Amazing Grace

By: Paul Dewar, United Kingdom
From: May 2009

Before I share this testimony, I want to tell you some information about myself. I am a third generation Pentecostal believer and preacher. I grew up hearing and singing “Amazing Grace,” but even after having been saved for over 23 years and in ministry for 20 years, I had little understanding of that Amazing Grace.

Mixing law and Grace.

For years I have heard and even ministered a mixed message of Law and grace. But finally I realized that I was burning myself out, busy “doing” ministry. I have for many years had the privilege of ministering in many nations in the world. But many times I have returned from these trips with a tremendous cloud of condemnation and feeling guilty for not having performed to my fullest.

If you ask my wife Trace, she will tell you that I wasn’t easy to live with. This would last for weeks and months – I couldn’t shake off these chains of performance religion. I had heard teaching over the years that made me believe that it was how long I prayed and fasted that determined my performance – when really it is all about Jesus. I struggled a lot – even though I could quote Romans 8:1, “There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus”.

I had heard teaching over the years that made me believe that it was how long I prayed and fasted that determined my performance

Many of us can quote the scriptures, but they’re not really a living reality in us. Because I felt and preached and heard so much preaching on being performance-driven, I thought it was my fasting and my praying that would give me more anointing.  I had heard and even preached “if – then…” Then there would follow a list of seven steps, six steps or even twelve steps. There were message titles such as “If You Want More Anointing Then…” And because I felt I had not followed the steps, I assumed that was why everyone was not saved or healed in the meetings I was doing.

Set free from own effort.

But then one day I came across the ministry of Pastor Peter Youngren and Pastor Joseph Prince who delivered a message to me that really set me free. I thought I was free but now I know I am free, not because of what I have done but because of what Jesus has done. It was like I had been walking through life with a flashlight on the Word of God, but when this message of Grace and the finished work of Christ Jesus was revealed to me, it was like a whole floodlight opened over and in my life. I began to see Jesus and what He did for me throughout the scriptures.

It has changed my life and ministry to the point where I have had to go through messages I used to preach and throw them away because they were a mixture. I have learned to relax in Him and realize that it’s not me – it’s Him! Why? Because of what Paul the Apostle says: Christ in you.

Somebody said to me recently, in fact it was a pastor who said it: “Yes, but how much of Christ is in you – what percentage is in you?” My response was that 100% is in me, because He is in me and as He is, so am I.

The ministries of Pastor Peter Youngren and Pastor Joseph Prince, and also a very important life source for me, the Global Grace Network Newsletter, have become an inspiration and also a great ministry resource. I have preached many of the messages from the newsletters.

In the process of this amazing grace transformation, a woman I have known for many years e-mailed me and asked me a question. She had earlier been a part of a church worship team, but through things that had happened in the church, she had been away from church for over 20 years. She now had four children by four different men.

when this message of Grace and the finished work of Christ Jesus was revealed to me, it was like a whole floodlight opened over and in my life

But as the Father in the story of the prodigal son, I knew the Father was looking and awaiting her return. The question she asked was: “If I die tonight, where will I go?” Many times I hear Christians give the answer that you will be going to hell. Well, I began to e-mail her what the Father was saying to me from the prodigal son. I said to her: “You think you are unworthy like the prodigal son. But the Father ran to him and embraced Him.” I was able to share with her that before you began to run towards Him, He ran to you and embraced you in Christ.

Romans 5:8: “But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Reconciled to God.

2 Corinthians 5:18-19 (AMP):
“But all things are from God, Who through Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself [received us into favour, brought us into harmony with Himself] and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation [that by word and deed we might aim to bring others into harmony with Him]
It was God [personally present] in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favour with Himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them], and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favour).”

Reconciled – Greek word, katallasso – means to change, exchange, reestablish, make things right, remove enmity. It describes the reestablishing of a proper, loving, interpersonal relationship, which has been broken or disrupted.

And today I can tell you that she is now reconciled and has reestablished a proper, loving relationship with God the Father. She also attends a Pentecostal church in her city and is, in fact, very involved in the life of the church. That’s how powerful the message is – Amazing Grace!

So this message is now all I know. I preach “Jesus Christ and Him Crucified,” declaring to the nations: be reconciled to God.

Romans 1:16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”
Paul is saying: I refuse to give up on this message, to modify it or leave it for another message.

And I echo those same words: I refuse to give up this message or to modify it or leave it for another. Because this message transforms lives, it can transform nations.

Thank God for His Amazing Grace!