Skip to main content

The Change of John Newton

I am not what I ought to be! Ah! how imperfect and deficient! - I am not what I wish to be! I 'abhor what is evil,' and I would 'cleave to what is good!' - I am not what I hope to be! Soon, soon, I shall put off mortality: and with mortality all sin and imperfection! Yet, though I am not what I ought to be, nor what I wish to be, nor what I hope to be, I can truly say, I am not what I once was - a slave to sin and Satan; and I can heartily join with the Apostle, and acknowledge; By the grace of God, I am what I am! 

JOHN NEWTON

(Source: The Christian Spectator, 1821)


In this era when statues of slave traders are being violently removed in cities in the western world, it is good to be reminded that of how God deals with human sin. The name of John Newton is familiar to all who have watched the film on William Wilberforce, Amazing Grace.  


John was old slave trader who had become a preacher of the sensational good news of Jesus. Looking back on his life, he estimated that he had transported over twenty thousands slaves across the Atlantic. He said in his nightmares he could still hear them scream. At some point in his life, he met Jesus and he was genuinely converted. He became a true follower of Jesus and his life changed dramatically. 


The quote above was spoken in one of his sermons when he became a pastor. It is a wonderful truth of how Jesus gives new life to repentant sinners, even as we painfully wait for the completion of that transformation, when we finally see him face to face. John’s life is a reminder that true change comes only through Jesus Christ.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Competing Spectacles, A Review

Over the last few weeks the country has been transfixed on the amazing run of the England football team in Euro 2020. I was initially put off watching the football after I saw the team shamefully bowing to BLM at the start of each game. But as the excitement has grown in the country, I have found myself irresistibly pulled to watch a few games in the tournament. The collective national gaze over England’s Euro 2020 is an example of what Tony  Reinke, the author of Competing Spectacles , calls a spectacle.   A spectacle is something visible that captures our collective attention. It is that moment when society’s eyes and brains focus on something projected at us. This may be a big political story, a sports event, a new film or a badly behaved influencer. We primarily experience spectacles through technologies we use. I have been experiencing the spectacle of Euro 2020 through our television, but others have consumed it on the mobile or in person.  Most spectacles are consumed through ha

Are we worth saving?

In the famous film The Fifth Element , Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) poses a challenging rhetorical question to Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis) : What's the use in saving life when you see what you do with it? (Watch  here ).   She is speaking 250 years in the future, where life as we know it is threatened by the arrival of Evil. Only Leeloo (the "Fifth Element") can stop Great Evil from extinguishing life. Leeloo is the vulnerable but "supreme being" that comes as human being to save humanity. To accomplish her task she has to activate the four elemental stones of earth, wind, fire and rain, with her self in the middle as the "fifth element" that is forged into the ultimate weapon against Great Evil. It is at this point of salvation, inside the temple of stones, that Leeloo becomes disillusioned and unwilling to perform the role. She comes to realise that human beings are themselves so evil that they are not worth saving. Any “salvation” will be tempor

Jesus Never Fails

Many a times in my life, the words of this childhood hymn has been a tremendous encouragement. I pray this may encourage you too. Keep looking to Jesus! Jesus never fails, Jesus never fails The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails. Your mother will let you down Your father will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails. Your husband will let you down Your wife will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your brothers will let you down Your sisters-will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your church will let you down Your work will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your friends will let you down Your country will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your wealth will let you down Your health will let you down The man of the world