John Newton was a former slave trader who became a pastor. He is famous for his hymn “Amazing Grace”.

Near the end of his life, when Newton spoke before a group of people, a careful listener recorded this outline from Newton’s sermon. It is an encouraging reminder for every Christian

I am not what I ought to be.

Ah! how imperfect and deficient.

Not what I might be,

considering my privileges and opportunities.

Not what I wish to be.

God, who knows my heart, knows I wish to be like him.

I am not what I hope to be;

ere long to drop this clay tabernacle, to be like him and see him as he is.

Not what I once was,

a child of sin, and slave of the devil.

Though not all these, not what I ought to be, not what I might be, not what I wish or hope to be, and not what I once was, I think I can truly say with the apostle,

By the grace of God I am what I am!




Every Christian is meant to become like Christ.

Every Christian one day will see this come to a complete reality.

For every Christian, that day has not arrived – yet.

These truths should make us interested in reading the book, Christ Formed In You by Brian Hedges. This is because we all need help in this process.

“Christ Formed in You” provides both solid biblical rooting and helpful practical guidance in this all important process facing every Christian.

Here is a sample, under the category of “Ten Ways to Kill Sin”:

1. Yield yourself to God
2. Accept that the battle never ends
3. Take God’s side against your sin
4. Make no provision for the flesh
5. Use your spiritual sword
6. Aim at the heart
7. Replace sin with grace
8. Stay in community
9. Look to the cross
10. Depend on the Spirit

Becoming more serious about becoming more like Christ is not only a worthy process – it is an entirely good process. Christ is entirely good and so is being entirely committed to him!

Here is another encouragement, the power of God is what makes this possible happen. We don’t have to (and cannot) pursue this purpose in our abilities or wisdom.

I recommend that you read “Christ Formed in You” with a highlighter and notebook in hand. There is also a study guide of this book for use with small groups.