I said the same thing about John Newton when I hear Amazing grace but I also listen to his other old one...I will post it below but first, I would like to add that these songs were written when people were CALLED to preach the Gospel..before seminary schools were started and men were taught from men..Here is another oldie from John Newton...I am sure it will be familiar<quoted text>
AMAZING GRACE, indeed!
I ONCE WAS LOST
BUT NOW I AM FOUND
WAS BLIND BUT NOW I SEE
John Newton understood too :)
I'm only popping in for a moment, but when I read these two posts from you, Grace Walker, I had to say something.
Romans 3:7 Someone might argue,“If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?” 8 Why not say—as some slanderously claim that we say—“Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is just!"
Note that verse 8. Many people, sadly including some "Christians," think that being Christians means we can now do whatever we want, with no consequences. But Jesus died to make us free OF sin, not free TO sin.
What I think some on this thread don't realize is that we who love Jesus want to please Him and want to AVOID sinning. People who DELIBERATELY go on sinning after (supposedly) becoming Christians may be fooling themselves but they certainly are not fooling God. There's a name for people like that. It's "hypocrites."
I feel so sorry for your previous pastor. He is caught in that same terrible trap from which Jesus wants to set us free.
I became a Christian at 19, but for many years I was just as blind as you and John Newton were. Then just about 10 years ago now, God opened my eyes:
Ephesians 2:8 8 For it is BY GRACE YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED, THROUGH FAITH—and this is not from yourselves, IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD— 9 NOT BY WORKS, so that no one can boast.
Really grasping that passage changed me FOREVER :)
NO kind of works can ever save us. NO ONE can ever be good enough/pray enough/pure enough/donate money enough/do good works enough to EARN salvation. But blessed be the name of the Lord, WE DON'T HAVE TO!! All we need do is to believe on and in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, all we need do is to accept the Gift of the Lord, the Gift to all men that was born in the city of David 2000 years ago :) JOY TO THE WORLD, THE LORD IS COME, indeed!
God bless and keep you all :)
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Save from wrath and make me pure.
NOT the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.
Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.
While I draw this fleeting breath,
When my eyes shall close in death,
When I rise to worlds unknown,
And behold Thee on Thy throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.