Monday, April 25, 2016

My Memory is Nearly Gone

John Newton’s final recorded words: “My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things: that I am a great sinner and that Christ is a great Savior.” Newton died a few weeks later, on December 21, 1807. The words transcribed by Jay are a simple and profound summary of John Newton’s life.
Newton’s dying words summarize the message he preached and wrote about throughout his Christian life. Four decades earlier, in the prime of his health, Newton had written to a friend, “Our sins are many, but his mercies are more: our sins are great, but his righteousness is greater.” At another point he wrote, “We cannot be so evil as he is good.” Newton was governed by the abiding hope that where sin increases, grace abounds all the more (Rom. 5:20). In one letter early in his pastorate he wrote, “Though our sins have been deep-dyed, like scarlet and crimson, enormous as mountains, and countless as the sands, the sum total is, but, Sin has abounded; but where sin hath abounded, grace has much more abounded.” Yes, sin is a monstrous, condemning force—but Christ is greater. Grace abounds because the Savior superabounds. This biblical truth worked itself deeply into Newton’s heart very early in his Christian walk, and it was a conviction that drove him toward pastoral ministry and to preaching “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph. 3:8).

"Amazing grace how sweet the sound"

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