Learning from John Newton

If you recognize the name John Newton, it’s likely because you know he wrote the lyrics to Amazing Grace. This song is quite possibly the most sung, most recorded, and best loved hymn of all time.

If you know a bit more of John Newton’s story, you are aware that he personally understood and embraced God’s amazing grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Before he came to know Christ, he lived a wild, profane life. He was a slave trader and even spent time as a slave himself. Coming to know Jesus through his reading of the Bible brought about an amazing transformation in his life.

This summer I read a biography of John Newton’s life written by Jonathan Aitken. Of all the biographies I’ve read over the years, this was one of the most engaging. A real page-turner.

One of the surprising things I learned about John Newton was how effective he was as a preacher. The two churches he served flourished and grew under his faithful preaching of God’s Word.

As an older man and veteran preacher, he offered some sage advice to younger preachers and teachers. In the most recent episode of my Preacher to Preacher podcast, I highlight four wise suggestions he gave to all who have the joy of preaching or teaching God’s truth to others.

If you are a preacher or teacher, you’ll benefit from what Newton has to say. You can listen to the six-minute-long podcast, entitled “Wise Preaching Advice from John Newton,” on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Podcasts. If you know someone who serves as a preacher or teaching, please pass along the info about this podcast.

One more thing: If you are looking for an inspirational biography to read, pick up a copy of John Newton: From Disgrace to Amazing Grace, by Jonathan Aitken.

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