How Sweet The Sound

19.09.24 Amazing Grace jpg

A Trophy of Grace..

How astounding it is that Saul of Tarsus became the Apostle Paul! A powerful testimony of grace that would serve generations all through the church age. In fact, Paul clearly said “But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life”. He was to be displayed as a trophy of grace for all generations. Clearly, he was so undeserving, but that is the very essence of grace, being that which is extended to the undeserving. A wonderful acronym for grace is God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense! He took what we deserve, so that we might receive what we don’t deserve.

Chief of Sinners..

Paul, as with faithful men of Old, such as Ezra, Daniel, Nehemiah, David and others, was so very aware of the grace of God displayed in his life. From persecutor of the faith to the preacher of that faith (Gal 1:23). He referred to himself with 3 revealing titles. “I am the least of the Apostles” He cried! (1 Cor 15:9). “I am less than the least of all the saints” He confessed (Eph 3:8). “I am the very chief of sinners” He proclaimed (1 Tim 1:15). But on the tail of each of those declarations he bows before the great grace shown him. A grace that was bestowed upon him, a grace that was abundantly given and a grace not wasted, for through that grace he laboured and through that grace he lived.

Vessels of Grace..

It is the realisation of being the object of grace, or better a shining trophy of grace, that finds us also used as a vessel of grace. Perhaps that is why God used 3 murderers to write most of the Bible, namely Moses, David & Saul! For when a man is confronted with such grace in the face of such sin, what a depth he discovers. Grace cannot remain just a theology but must finds it’s very home in our undeserving lives. And while we may not have committed the high sins of these men, we still may recognise such grace extended to us, for we all have sinned and fall so short of his glory (Rom 3:23).

I Am What I Am..

The words of Paul also are fitted for our lips when he said, “I am what I am by the grace of God” (1 Cor 15:10). The chief of sinners to the chief apostle.  It is that wonder, that only grace can bring, that puts a new song on the believer’s life each day. We must rehearse it often. We must ponder the cross again and once more. I must remove my shoes in God’s presence, that a sinner such as I might stand on Holy ground. What a wonder! Oh surely it is the very duty of any pulpit to bring His grace before us so clearly again and again.

Amazing Grace..

John Newton, the author of that inspired Hymn of old, was himself one who sailed on the slave ships and one day found such grace as a sinner. For 43 years after he then preached the grace that found him. And in that ancient hymn he captures his own wonder in finding God’s Amazing Grace. On his death bed, at 82 years old, he left us these words “My memory all but fails me, but 2 things I know, I am a great sinner and He is a great saviour.”


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.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.
–John Newton, 1725-1807



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