The Story Behind the Song: This is Amazing Grace

I love the hymns—I love the history behind the hymns and the stories of why they were written. I know what prompted Horatio Spafford to pen “It Is Well With My Soul.” I know why  John Newton wrote the famous words to “Amazing Grace.” 

But I also love the modern-day hymns and worship anthems, as well. These songs—both the hymns of days past and the songs of today—point us to Jesus. That’s my ultimate goal when I choose a song to sing as a choir or congregationally: To focus our eyes on the cross and what Christ has done for us. 


This is Amazing Grace

Songwriter: Phil Wickham, Jeremy Riddle, Josh Farro

In Phil’s Words*: “There’s truth after truth about the greatness of God in the song. It’s a story I’ve known my whole life as a pastor’s kid, but it blows my mind every time I think about God’s amazing grace. The fact that our Creator God would walk on the earth and give us grace we don’t deserve. That is something so worthy to be celebrated.

The song is simply about the amazing grace and unfailing love that this God, this King of glory, this King above all kings, has shown to us. The verse are all about His majesty and what He has done, how He spoke the world into existence [Hebrews 11:3; Psalm 33:9], how He brings order to our chaos, how He has made orphans and sinners His sons and daughters [John 14:18]! By taking our place on the cross, He bore our sin and went to the grave so that we may be set free, so that we may be forgiven [[Isaiah 53:51 Peter 2:24] ]. It’s an amazing though, and the verses are saying look at this amazing God. He creates the stars [Isaiah 40:26], brings the chaos back into order. He shakes the whole earth with thunder [Hebrews 12:26; Psalm 77:18]. It’s the story that God has written, and a story that He lets us be a part of. It’s a song of celebration.”

Why We Sing It: I truly believe every church should be singing “This is Amazing Grace.”

Who breaks the power of sin and darkness? 
Whose love is mighty and so much stronger? 
The King of Glory, the King above all kings

When we sing this song on Sunday morning, I encourage you to listen closely to the words. This is a mighty declaration about the grace of God. The only thing that can set us free from the things of this world—the only thing that can save us—is the amazing grace and salvation of Jesus Christ.

Listen here:


* Bracketed text inserted in Phil Wickham’s words is by me. Read these Scriptures and dwell on them—this song is saturated in Scripture.

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