Grace Martial Arts Fellowship began in 1990, went online with a website in 1995 and began publishing newsletters to the Christian martial arts community in 1998.
Because of the quality of information found in those early newsletter articles and the fact they are no longer available online, we’ve decided to re-publish many of them in the coming weeks and months. Our hope is that a new generation of Christian martial artists will be blessed by the wisdom of those who were on the path before them.
GMAF NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 2000
Welcome to the GMAF Newsletter! We pray it will encourage you in your Martial Arts and Outreach for Christ.
Thoughts from the Master
“My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.”
“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
The Apostle Paul
” In all labour there is profit.”
Unto Good Works
Why are we on Earth? Why aren’t we with Christ our Lord and Savior? What reason do we have for continuing life on this planet after we’ve tasted the Love and Grace of Almighty God and been given the desire for a Heavenly home?
God made it clear through Paul’s letter to the Ephesians: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not by works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” God wants us to “W-O-R-K.” What does that mean?
It means serving God while on Earth. It means spending our time, talent, energy and money to do what God wants done. What is it that He wants? Jesus said it well: “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” Christ is the Greatest Example of a Person committed to doing God’s Work. It was Christ Who told His followers to do as He did. God wants us to do His Will and finish His work. We are saved with a view toward doing good works.
God wants people saved. He wants them to grow in spiritual knowledge and wisdom. He wants them to obey His Word. He wants people to love Him above all others. God inspired thousands of words so we’d know His Will and what He wanted us to do. It’s not a mystery. It’s not something we have to think about for years until something finally becomes clear to us. God wants us to be busy doing His work. Study God’s Word, find out what God’s work is, then do it.
The Apostle Paul wrote many words about Christians busy doing God’s work. Paul was another excellent model for us of a Christian who was committed to doing the work of the Lord.
1. Paul spoke highly of the work of God and Christians who did the work. “Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us.” (Rom. 16:6) “Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ.” (Rom. 16:9) “Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord.” (Rom. 16:12) “Timotheus my workfellow, and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you.” (Rom. 16:21) “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” (1 Cor. 3:9) “Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do.” (1 Cor. 16:10) “I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,) That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth.” (1 Cor. 16:1-16 … what an interesting concept of being “addicted” to serving others!) “Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you.” (2 Cor. 8:23) “Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.” (Phil. 2:25) “And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.” (Phil. 4:3)”And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake.” (1 Thess. 5:12-13) “Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer.” (Philemon 1:1)
2. Paul encouraged all believers to be involved fully in the work. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Cor. 15:58) “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ…From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” (Eph. 4:12,16) “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Col. 1:10) “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” (Col. 3:23-24) “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” (2 Tim. 2:21) “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousnes; That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17)
3. Paul wrote that every Christian’s work will be tested. “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built threupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1 Cor. 3:13-15)
I cannot find anywhere in Scripture where God commends laziness or lack of direction on the part of His people. From the beginning of time, God has always had specific and important work for believers. He made it clear to each one, equipped them for the work and expected them to do it. Our time is no different. True, we are under Grace and not under Law. However, that changes nothing in God’s desire for His children to be busy doing good works. We don’t “have” to do it as far as Law is concerned, but God’s Grace works in our hearts to make us “want” to do His work. It is not a difficult thing. It is a work of Joy! We are not saved by works, but we are saved with a view toward good works. We have Christ, Paul and thousands of saints before us as examples of what God wants His children to do. It’s called “G- O-O-D W-O-R-K-S” and “S-E-R-V-I-C-E.” Work is not a bad four-letter word. It is a great OPPORTUNITY to be part of the Amazing Grace of God in our communities and countries. The work of God leads to the salvation of souls, the saving of marriages, the strengthening of young lives, the morality of leaders, the direction of nations.
Paul felt the Grace of God so deeply that he sometimes referred to his ministry as a “debt” he owed. May we feel the Love and Grace of God that deeply.
“I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians, both to the wise, and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith.”
We receive many e-mails from Christian martial artists battling with whether to continue or return to martial arts training. Here is a recent question and answer that you may find helpful as you minister.
