Amazing Grace is one of my favorite hymns. In a strange way, the hymn is over-played and yet under-comprehended. Most people know the first verse and could probably repeat it from memory. However, it has been my experience that beyond the first verse many people are lost and many people have not considered the weight of the words that they are singing.
I will highlight a few of my favorite parts:
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!
Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, Who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
When we've been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we'd first begun.
Believe it or not, there are actually professing Christians who are pastors who do not like the first verse of this hymn because it would dare call us wretches. However, our theology is not one of self-esteem. Our Gospel is that we are terribly wretched men who have the anger and wrath of God burning against us. Out Gospel is that we deserve eternal punishment and separation from the Holy one. Our Gospel is that we were completely blind to God and unable to turn to Him. But finally, our Gospel is that while we were helpless, God demonstrated his Grace towards us and redeems despicable men to enjoy an eternity of blessedness. Oh that we could savor and delight in this truth more fully. This is Amazing Grace; this is Our Gospel.
In Christ alone,