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Monday, September 29, 2014

Amazing Grace

So here we are getting ready to starting a New Week with this For by grace you have been saved through faith. —Ephesians 2:8 Pressed into service in the Royal Navy, John Newton was dismissed for insubordination and turned to a career trafficking in slaves. Notorious for cursing and blasphemy, Newton served on a slave ship during the cruelest days of trans-Atlantic slavery, finally working his way up to captain. A dramatic conversion on the high seas set him on the path to grace. He always felt a sense of undeservedness for his new life. He became a rousing evangelical preacher and eventually a leader in the abolitionist movement. Newton appeared before Parliament, giving irrefutable eyewitness testimony to the horror and immorality of the slave trade. We also know him as the author of the lyrics of perhaps the best-loved hymn of all time, “Amazing Grace.” Newton described any good in himself as an outworking of God’s grace. In doing so, he stands with these great heroes—a murderer and adulterer (King David), a coward (the apostle Peter), and a persecutor of Christians (the apostle Paul). This same grace is available to all who call upon God, for “in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7). —Philip Yancey 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. —Newton Lives rooted in God’s unchanging grace can never be uprooted. Bible in a year: Isaiah 7-8; Ephesians 2 Insight Here in Ephesians 2, Paul contrasts a person’s life before being saved by the grace of God to life after salvation by grace through faith. The first contrast is in verse 1: We were once “dead in trespasses” but have been made alive. Another contrast is in our behavior. We once “walked according to the course of this world” (v.2). Now, as believers, we walk according to good works prepared by God (v.10).

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