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  • Writer's pictureShawn Thornton

And Can It Be?

Sunday - May 2nd

Scripture to Read Today: Ephesians 2:1-10


Because of his great love for us,

God, who is rich in mercy,

made us alive with Christ

even when we were dead in transgressions

—it is by grace you have been saved.

Ephesians 2:4-5

Immediately after coming to Christ as his Savior, Charles Wesley wrote his best-known hymn, "And Can It Be." The early 18th-century song is also the basis of several songs written by others over the last three centuries. One modern song of worship, "Amazing Love," clearly has roots in Wesley's hymn. The same is true of Lauren Daigle's "How Can it Be."

Charles Wesley was born on December 18, 1707, to Samuel and Susannah Wesley. Charles was the eighteenth of nineteen children born to the couple. He was raised in a Christian home, where his father served as a rector of the Church of England.

On May 21, 1738, Charles Wesley experienced a conversion at the home of his friend, John Bray. While recovering from an illness, Charles read several of the Apostle Paul's New Testament letters to churches. The concept of being free in Christ emerged from books like Galatians and Ephesians. As he understood the love found in Jesus, Charles put his faith in the amazing grace of God.

Charles wrote of the experience that day in his diary. "I labored, waited and prayed to feel who loved me, and gave Himself for me. At midnight I gave myself to Christ, assured that I was safe, whether sleeping or waking. I had the continual experience of His power to overcome all temptation, and I confessed with joy and surprise that He was able to do exceedingly abundantly for me above what I can ask or think." He wrote, "I now found myself at peace with God, and rejoice in the hope of a loving Christ."

A City of London historical marker (blue plaque) marks the site of the former house of John Bray, said to be the scene of Charles' acceptance of Christ as his Savior. The plaque reads, "Adjoining this site stood the house of John Bray. The scene of Charles Wesley's conversion by faith in Christ on May 21st, 1738."

Three days later, Charles' brother John would place his personal faith in Christ too. Just about the time of his brother's conversion, Charles Wesley began to pen the words to "And Can It Be." The song became a celebration of the brothers' faith in Christ as their Redeemer. Thomas Campbell, a lawyer and friend of Wesley, had developed a gift for putting poetry to music. Campbell wrote the music for this great hymn that has blessed followers of Christ for generations.

Charles Wesley had written more than 8,000 hymns by the time he stepped into the presence of the Lord on March 29, 1788.

God has blessed the church through several generations and all around the world with "And Can it Be." As you read the lyrics below or watch a lyrics video of the hymn by CLICKING HERE, allow God to remind you of His saving grace that set you free from your sin, guilt, and shame. Let the words that Charles Wesley wrote in 1738 minister to your heart today!

Amazing Love! How can it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

And Can It Be

Charles Wesley - Written 1738

And can it be that I should gain

an interest in the Savior's blood?

Died He for me, who caused His pain

For me, who Him to death pursued?

Amazing love! How can it be

that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

'Tis mystery all: the Immortal dies!

Who can explore His strange design?

In vain the first-born seraph tries

to sound the depths of love divine.

'Tis mercy all! Let earth adore,

let angel minds enquire no more.

He left His Father's throne above —

so free, so infinite His grace —

emptied Himself of all but love,

and bled for Adam's helpless race.

'Tis mercy all, immense and free;

for, O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay

fast bound in sin and nature's night;

thine eye diffused a quickening ray;

I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;

my chains fell off, my heart was free,

I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

No condemnation now I dread;

Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!

Alive in Him, my living Head,

and clothed in righteousness divine,

bold I approach the eternal throne,

and claim the crown, through Christ, my own


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