Amazing Grace

‘AS IS’ – FLAWS AND ALL

(July 18, 2018) Carol Round shares a comforting truth …

Have you ever purchased a product labelled ‘As is’?

We trust the lowered price of the item we’ve bought will be worth whatever hidden flaws might emerge later on.

One secret to overlooking flaws
On her 50th wedding anniversary, a woman revealed the secret of her long and happy marriage. She said, ‘On my wedding day, I decided to make a list of 10 of my husband’s faults which, for the sake of the marriage, I would overlook.’

One of her guests asked her what some of the faults she chose to overlook were.

‘To tell you the truth,’ she replied, ‘I never did get around to making that list. But whenever my husband did something that made me hopping mad, I would say to myself, “Lucky for him that’s one of the 10!”’

Paul’s advice was good: ‘Christ accepted you, so you should accept each other. This will bring honour to God’ (Romans 15:7ERV). (more…)

WORDS OF LIFE (#G6) AMAZING GRACE – CHARIS (Part 2)

(October 15, 2017) Dr Jim McClure respected theologian, continues his series on selected Greek words…

In Part 1 of this study we questioned the definition of ‘grace’ as ‘the unmerited favour of God’ as the phrase inadequately expresses the depth of meaning and significance of charis.

Some other inadequate definitions of ‘grace’ are as follows:

  • Grace is the empowering presence of God enabling me to be what God created me to be and to do what God has called me to do.’

There is much that is true in this definition but it is limited in its reach.

  • ‘Grace is the unlimited life, power, gifts, abilities, and nature of God imparted to us by the power of the Holy Spirit, through the complete righteousness and the finished sacrificial work of Jesus Christ on our behalf, because of his love for us and his mercy toward us, to enable us to do all the will of God on earth here and now, with a victorious spirit of excellence, praise, worship, and thanksgiving unto God, thereby overcoming all things in order to go and make disciples of all nations.

This definition is essentially a more elaborate description of the previous one.

  • God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.’ Despite its appeal as an acronym, it fails as a definition.

(more…)

WORDS OF LIFE (#G5) AMAZING GRACE – CHARIS (Part 1)

(August 29, 2017) Dr Jim McClure noted theologian, continues his series on selected Greek words… 

‘Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.’

These are familiar and well-loved words from the hymn written by John Newton.  What else did Newton say about grace in that hymn?  He wrote,

Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.  …
Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.’

A transforming life-changing experience
Newton knew what he was talking about.  As a young man he was the ruthless and brutal captain of a slave ship.  But one night he discovered the reality of God, experienced his grace and was transformed from a cruel slave-ship captain into a preacher of the good news about Jesus Christ. Grace had made a dynamic impact on his life.

I believe that Newton understood something about the grace of God that we today largely fail to grasp.  We are confused about the meanings of the words love, mercy and grace in relation to the gospel.  We tend to think they all mean the same basic thing; but love leads to our acceptance by God,  mercy leads to our forgiveness by God, and grace, I believe, leads to a life-changing experience through God. (more…)

GREAT SINNERS – BUT A GREATER SAVIOUR!

Dr Robert & Maureen (2)
Robert and Maureen McQuillan share gospel good news…

Recently we watched that classic Amazing Grace, the story of William Wilberforce, an evangelical Christian, at personal cost dedicating himself for 18 tough years lobbying the British parliament for the abolition of the slave trade.

In 1807 the slave trade was finally abolished. But the fight went on to free those who were already slaves and it wasn’t until 1833 that an act was passed giving freedom to all slaves in the British Empire.

One scene from this great movie filled with Christian principles sticks in our mind as we approach Easter this month. It is when Wilberforce (actor Ioan Gruffudd) calls on his old mentor old preacher, John Newton (played by the inimitable Albert Finney). (more…)