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Christ is Enough…No Turning Back (Blog & Podcast)

October 12, 2018

During my growing up years, one of my favorite hymns to sing at invitation time was “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus”. I don’t know if I was drawn to the simple melody, the easy to remember lyrics, or the message in the song…maybe all of the above, but it was one of my favorites. It became even more special to me in 1982 as I walked the aisle at the Glorieta Conference Center to give my heart to Jesus while hundreds of people were singing “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus”.

The last line of the chorus says, “No turning back…no turning back”. It’s stated twice for emphasis. I had no idea at that time how important that line would be in living out my Christian walk. There are times when it gets tough, times when life can be overwhelming, and times when it might seem easier to do something besides continue on this journey to follow Christ.

But Christ has transformed me, saved me, redeemed me, forgiven me, and taken my heart of stone and replaced it with a heart of flesh with His blood flowing through my veins. When I remember that and how He brought me to Himself when I did not deserve it, I once again sing “No turning back”.

Continuing in Galatians 4, we see Paul encouraging the Galatian church that they should be singing “No turning back” as well. They have been influenced to turn from the path of grace and back to a path of works. For many of the Galatian believers, they were never Jewish to begin with. They were pagans who were saved by grace through faith. They had no previous religious life to go back to. Not only did it have to be confusing, but it was also unproductive.

Galatians 4:8-19But in the past, since you didn’t know God, you were enslaved to things that by nature are not gods. But now, since you know God, or rather have become known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elements? Do you want to be enslaved to them all over again?

Paul is addressing these folks from the heart of a loving pastor who wants to see them receive the full freedom in Christ. His message was the same as that of Jesus, who said in John 8:32, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They have been freed from enslavement, freed from these chains of trying to prove themselves by their works.

Paul is trying to impress something on these Galatians that should be true for us as well. As believers in Christ, there should be “No turning back” to…

  1. Enslavement or Defeat– We cannot prove ourselves worthy, for Christ has already paid that price. There is also no turning back to your past life. Some people struggle to try and outrun their past mistakes. Church, your past does not define you, Christ in you does.
  2. Worthless Elements– Seeking a justification by works simply denies the work of Christ in His sacrifice. Trying to come up with the right formula of sacrifices, deeds or acts of service it simply worthless and fruitless.
  3. Lifeless Rituals– There is no life in festivals, sacrifices and deeds. Some of our remembrances have great value, such as the Lord’s Supper or Baptism, and they are very important. However, they have no redeeming value in and of themselves. The Lord’s Supper is a remembrance of what Christ already did. Baptism is a symbol of the transformation that Christ has already done in you.

In addition, there should be “No turning back” FROM…

  1. Freedom in Christ– Christ came and gave His life so that you would not have to be tied to works, but be free.
    • John 8:36, “So if the Son sets you free, you really will be free.”
  2. Building Relationships– We cannot let the hurts of the past, the fears, define us and hold us back from building relationships.
  • Hebrews 10:24, And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works,
  1. Gospel Investment– Church, there should be “No turning back”, from going, making disciples, baptizing, teaching, and having Gospel conversations.
    • Matthew 28:19-20a, 19Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.

I have decided to follow Jesus…though none go with me, I still will follow. The world behind me, the cross before me. No turning back, no turning back.

Tony Watson
Senior Pastor
First Baptist Church
Palestine, TX

From → Blog Posts, Podcasts

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