Watch, Stand Fast, Be Brave, Be Strong, Love

You may have noticed a motto and two Bible verses at the top of the Grace Martial Arts website.

Saved and Safe!

‘Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.’ 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Saved and Safe demonstrates Grace Martial Arts’ commitment to presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Saved) and the best martial arts available (Safe).

Here’s why we chose the two verses to represent the core values of our ministry.

Watch

Be on guard. On the lookout for danger. Physical and spiritual.

The idea of watching is to have eyes open and be searching in all directions for anything that might signal a dangerous situation. God has given us physical eyes and spiritual eyes to protect us and others from danger.

Stand Fast

Move swiftly and surely to defend – both spiritually and physically. This has the idea of endurance and perseverance. Two second response and five second rule.

Some of our first lessons in martial arts are about how to stand. We use different stances for different purposes. We move from one stance to another to evade, another to block, another to escape, another to enter and control an opponent and counter an attack.

Some of our first lessons as Christians are about how to stand for Christ and against the attacks of Satan.

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 … 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. Ephesians 6:10-11, 13

We know that the only way we can stand against the wiles (deceptions) of Satan and his evil empire is to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might and put on the whole armor of God. After reaching Black Belt in Yon Ch’uan, candidates for Assistant Instructor memorize Ephesians 6:10-18.

Be Brave

Courage in the face of fear. How do we display courage in the face of fear? By knowing how to defend ourselves spiritually – by knowing God’s Word – and physically – by practicing martial arts. We cannot display courage and confidence without preparation.

Demonstrating courage, being brave in the face of great odds, is not something that comes easily – physically or spiritually. That’s why we train. We train in martial arts every day to be ready for a moment when physical and mental bravery and skill are necessary to protect our life or the lives of others from harm. We train in Scripture and prayer every day to be ready for a moment when spiritual bravery are necessary to protect ourselves or others from spiritual harm. If we have not trained well in martial arts, it is best not to face the enemy. If we have not trained well in Scripture and prayer, it is best not to face the enemy.

James 4:7 says that a Christian can “resist the devil and he will flee from you.” How does that work? Read the context:

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:6-7

God gives grace to the humble and as we humbly submit to God, He will give us the grace we need to resist the devil and the devil will flee from us. Satan flees because he sees God all around us. Through humble submission to our Lord and Savior, we are “strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” That is our strength in spiritual warfare.

Be Strong

Spiritually our strength is from the Lord. Jesus is our strength. God uses our weakness for His glory by using flawed people to accomplish His purpose. We must yield to Him to accomplish what He has in store for us. Yon Ch’uan is a soft martial art that requires us to yield to strength and use the strength of our opponents against them. It also requires that we swallow our pride if it will help us avoid physical conflict.

The Bible is clear from the beginning verses of Genesis to the ending verses of Revelation that God is our strength. We see hundreds of people in the Bible who failed when they relied on their strength, then succeeded when they submitted to God and relied on His strength. These are life lessons we should take to heart. We are no different than they. Our strength comes from the Lord.

The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will exalt Him. Exodus 15:2

Love

The Yon Ch’uan Martial Arts Black Belt Study Guide With Scriptures has a lengthy section beginning on page 54 called Put Off – Put On. The first one addresses the importance of putting off a “lack of love” (1 John 4:7-8, 20) and putting on “love” (John 15:12).

Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it:‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 22:37-40

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matthew 4:43-48

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Thank you for your interest in Christian Martial Arts!

Sensei Mark McGee and Sempai Mark Fisher


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Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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