Sunday, November 25, 2007

Whats so Amazing about Amazing Grace, part 3

This is the third in a series of posts about the song Amazing Grace, written by John Newton. In the first post I told a little about Newton's life. In the second , I started to examine some of the biblical doctrine contained in verse number one. Today I would like to continue to do the same with the second verse.

Verse 2
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear

comes from God, and by definition it is a free unmerited gift of God. This verse states that it is a gift from God that we fear him. Proverbs 9:10 states: "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding." Job 28:28 says: "And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding."

The knowledge of the holiness of God should lead us to understand our sinfulness as well as how much we are deserving of judgement. This should cause us to fear God! And it should cause us to depart from evil, in other words to repent! When someone tells you that they do not believe in a god that you have to fear, then they likely do not believe in the same God that the bible speaks of. They have not received that first grace of God teaching them the beginning of wisdom.

And grace my fears relieved

The free and unmerited gift (in other words, grace) of salvation is what will finally releive the fear of judgement that the law instills in us. 1 John 4: 17-19 tells us: "Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us." The fear of Judge has been replaced with the godly fear of a loving Father.

How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed

If God’s grace is not precious to you above all else, then its likely you never saw yourself as a wretch deserving hell, and never were a partaker of the grace of the fear of God. I find that the longer I have been saved, the more precious grace is to me, because the longer I have been saved, the more I see how short I fall!

By God's grace I will continue with verse 3 of Amazing Grace in my next post.

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