expression of assurance and hope expressed by John Newton in the 4th
verse of Amazing Grace: The Lord has promised good to me, / His Word my
hope secures; / He will my Shield and Portion be, / As long as life
AIM: That we
might truly lay hold on the truth that it is God’s design and desire to
do good to His people and that He is the good in our lives in every way.
INTR: With the
4th verse of the hymn we begin a portion that is little known and seldom
sung but which is certainly in harmony with what has preceded.
have considered the first verse along with the concern that we sing
hymns without processing them; the second verse concerning grace that
both reveals need and reveals the remedy in Christ Jesus our Lord; and
in verse three the acknowledgement of divine providence whereby Grace
has delivered through all obstacles to our present state of faith.
In the 4th verse we are brought to Newton’s expression of complete faith
in the Lord and thus believing Him and the promises of eternal life to
all who come unto God by Him.
3. It has been well said of assurance
of hope: “Assurance is the fruit that grows out of the root of faith
(Charnock);” Assurance is glory in the bud, it is the suburbs of
paradise (Brooks);” “Faith is our seal; assurance is God’s seal.
The blessedness of this thought from John Newton is that the Lord is the
promised good and He is as good as His word. The puritan Cruso wrote:
“The being of God may as well fail as the promise of God.”
promise of good
1. The Lord had just brought Abraham (Abram) to a
critical point regarding promises made and assurances needed.
had just returned from the battle with the kings and the deliverance of
2) He had there been blessed by Melchizedek (a most notable type
3) He had refused to accept any reward – That I will not
take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any
thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:
2. It was after these things that the Lord confirmed
the promise of good to Abraham who is called the father of the faithful.
1) So, comes the promise to all who so believe: For the LORD God is a
sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will
he withhold from them that walk uprightly. Psalms 84:11.
presence of the Lord is greater that any material wealth: Let your
conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as
ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
3. And we remember the ever-present Romans 8:28
And consider: 12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with
peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into
singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 13
Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the
brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a
name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off. Isaiah 55:12-13
5. And never forget: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance:
against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
II. His word
secures my hope which is:
1. To whom God would make known what is the
riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ
in you, the hope of glory: Colossians 1:27.
2. WE are most certainly
directed to look to the written word of God and all that is recorded
therein as to the faithfulness of God: It is of the LORD'S mercies that
we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new
every morning: great is thy faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23
see, For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no
greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee,
and multiplying I will multiply thee. Hebrews 6:13-14.
I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in
righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow,
every tongue shall swear. Isaiah 45:23
3. But, we would not neglect
the greater reference to that declared in Christ our Lord: In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
1) And: And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,
(and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the
Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:14
2) And also: Hath in
these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir
of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Hebrews 1:2.
4. Be it
known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is
preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: Acts 13:38
hope given us – my Shield and Portion
1. The reward of Abraham and us
is not to be measured in material things; it is rather the Lord Himself
given as a possession (5th verse).
2. See then: But thou, O LORD, art
a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. Psalms 3:3
AND For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou
compass him as with a shield. Psalms 5:12.
3. Jeremiah was kept by
grace through faith: The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore
will I hope in him. Lamentations 3:24.
4. Again, we invoke the word
Amazing: “To confound with fear, sudden surprise, or wonder; to
astonish.” Webster’s 1828 dictionary.
1) That we should the objects
of such precious benefits as the Lord provides
2) That He should
commit to us in such a fashion as this – to so promise and stake His
integrity on the success of the things promised to us and secured for
all our lives.
3) That He should engage to defend us against every
enemy of our soul and
4) That He should appear to us as Peter
describes: Unto you therefore which believe he is precious… 1 Peter 2:7
5. O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that
trusteth in him. Psalms 34:8.