Amazing Grace: The Scripture Texts


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John Newton based his hymn Amazing Grace on this passage in 1 Chronicles 17.


He took his 3 sermon points for the New Year from this passage of Scripture:

look back

look around

look forward

1. Look back


The Lord reminded David what he had been, I took thee … from following the sheep (verse 7). David marvels that God has brought him from such a lowly position, Who am I, O Lord God? So Newton is astonished:

Amazing grace…
that saved a wretch like me.

2. Look around


The Lord tells David, I have been with thee whithersoever thou hast walked, and cut off all thine enemies from before thee… (verse 8). David considers how the Lord hast brought me hitherto. So Newton reflects:

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come.
‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far…

3. Look forward


The Lord promises that He will build thee a house… I will raise up thy seed… I will establish his throne for ever (verses 10-12). David is overawed that God has spoken of thy servant’s house for a great while to come… thou... hast promised this goodness unto thy servant (verses 17, 26). So Newton rejoices:

The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

… God who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.