I’ve attained to the rank of brown belt in Chinese Kenpo (Villari style) but haven’t seriously trained for over a year and a half because of the battle of: is it of God? It’s of the devil, Is it of God? It’s of the devil, it’s rooted in the occult, take the occult out of it and still do it, Will God approve? Hmm. This mind game never ends. I just need to settle it and move on. I’d like to reach 1st Dan anyways, but…”
Many of us have had similar struggles. The physical and mental aspects of martial arts are positive because they are in agreement with the way God built us. The challenge is the spiritual aspects of martial arts. Christians cannot participate in the non-Christian spiritual beliefs. We just can’t. It’s against what we believe. I don’t participate in what’s against God’s Word. We can understand that Taoists and Buddhists practiced and taught some of the martial arts we study, but also understand that we don’t have to be Taoists or Buddhists to practice and teach the arts for health and martial results.
God made the body to move. He gave the body and mind the ability to heal itself of much of the damage from living. The Bible has many insights into the body’s self-healing properties. God also taught His people through the centuries how to wage war and protect themselves and their property when necessary. Moving the body for health and self defense is not anti-Bible. What’s anti-Bible is believing something that is anti-Bible. What is anti-Bible is anti-God. What is anti-God is not from God. We won’t believe or practice anything that is anti-God.
Is the art of Kenpo from God? Did God invent Jujutsu? Did He create T’ai Chi Ch’uan? We know He didn’t. We know the names of the men and women who created and innovated various martial arts styles. Did God create a particular swimming stroke or high dive form? No, but what’s wrong with learning how to swim or dive? Nothing, unless we believe that a particular swimming or diving system forgives us our sins or makes us like gods. I don’t believe that martial arts practice can forgive my sins or make me into a god. I believe it’s good for health and self defense. I believe God forgives me and will make me like Christ in Heaven.
The fighting arts are much older than Karate and Kung Fu. Even T’ai Chi, as old as it is, is fairly young when compared with the fighting arts of the Lamech clan or the family of Nimrod, “who grew to be a mighty warrior on the earth,” or the Canannites, the Ludites, the Anamites, the Lehabites, the Casluhites, the Hittites, the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinitets, the Girgasihtes and the Israelites.
Fighting has been around a long, long, long, long time. The defending of life, family and property goes back thousands of years. Many of these families, clans and nations tied their fighting with their religious beliefs, but that doesn’t making the defensive martial arts wrong or unworthy to practice and teach. One of my Christian martial arts instructors said it well: “A punch in the nose is a punch in the nose. Your religion has nothing to do with whether you can block a punch or not. It’s a mental and physical skill.” I hope this helps. My prayers are with you.
