This is an introduction to be read by the worship leader prior to singing the hymn.
John Newton, the writer of the hymn “Amazing Grace” was, at one point in his life, “the worst of sinners.” He personally ruined over 20,000 lives selling 20,000 young Africans; that’s 20,000 people created by God, in His image, and Newton sold them like cattle into a life of unending slavery. He never knew their names, never cared to know their names, in fact history tells us that Newton simply referred to them all as “grunts.” Newton was guilty for grievous crimes against humanity. But God used this man to change the course of History. John Newton was lost; but now He’s found, He was blind; but now He sees. Newton was writing about himself. Newton was the wretch. He came full circle. This is a story of one man coming to faith, renouncing the life that he once served.
You may have come here this morning thinking that you’re sins are unforgivable. This may be the first time that you’ve been in a church for over 10 years. On Good Friday, some 2000 years ago, a Roman soldier plunged a sword into the side of a dying innocent man. In fact, this innocent man was God himself. Quite a sin you must be thinking, right? But guess what covered that sharp tipped sword when it was removed from Jesus’ side. It was literally covered by the blood of Jesus. I don’t know if that Roman soldier ever came to faith in Jesus; but if He did, that sin was covered and paid for in full. It’s amazing grace!
My chains are gone. I’ve been set free. My God, my Savior has ransomed me. And like a flood, His mercy reigns, unending love, amazing grace. (Chris Tomlin; lyrics to “Amazing Grace – My Chains are Gone)
Some of the text in this reading are from the major motion picture “Amazing Grace”.