Nowhere in the Bible will you find the words, “amazing grace.” nowhere! These two words together are not in there. But the Bible is filled with grace, and it is because of that grace, that we add the word “amazing.” What is there about God’s grace that makes it so amazing? My dictionary defines grace as “good will or favor.” Then it adds, “divine love and protection given to mankind by God.” Grace is the unmerited favor of God. Absolutely unmerited! it is “the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8). We cannot earn it, learn it, buy it or ever deserve it. But He still imparts His grace to us, every day.
Such a gift as grace begs the question, “Why does God ever give it to us?” The answer is so simple that many completely miss it or choose to disregard it. He wants us to glorify Him and magnify Him. He wants us to love Him and praise Him. He wants us to live for Him so He can give us abundant life and a peace that truly does pass all understanding (Jn. 10:10; Phil. 4:7).
It’s hard for humans to understand this kind of love, for it is not in our nature. It is the difference between God’s divine nature and man’s corruptible one. God extends His grace to us so that we may come to know Him in all His fullness, in all His abundance. Amazing grace! What glorious words!
Countless numbers of people have heard the wonderful old hymn, “Amazing Grace!” Have you ever really listened to its words? it was written by John Newton (1725-1807), an Englishman who experienced the awesome grace of God. Articles about his life describe the evils in which he indulged, even going so far as to engage in the despicable slave trade, transporting people from their homeland to distant shores. But one day John Newton met a Man, and oh what a Man he met – his Savior!
During a desperate bid for his life during which the ship he captained nearly sank, he reached beyond the means he knew and into the arms of God’s amazing grace. No wonder he could pen such words! He experienced amazing grace, firsthand. And he never ceased to praise God for His gift of grace. Sources record that shortly before his death at 82 he said, “My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things: I am a great sinner and Jesus Christ is a great Savior!”
Newton’s tombstone reads, “John Newton, clerk, once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves in Africa, was, by the rich mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, preserved, restored, pardoned and appointed to preach the faith he had long labored to destroy.” But a far greater testimony outlives the inscription on Newton’s tombstone – his most famous hymn, “Amazing Grace!”
I, too, can attest to that great grace. “Amazing Grace” will always be my favorite hymn because it so aptly describes the wretchedness of my own life and the forgiveness I found through Jesus Christ. It is truly amazing that God would extend His grace to forgive a person such as I.
I don’t want to forget who I was, what I was and where I was. I want to always remember from where He brought me and what He has done for me. I am forever separated from the sins of my past and have been made a new creature in Christ. Old things are passed away and all things have become new (2 Cor. 5:17). There’s a complete peace in my life, that the Bible says “surpasses all understanding” (Phil. 4:7). The world, and all it has to offer, can never give me this peace. What makes God’s grace so amazing is that it is made new every day! It is there not only for today, but for all my tomorrows – “Grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16). There truly is no other word for grace but “amazing!”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Patrick Pakai lives in Gweru, Zimbabwe with his wife and three children. He is an elder and assistant pastor at a local church, and is involved in organizational development and administering the work of God in the Midlands Region of this severely depressed nation.
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org