100 Things That Are Free To Us By Christ
submitted by Edward Yarber
1. ACCEPTED —————- EPH. 1-6
2. ALIVE WITH CHRIST—————– COL. 2:13
3. ASCENDED————— EPH. 2:6
4. ADOPTED —————– GAL 4:5
5. AMBASSADORS —————- 2 COR. 5:20
6. ACCESS ————– ROMANS 5-2 & EPH 2:18
7. ALL THINGS ————— I TIM. 6:17
8. ANOINTED US ————— 2 COR. 1:21
9. APPREHENDED —————- PHIL. 3:12
10. APPOINTED—————— I THESS. 3:3
11. ATONEMENT ————– Rom 5:11
12. AUTHORITY —————– TITUS 2:15
13. ASSURANCE —————- I THESS. 1:5
14. ABUNDANCE OF GRACE ——— ROMANS 5:17 15. BAPTIZED —————- I COR. 12:13
16, BLESSED ——————- EPH. 1:3
17. BURIED ——————- COL. 2:1
18. BELOVED ——————– ROMANS 1:7
19. BUILDED TOGETHER ———— EPH. 2:22 20. CALLED —————— ROMANS 8:30
21. CHOSEN —————- EPH. 1:4
22. CIRCUMCISION ————– COL. 2:11
23. COMPLETE —————– COL. 2:10
24. CONFORMED ————– ROMANS 8:29 25. CRUCIFIED —————— GAL. 2:20
26. COVERED ——————- ROMANS 4:7
27. CONFIRMED ———————- I COR. 1:7,8 28. CLEANSED ——————- EPH. 5:26
29. CREATED ————————- EPH. 2:10
30. CONQUERORS —————– ROMANS 8:37 31. CROWNED ——————- 2 TIM. 4:8
32. DAUGHTERS —————– 2 COR. 6:8
33. DECLARED ——————— 2 COR. 3:3
34. DELIVERED —————- 2 COR. 1: 10
35. ELECT OF GOD —————- COL. 3:12
36. ENRICHED —————– I COR. 1: 5
37. ESTEEMED ———— PHIL. 2:5
38. ETERNAL —————- TITUS 1:2 -15
39. FAMILY——————- EPH. 3.
40. FELLOWHEIRS ————-EPH. 3:6
41. FELLOWCITIZENS ———–EPH. 2:19
42. FELLOWLABOURERS ———— PHIL. 4-13
43. FELLOWSERVANT ————— COL. 4:7
44 . FELLOWSOLDIERS —————- PHIL. 2:25 45. FORGIVEN —————— COL. 2:13
46. FREEMAN —————— I COR. 7:22
47. FURNISHED —————– 2 TIM. 3:17
48. GLORIFIED ————— ROMANS 8:30
49. HABITATION ————— EPH. 2:22
50. HEIRS ————— ROMANS 8:17
51. HOLY——————- Col. 3:12
52. HUSBANDRY—————1 Cor 3:9
53. INDWELL —————- Romans 8:1
54. INHERITANCE————— Eph 1:11
55. INSTRUCTED—————– Phil.4:12
56. INTERCESSION————— Romans 8:26,34 57.FITLY JOINED TOGETHER————– EPH 4:16 58. JUSTIFIED———— ROMANS 3:24
59. KNOWN OF GOD———— GAL 4:9
60. LOVED———— EPH 2:4
61. MADE MEET————- COL 1:12
62. MEMBERS————— EPH 4:25-5:30 63.MESSENGERS ————– 2 COR 8:23
64. MIGHTY————— 2 COR10: 4/COL 1:29
65. MINISTERS————- 2 COR 3: 16, 6:4
66. NEW CREATURES————- 2 COR 5:17
67. PARTAKERS———– EPH 3:16/1 TIM 6:2
68. PEACE——— ROMANS 5:1
69. PLANTED TOGETHER———– ROMANS 6:5/EPH 3:20 70. POWER WORKING IN US————– EPH. 1:19
71. PREDESTINATED——— EPH. 1:5,11
72. PREPARED UNTO GLORY————- ROMANS 9:23 73. PRESERVED———— 2 TIM, 4:18
74. PURCHASED POSSESSION———— EPH. 1:14
75. QUICKENED————– EPH. 2:5
76. RAISED————— EPH. 2:6
77. RECONCILED ———– ROMANS 5:10
78. REDEEMED ———— GAL. 3:13
79. REGENERATION———— TITUS 3:5
80. RENEWED———— 2 COR. 4:16
81. RESURRECTED ——— ROMANS 6:5
82. RICH———- 2 COR. 6:10,8:9
83. RIGHEOUS ——- ROMANS 5:19
84. RISEN———- COL. 2:12,3:1
85. ROOTED———— EPH. 3:17/COL.2:7
86. SAINT———- ROMANS 1:7/1 COR.1:2
87. SANCTIFIED———- I COR. 6:11
88. SAVED———– EPH. 2:8-10/11 TIM. 1:9
89. SEALED————- I COR, 1:22/EPH, 1:13 90. SEATED———- EPH. 2:6
91. SOLDIERS ————- 2 TIM. 2:3,4
92. SONS————– ROMANS 8:14
93. STEWARDS———- COR. 4:1
94. TRANSLATED ———- COL. 1:13
95. TRIUMPH ———- 2 COR 2:14
96. VICTORIOUS———- I COR. 15:57
97. VOCATION ——— EPH. 4:1
98. WASHED———– I COR. 6:11
99. HAVE WISDOM ———– I COR. 1:30
100. HIS WORKMANSHIP ————- EPH. 2:10
How Many More Can You Fine?
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