Updated: Aug 9, 2020

Ephesians 5:17-20

17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Paul encourages us to sing Hymns. We will be looking at the Hymn Amazing Love (And it can be) written by Charles Wesley (1707-1788). He was an English leader of the Methodist Movement. He published over 6000 Hymns writing the words of a further 2000, many of which are still popular today. Some of his Hymns include, " Christ the Lord Is Risen Today ", " Hark! The Herald Angels Sing ", " O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing", " Jesus Lover of my Soul" etc.

We understand in May 1738, while Charles was ill, he read Martin Luther’s book on Galatians and was convicted. He wrote, “At midnight I gave myself to Christ, assured that I was safe, whether sleeping or waking. I had the continual experience of His power to overcome all temptation and I confessed with joy and surprise that he was able to do exceedingly abundantly for me above what I can ask or think”.

This Hymn is deep because Charles realized that Jesus paid the price for our sins. He paid the price for those who caused his death.

Stanza one

And can it be that I should gain

An int’rest in the Savior’s blood!

Died He for me, who caused His pain!

For me? who Him to death pursued?

Amazing love! how can it be

That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

Amazing love! how can it be

That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

1 John 3:16- Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

How many of us are willing to lay down our lives for our friends?

John 15:13- Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

John 10:11- I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Do you know what that means? It means you have to kill the shepherd before you can get the sheep.

Why does Jesus have to die?

Romans 6:23- For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 3:23- For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 5:12- Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so, death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

God gave us Jesus because of the knowledge of our needs. God knew we needed a savior, deliverer, redeemer, healer, and friend. We needed someone who was fully God and fully man. Only Jesus could meet this need.

Romans 5:17- For if by one man's offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:8- But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

The second stanza tells us it was by the mercy of God. The mercy of God has delivered us from the punishment that we deserve.

Let me tell you a short story of mercy.

We normally have a praise vigil in my former parish in Ikoyi. On one occasion in 2010, we had some gospel artistes including Buchi that ministered.

He finished his ministration but still held on to the mic. He said since nobody had come for the microphone he would love to sing another song and to share his testimony.

He said he was glad to see many people especially young people at a vigil on a Friday night when they could be at a night club. He looked around and saw Pastor Okey (the current Hon. Minister for Trade and Industry). He said to him, I know you, your father was a minister (His father was a pastor). I was also well brought up but I went astray. I joined a bad gang and we carried guns. He was caught with some members of his gang, tried by a military tribunal and found guilty.

He was sentenced to death by firing squad at the Bar Beach. They brought them out to be shot and were stripped to their pants. They were tied to the stake and the soldiers assigned to kill them took the position. Just before they fired, a superior officer came in and told them to hold fire. He walked up to Buchi. He said he believed the priest had come to administer the final rites. The man asked him the same question he had asked over and over again. He gave the same answer that he was guilty. The man asked them to untie him and for him to walk away. He said he believed he was going to be shot at the back. He kept on walking away and then he began to run. He was saved miraculously and given a second chance.

In Luke 23:32-43, a condemned robber made it to paradise with Jesus.

In stanza four Charles wrote-

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,

Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;

Thine eye diffused a quickening ray;

I woke, the dungeon flamed with light:5

My chains fell off, my heart was free,

I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

My chains fell off, my heart was free,

I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

Do you remember what happened to Paul and Silas who were put in prison?

Acts 16:25-26-

v25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

v26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.

Today all the doors of breakthroughs shut against you shall be open. All the chains of limitations that have kept you in bondage will be loosed.

Jesus said one of the reasons he came was to give light.

Luke 1:79- To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

In Acts 12:1-7 Herod kept Peter in prison planning to kill him after Easter.

In verse 7 an angel of the Lord came to save him and the light shined in the prison.

If you want your story to change, you have a part to play.

Ephesians 2:8-9-

v8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

v9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

So what do you have to do?

Romans 10:9

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

It is not everyone that will have a second chance like Buchi. Maybe today is even your second chance. Don’t waste this opportunity.

Charles concludes in stanza five-

No condemnation now I dread; Jesus, and all in Him, is mine; Alive in Him, my living Head, And clothed in righteousness divine, Bold I approach the eternal throne, And claim the crown, through Christ my own. Bold I approach the eternal throne, And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Romans 8:1-2-

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Today, when you accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, everything about you will change. Grace and Mercy will begin to speak on your behalf.

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