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 JULY 2001
Welcome to the GMAF Newsletter! We pray it will encourage you in your Martial Arts and Outreach for Christ.
Thoughts from the Master
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free … If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”
The Apostle Paul
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Genesis 2:16
“Free Indeed” by Sensei Mark McGee
I have been a freeborn citizen of the leading free nation on Earth for more than 50 years, but I have been “free indeed” for only 30 years. How can that be?
We have much for which to be grateful in the United States. Our ancestors fought and died for their freedom. They bought our freedom from tyranny with their blood. We have so many blessings in America today because of what they sacrificed in 1776, 1915, 1945 and so many other years between. Our parents and grandparents and great-great-great-great grandparents had visions and dreams of freedom. They not only dreamed of freedom, they did something about it. They stood up to the evil that placed people and countries in chains, prisons and graves and won freedom for hundreds of millions of human beings, including you and me. But even their great sacrifice was not enough to truly free the world. It took another sacrifice to do that.
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.” John 8:31-37
The Jews who followed Jesus around in the 1st Century A.D. were a lot like Americans today. They depended on their nationality and heritage to protect them. “We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man.” Sound familiar? “I’m an American; I’ve never been in bondage to anyone.” What’s even worse are the people who tell us: “Of course I’m a Christian; I’m an American.” We’ve learned very little in the past two thousand years. We are still depending on nationality and heritage to save us.
Paul spent much time explaining this to Jews and Gentiles. People then, like people now, get it wrong. They hold up nationality, heritage, and obedience to rules, regulations and laws as their physical and spiritual salvation. Paul told them a story about two covenants; “the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem, which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all…Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.” (Galatians 4:24-31)
The birthplace of our flesh is of little importance in spiritual things. Unsaved people are born every day in every corner of the world. They are Jews and Gentiles. They are slaves and free. They are Africans and Europeans, South American and North American, Chinese and Russian, Korean and Japanese, English and Irish. They are every man and every woman, every boy and every girl.
“There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God…there is none that doeth good, no, not one…For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin…And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Where in time past ye walked according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” Romans 3 and Ephesians 2
No human soul is born into freedom. We are all born slaves of sin. What is our hope?
“But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference…Being justified freely by his grace thorugh the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Romans 3 and Ephesians 2
The Truth will make us free, and if Jesus makes us free we are free indeed! We become “free” when we believe God’s Word about Jesus and about our sin and receive Christ as our Savior. The spiritual chains that hold us come off the “instant” we receive Christ. No prison can keep us. No grave can cover us. We are FREE INDEED! We are alive and on fire with His Love and Grace. Our lives are changed forever and ever.
If we live in a “free” country, like the United States, we should thank God every day for His blessings on us. However, living in a “free” country does not make us “free indeed.” Only Christ can do that.
How should we then live? “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1) We have a great responsibility that goes along with God’s Gift of Grace. We should protect the freedom for which Christ died. We should never turn to look at bondage again. We should never leave our present path to return to our past. It would not be God’s will that led us there.
“Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.” Galatians 5:2-8
“Brethren, ye have been called unto liberty!”
I was liberated from sin and death into the Wonderful Light of the Lord Jesus Christ when He forgave me and saved me 30 years ago. He wants us to experience the full Liberty of His Grace. That’s what it means to be “free indeed.”
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and teh opening of the prison to them that are bound.”
“For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
“The Game of Life”
Whosoever Calls Upon the Name of the Lord by Pastor Robert Xavier
Our Heavenly Father has disregarded the world’s value system and has made eternal life a free gift, available to all men because of His great love for us. Whoever truly believes that jesus Christ is the son of God, that he died for their sins and that He was buried and rose again the third day, has eternal life. “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” (1 John 5:11) One man said, “God put the cookies on the bottom shelf so everyone can reach them.”
Remember, you only truly believe that wihch activates you. God wants to be number one boss of your life. He wants you to completely place your trust and faith IN
“Testifying both to the Jews and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 20:21
We must repent for the way we have rebelled against God’s plan for our lives; and we must have faith, which is spiritual commitment to our unseen Savior. God will provide you with the faith of repentance. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His god pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)
What Is Repentance?
“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”
Repentance is “godly sorrow,” with a change of mind. this is not self-pity, nor is it the kind of sorrow you have when you want to manipulate someone into feeling sorry for you.
Repentance is simple, sincere sorrow in your heart toward God. It comes as a response to His efforts to show us He loves us, although we have SINNED.
When we see that God’s love was so intense and committed to us that He sent His only Son to actually die in our place, we can also see that our love for Him has not been love at all, but something self-centered and unfaithful. Repentance is a change in our minds. We must turn from believing we are sufficient to run our own lives. We turn to believing it is only Jesus, conqueror of sin and death at His resurrection, who is the power of salvation for us. “THE LORD IS NOT SLACK CONCERNING HIS PROMISE, AS SOME COUNT SLACKNESS, BUT IS LONGSUFFERING TO USWARD, NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH, BUT THAT ALL SHOULD COME TO REPENTANCE.” 2 Peter 3:9
THE WORD REPENTANCE SIMPLY MEANS “TO CHANGE YOUR MIND”
(Next month: What Is Faith? )
Taking God’s Grace to the World!
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