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I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

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I Have Decided to Follow Jesus
Hymn
GenreHymn
LanguageEnglish
Based onJohn 12:26
Meter10.10.10.8
MelodyIndian Folk song

"I Have Decided to Follow Jesus" is a Christian hymn that originated in Assam, present-day Meghalaya, India.

According to P. Job, the lyrics are based on the last words of Nokseng, a Garo man, a tribe from Meghalaya which then was in Assam, who converted to Christianity in the middle of the 19th century through the efforts of an American Baptist missionary. He is said to have recited verses from the twelfth chapter of the Gospel of John as he and his family were killed. The formation of the martyr's words into a hymn has been attributed to the Indian missionary Sadhu Sundar Singh.[1]

An alternative tradition attributes the hymn to pastor Simon K Marak from Jorhat, Assam.[2]

The melody of the song is an Indian Folk tune, which was titled "Assam" after the region where the text originated.[3]

An American hymn editor, William Jensen Reynolds, composed an arrangement which was included in the 1959 Assembly Songbook. His version became a regular feature of Billy Graham's evangelistic meetings in America and elsewhere, spreading its popularity.[4]

Due to the lyrics' explicit focus on the believer's own commitment, the hymn is cited as a prime example of decision theology, emphasizing the human response rather than the action of God in giving faith.[5] This has led to its exclusion from some hymnals.[5] A Lutheran writer noted, "It definitely has a different meaning when we sing it than it did for the person who composed it."[6]

Cultural references[edit]

The 2006 film Though None Go with Me uses a line from the song as its title.

Four lines of the hymn are used as a bridge in the worship song "Christ is enough" (from the album "Glorious Ruins" by Hillsong Church).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus", Timeless Truths Free Online Library. Retrieved 2011-10-09.
  2. ^ Hawn, C. Michael (11 June 2020). "History of Hymns: 'I Have Decided to Follow Jesus'". Discipleship Ministries. The United Methodist Church. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  3. ^ Assam (tune) at Hymnary.org
  4. ^ Newsletter of CCEL, 3 October 2011.
  5. ^ a b Adelle M. Banks, One Congregation's Hymnal Is Another's Blasphemy: Missouri Synod leaders go after the African-American Hymnal, beliefnet. Retrieved 2011-10-09.
  6. ^ David S. Payne, Dialing for Doctrine, Forward in Christ, May 1986, Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. Retrieved 2011-10-09.