God’s purpose was to create in himself, one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace. Reconciliation with God leads to reconciliation with others.

 

Steve concluded with the well-known story of John Newton (1725-1807), the author of the classic hymn, Amazing Grace. Newton was heavily involved in the slave trade between Britain, Africa, and the Americas. In one voyage, God saved Newton’s life during a fierce storm, and it was then that he would later recall it as ‘the hour he first believed’. After Newton’s conversion and in the following years, he became a lay preacher and then an ordained minister. Through the conviction of the Holy Spirit, Newton came to see the depth of the slave trade’s sinfulness and his guilt in participating in it. Newton developed a friendship with a young man by the name of William Wilberforce who went on to work tirelessly to abolish the slave trade in the British Empire.

 

 

Peace and Grace, John

 

John Newton, clerk, once an infidel and libertine,

a servant of slaves in Africa,

was, by the rich mercy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,

preserved, restored, pardoned,

and appointed to preach the faith he had long laboured to destroy.

(Epitaph of John Newton’s Gravestone)

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 December 2017 10:08