God Gave Life to Us

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.

Ephesians 2:1

Today there is much debate over when life begins. Defenders of abortion believe that life begins at birth. Those who are against abortion believe that life begins at the moment of conception. In this dilemma there are those who defend and those who oppose accepting that a fetus is a human being. Regardless of this controversial point, all agree that a person is born, grows, walk and breathe have life. However, from the biblical point of view, according to Ephesians 2:1, we can walk and breathe even when dead because of our offenses and sins make us dead.

One of the best known Christian songs of all time is Amazing Grace. The author of this beautiful hymn is John Newton, an Englishman who lived between 1725 and 1807. The first part of his life, Newton was a slave trader, activity that was noted for his cruelty and depravity, behaviors for which he repented to become a Protestant pastor.

He was dedicated to sailing since age 11 with his father. In 1743, he was a midshipman in the British Navy during a period when trying to defect but he was captured and sentenced to lashes. Then he sailed on different ships engaged in the slave trade, which highlighted the abuses and ill-treatment could inflict on his victims. In 1748 during a sailing off the coast of Donegal, Ireland, his ship was caught in a storm. Newton woke up in the middle of the night while the ship was sinking and began praying to his God. Miraculously, his ship could be adrift and he was saved.

The date March 10, 1748 will remain strong for the rest of his life. From that point he avoided profanity, gambling, and drinking. While still working in the slave trade, increasingly he increased his compassion for them. In Liverpool, the most important port of the triangular trade, he achieved a position as the first officer aboard the slave ship Brownlow, allocating to the West Indies via the coast of Guinea. While in West Africa (1748-1749), Newton acknowledged the failure of his spiritual life. He became ill with a fever and professed his full belief in Christ, asking God to take control of his destiny. He later said that this was the first time he felt completely at peace with God.

The song Amazing Grace could be considered the same testimony of its author John Newton. The first verse says: “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.” Definitely John Newton acknowledged that he was dead in trespasses and sins, as Ephesians 2:1 says.

But like the English slave trader John Newton was cruelly dead in trespasses and sins, I have been. And you who listen to me or read this message have been or perhaps still are; only the amazing grace of God gives us life. God bless you.

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