October 22

The Story of a Spiritual Transformation in “Amazing Grace”

Amazing Grace” is one of the classic hymns that generations after generations love to sing. It’s a hymn that declares the incredible works of God. Often, we fail to notice these because we’re more focused on the things emanating from the world. Many gospel singers and musicians alike have recorded the song even up to the present times.

The Hymn: “Amazing Grace”

If you ask someone a classic hymn they’re most familiar with, “Amazing Grace” would probably be one of the common answers you’ll get. This hymn, which emerged in the mid-17th century, was considered an all-time favorite by many. Hence, several authors affirmed its universal popularity. The hymn was created out of its author’s personal experiences. John Newton was the talented artist behind the hymn’s lyrics. The words reflect his marvelous journey toward spiritual transformation.

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Newton has had his fair share of troubles and struggles in life. At a very young age, he lost his mother and had to face life’s intricate path all by himself.

He faced many storms of life and experienced torment in all its forms. But despite everything he went through, he never questioned or blamed God. In fact, it was during his most alarming moment that he called out to the Almighty for help. From then on, he went through a progressive spiritual journey which led to his eventual conversion. John Newton went on to become one of the most powerful preachers in British history.

On New Year’s Day in 1773, Newton preached a sermon from the book of Chronicles (17:16-17). After which, he uttered the words,

“I was once lost but now am found; was blind but now I see.”

The above line became an essential part of the hymn “Amazing Grace” that he wrote later to illustrate the sermon’s message. The hymn symbolic African American spiritual and the widespread message it conveys brought the hymn to the world of secular music. According to Newton’s biographer, Jonathan Aitken, “Amazing Grace” is performed about 10 million times annually.

Listen to Wintley Phipps’ interpretation of John Newton’s transformational hymn below.

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amazing grace, John Newton, Wintley Phipps


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