The Old Converted Sea Captain

Bill Bright

“He was lost, but now he is found” (Luke 15:24).

John Newton's mother was a devoted Christian, but she died when he was a child. As a young man, he decided to follow in the footsteps of his father, an English sea captain. He joined the British Royal Navy but was discharged for unruly behavior. He moved to the western coast of Africa and worked for a slave trader. He eventually became captain of a slave ship, treating the slaves despicably. What a loathsome man he had become!

On one voyage, a fierce storm severely battered his ship. Fearing for his life, he surrendered himself to God. Over the next few years as he became convinced that slavery was abhorrent, he gave up slave trading and crusaded against slavery. His life changed so much that he even studied to become a minister. Soon, he became known as the "old converted sea captain" all because he had personally encountered the living God. Eventually, he wrote one of the most famous hymns in the English language, Amazing Grace. In it, he describes his own transformation:

"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see."

Who else but almighty God could change a calloused slave trader into a compassionate minister and anti-slavery crusader? Have you experienced this change? If He could change John Newton, he can certainly change you.

For more than fifty years, I have walked and talked with our loving heavenly Father. The more I get to know Him, the more peace, joy, love, and excitement I experience. It has been my greatest adventure. He has proven to be my best friend, someone I can trust in every situation.

Your View of God Really Matters ...

If you have experienced the marvelous revelation of God's amazing grace, think of one significant way it has affected your life. Then ask God to show you one person who needs to hear your story.


Because God is merciful,
He forgives me of my sins when I sincerely confess them.


Learn more about God’s character at Discover God, by Bright Media Foundation, an affiliate of Cru.

© 2007-2015 Bright Media Foundation. All rights reserved.
Bright Media Foundation is an affiliate of Cru.

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