“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
We now move to the second “stance” in Christian Martial Arts – “stand fast in the faith” (στηκετε εν τη πιστει). The word “stand” (stekete) comes from the verb histemi and is used figuratively here in the sense of standing firm in faith and duty. It is the idea of persevering, continuing, enduring, persisting in “the faith.”
In martial arts training students move from “awareness” (Stance 1) to “on-guard” (Stance 2). We use the Japanese word kamaete in class for the idea of moving to a defensive, on-guard stance. Kamaete in Yon Ch’uan begins with the principle of Yield and Clear. We “yield” to oncoming force and “clear” the midline. At the same time we are yielding and clearing, we are also initiating Contact, Control and Counter. We yield and overcome aggression through the redirection of force, restraints and submission holds, evasion, absorption, reflection and escapes.
In Grace Martial Arts classes we train students to yield, clear, contact, control and counter in less than two seconds. The ultimate goal is to perform all five defensive movements in two seconds or less. Why so fast? Because responses to attacks that take longer than 2-5 seconds often result in serious injury to the person being attacked. We say that the most important 5 seconds in self defense are those seconds immediately following the beginning of an attack.
The idea of “standing fast” in self defense does not necessarily mean a set position with no movement. Standing fast is the process of persevering and enduring an attack. We want our students to escape from danger effectively and efficiently – with the least chance of defeat.
The ability to “stand fast” spiritually is to have the strength to face opposition to your faith and not be moved. Opposition may come from family, friends, neighbors, co-workers or strangers. Stance 1 (alertness, awareness, being on-guard for possible attack at all times) is the best spiritual defense, but when we do come under attack we need to be ready to persevere and endure.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of Paul’s advice about standing fast.
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2
“Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:1-2
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” Ephesians 6:10-20
“Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God.” Philippians 1:27-28
“Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.” Philippians 4:1
“Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.” Colossians 4:12
“Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.” 2 Thessalonians 2:15
Here’s Paul’s list for Stance 2. We encourage you to print it, tape it where you will see it several times a day, and ask God to give you the courage to do it.
- Stand in God’s Grace
- Stand in the Gospel
- Stand in Faith
- Stand in Freedom
- Stand against the Tricks of Satan
- Stand in the Evil Day
- Stand in Truth and Righteousness
- Stand in One Spirit
- Stand in the Lord
- Stand in Maturity and Completeness
- Stand in Paul’s Teaching
In Christ’s Love and Grace,
Grace Martial Arts
“Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”