Tuesday, October 9, 2012


     Paul today in his letter to the Galatians speaks of his conversion.  He reveals with pride the fact that he was a good Jew, that he knew the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that he studied the Law and immersed himself in the Traditions of his ancestors, that he progressed in Judaism beyond his contemporaries.  And then the One, "who from my mother's womb had set me apart and called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me ..."  With that revelation Saul of Tarsus became Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, the champion of the risen Christ, the proclaimer of the limitlessness of God's grace and mercy.  He was a new man, convicted by the Word and transformed into the image of Christ.  He testifies that people of faith glorified God because of him, and he says so with humility, not with pride.

     John Newton, who lived from 1725 to 1807 in England, was a ship's captain.  He captained a slave trading vessel, and did so without hesitation or qualms until an experience of Faith led him to see his sinfulness and the error of his way.  His life was never the same ... transformed by Christ ... and he lived a life of repentance.  He told of that experience in a hymn that he wrote entitled Amazing Grace.  It is a well known hymn that speaks of the call of God and the grace that saved a wretch like him.  He once was lost but now is found, was blind but now he sees.  The hymn is powerful, his life story is inspiring, and his transformation complete.  All through an experience of the powerful yet gentle love of Christ.  Like Paul, he became a champion of the cause of freedom.

     Hopefully the transformations necessary in our lives are not as dramatic or life altering.  But hopefully that transformation will bring us into his amazing grace and bring others to give glory to God because of us.

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