Written Word

What’s Amazing About the Grace of God?

John Newton’s famous hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ not only has edified the hearts of God’s people for over two centuries, it is a hymn rich in praise of God’s grace for sinners like us.

Grace speaks of God acting in a gracious and merciful way to sinners who deserve nothing but condemnation. Grace is about God paying in full the penalty of our sins through the death of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace is about One who is innocent dying so the guilty can live. It’s about One becoming our substitute, taking our place, becoming our sacrifice for sin so we could become sons of God. That’s amazing grace.

Only when our spiritual condition is understood can we sing with heartfelt fervour, ‘Amazing Grace.’ By our sins, our own willful choice to rebel against God, we have separated ourselves from God. With terrible consequences. We are now lost and unable to save ourselves. We cannot forgive ourselves. We cannot declare ourselves innocent. We cannot reconcile ourselves to God. We cannot enter the kingdom of God by our own efforts. We are lost and need to be found. We are spiritually dead and need to be given a new life. We need someone to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. We need a Saviour. We need Jesus. We need grace.

The Cross and Grace

Our spiritual condition is expressed by the Apostle Paul in words that leave us in no doubt as to just how sinful we are and denying this doesn’t change the facts. We are described as godless, unable to save ourselves, ungodly and enemies of God. This is the backdrop against which God extended amazing grace.

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly … But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us … For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” (Romans 5:6-10)

Why has God made such gracious provision to forgive us? Why didn’t he condemn us as our sins deserved? There is only one reason: God is a God of grace.

The death of our Lord Jesus Christ for sinners like us is a display of grace that can only be described as amazing. And because of this we can sing with John Newton, ‘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.’