Thursday, July 28, 2011

Amazing Grace Glowing Throughout History

Amazing Grace Lyrics
John Newton (1725-1807)
Stanza 6 anon.
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.
T'was 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 that 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.
When we've been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.

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.
Two different  renditions of the same song, but there is such power in them, power we often tend to forget. Something God has really brought home for me today is the power in His forgiveness He gives unto us freely.

A book I read recently, Unmerited Favor by Joseph Prince, really helps shed a bright light upon the amazing simplicity of His grace.  He freely forgives us, past, present, future. Done. It's hard to grasp within a world where you are told you have to earn everything. A friend who is now reading the book reminded me of this today, something I needed.

But this Christ earned.

The book I'm currently reading is On the Eve of Adam by Dr. J.R.Church, quite an amazing book so far.  There is so many interesting concepts within the pages of just the first four chapters that I cannot fully describe all of them, but some that apply for this that have spoken within me are these:

Excerpt from Chapter 2:
Since Adam is a prophetic figure of Jesus Christ, Eve, his bride, must be a type of New Testament Christianity--the bride of Christ. Adam gave life to Eve. In like manner, Christ gave eternal life to us. As Eve was taken from the side of Adam, New Testament Christianity has been taken from the riven side of Christ:
"But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5)
According to the Scriptures, Eve was deceived in the fall, yet Adam was not. Adam was willing to take her sin upon himself. The sin of Eve was accounted to Adam. He was willing to become identified with her sin. In like manner, Jesus took our sin upon Himself, that He might become our substitute, and suffer our consequences.
 Chapter 4 goes into the life of Joseph from the Old Testament and compares it to the life of Christ.  Something I had never considered. There are far too many similarities to bring them all to light here (you'll have to read the book) here are some facts:
  • The story of Joseph starts in Genesis chapter 30, the ministry of Christ starts at age 30.
  • The 30th chapter of Genesis is represented by the Hebrew alphabet letter chet referring to "a new beginning" representing the First Advent of Christ.
  • Both Joseph & Christ had miracle births 
    • "And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb. And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach: And she called his name Joseph; and said, The LORD shall add to me another son" (Genesis 30:22-24)
  • Rachel's (Joseph's mom) name, meaning "ewe lamb" lends to the view that Joseph was born as a lamb. In like manner Christ is the "lamb of God".
  • Joseph was the beloved son, as Christ is God's beloved Son
  • Joseph was sold for 20 pieces of silver and Christ was betrayed for 30 pieces of silver.
  • Joseph was stripped of his coat of many colors, was thrown into a pit to die but came out alive, later having his coat dipped in blood and presented to his father.

    Christ was stripped of His clothes (John 19:23-24) and in a similar manner, Christ was placed in a tomb--a place of death--but was resurrected! And when Christ returns, He will be wearing His vesture dipped in blood:
    • "And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood" (Revelation 19:13)
  • Joseph became a servant to Potiphar, as Christ took upon Himself the form of a servant

    The comparisons continue but the one I want to focus on is at the end:
  • Joseph kept Benjamin and pressed his brothers to confess their guilt concerning him and express love for their father (Genesis 44:27-31). Once they confessed their sin, he then reveals himself to them and freely forgives them (Genesis 45:1-9). Joseph and his brothers are an allegory of God's great program for the nation of Israel.

    After Jacob's death [their father], they were fearful that Joseph would seek revenge. However, their fears were groundless.

    And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive" (Genesis 50:19-20)
    Excerpt from Chapter 4:
    It is hard for some people to accept the fact that God freely forgives, but He does. Salvation has no strings attached. We are forgiven because of the blood of Christ, who died once and for all. We need not fear falling from God's grace. Joseph is clear about his forgiveness to the brothers and thus, presents a prophetic message to us about the love of Christ. There is no greater picture of Christ to be found in the pages of the Old Testament.

 Now rereading the lyrics of the song Amazing listening to the words of the song Grace Like Rain...the words have a whole new meaning. The amazing love of our God, it's liberating, it's freeing, and it's something we have ALWAYS had, we have NOW, and we will FOREVER keep.  Amen.

1 comment:

  1. such an amazing message, to know that no matter how much we fall or stray from the path, we have already been forgiven! All He wants us for us to do is to pursue after Him, and do what Aliyah said so beautifully in one of her songs: "If at first you don't succeed, dust yourself off and try again"!