The final session was based on the hymn Amazing Grace (Newton, 1779) and Amazing Grace (My Chains) (Tomlin, 2008). Both reflect on how awestruck we feel from God’s grace and love.
All the lyrics and questions are found in the booklet but you can get the questions in PDF form HERE!
Newton was a sailor, ended up working for slave-traders after being discharged from the navy, and then found himself transferred to a Liverpool ship, the Greyhound which was in a storm for over a week on its homeward journey; on the eleventh day he was too exhausted to operate the pumps which were keeping the ship afloat, he instead was at the helm trying to hold the ship to it’s course for around eleven hours (Christianity Today, 2017).
While he was at the helm, Newton found time to think; he was a slave-trading sailor and had a bad reputation for profanity, coarseness, and debauchery, which gave him the nickname “The Great Blasphemer”, but even he was not beyond God’s grace. Once he believed, he began to fight against the slave-trade and was soon called into ministry, preaching for forty-three years (Severance, 2010).
Peter Hollens feat. Home Free: Amazing Grace
Chris Tomlin: Amazing Grace (My Chains)
Throughout this session, the theme of being blown away by God’s grace and love stood out; some amazing stories were shared, and we were encouraged to remember that God can work in amazing ways, even if we aren’t expecting it. We have been given an amazing gift of eternal life though God’s grace; Ephesians 2:8-9 says:
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Newton was always amazed by God’s grace and said to his friends, “My memory is nearly gone; but I remember two things: That I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Saviour.” (Severance, 2010). Are you as amazed as Newton? Are you going to go and tell all your friends? After all, it wouldn’t be right not to share the greatest gift of all with everyone else.
- Bible (n.d.) ESV Bible. Bible Gateway [online]. Available at: https://www.biblegateway.com (Accessed: 2 December 2017).
- Bible (n.d.) NIV Bible. Bible Gateway [online]. Available at: https://www.biblegateway.com (Accessed: 2 December 2017).
- Christianity Today (2017) John Newton: Reformed Slave Trader. Christianity Today [online]. Available at: http://www.christianitytoday.com/history/people/pastorsandpreachers/john-newton.html (Accessed: 2 December 2017).
- Newton, J. (1779) Amazing Grace.
- Severance, D. (2010) John Newton Discovered Amazing Grace. Christianity.com [online]. Available at: https://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1701-1800/john-newton-discovered-amazing-grace-11630253.html (Accessed: 2 December 2017).
- Tomlin, C. (2008) Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone).