Steve Tessitore, American Missionary in the U.K.
Verse 1: “Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me; I once was lost but now I’m found; Was blind but now I see”
Grace = God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense
Amazing = A wonderment; way above normal; out of the ordinary; defying the senses.
“How sweet the sound” … Since when does grace make sound?
“That saved a wretch like me” … How does grace making a sound save somebody?
“I once was lost but now I’m found was blind but now I see” … I don’t remember being lost and needing to be found and I have never been blind.
DO WE KNOW WHAT WE’RE SAYING
WHEN WE SING THIS SONG?!
“How sweet the sound” … This is not sound that resonates in the physical ear but in the soul of man. This sound that grace makes is the sweetness of being given a gift, a prize; something immeasurable in value for no reason other than God’s love for us.
“That saved a wretch like me” … The saving is for the eternal soul of a man. It needs saving because man’s end, without being given this gift, is an eternity apart from God.
“I once was blind” … Not physical blindness but the kind of blindness that doesn’t see the trouble I’m in spiritually. I don’t see God’s riches, at Christ’s expense, just waiting for me to receive by faith, believing in Christ’s loving sacrifice of Himself for me.
“But now I see” … Our spiritual eyes are opened by believing in Jesus. We get born again – John 3:3. God’s Spirit helps us to see things as He sees them. He says our sin leads to death, physical and spiritual. God is light and so, where He is, there is light. Spiritual death means separation from God and darkness.
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” … How does grace teach my heart to fear when, just before, I was being told how amazing grace was for saving me? As John Newton, the composer of Amazing Grace, was enjoying the sweetness of amazing grace, he was also made aware that this good news comes on the heels of the bad news of the condition of man’s sinful soul. Grace teaching my heart to fear … “for the wages of sin is death” – Romans 6:23(a) … fear for my soul begins here.
“… and grace my fears relieved” … “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23(b) My fears relieved. In the event of learning why he needed grace, Newton’s heart feared his end if grace was not available to him.
Hebrews 2:9 says, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the GRACE of God might taste death for everyone.” Hebrews 2:14-15 continues the principle of Christ dying in our place …”inasmuch as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same (flesh and blood), that through death he might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through FEAR OF DEATH were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
Because we are born into the world already spiritually dead to God, Jesus came and applied the circumcision of His flesh to us. That is, He took the chastisement of His flesh, as a man, which we deserved, and forgives us of all unrighteousness, and takes the eternal spiritual arrest warrant that the devil holds over us and nails it to the cross while declaring it … PAID IN FULL! - Colossians 2:13-14 (paraphrased)
“But God who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, has made us alive together with Christ. By grace you are saved.” - Ephesians 2:4-5
“How precious did that GRACE appear the hour I first believed.”