Every one is familiar with Karate. It is a martial arts form of self-defense. Its origins go back many centuries ago, when Chinese monks developed Kung Fu. In the 1600’s this system of self-defense was imported to the tiny island nation of Okinawa. Under the domination of the Japanese Samurai, all weapons were banned to keep the people of Okinawa in subjection. For protection from their oppressors, the native people learned to use their farm tools as weapons and over time perfected Chinese boxing into its present form that we know as Karate.
The biblical King David of Israel was a man familiar with the way of the warrior (bushido). He was surrounded by his “mighty men,” an elite group of soldiers who served as his bodyguards and the King’s Guard. (See their names and their exploits listed in 2 Samuel 23:8-39 and 1 Chronicles 11:10-25). Both he and they were proficient with weapons and skilled in hand-to-hand combat. David could handle the spear, the sword, the club, and of course, the sling-shot. King David attributed his martial arts knowledge and fighting abilities to God. He said in Psalm 144:1 –
“Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.”
The creed of all true Karate practitioners is this: I come to you with only karate, empty hands. I have no weapons, but should I be forced To defend myself, my honor or my principles; Should it be a matter of life or death, of right or wrong, Then here are my weapons, my empty hands.
As I was thinking of this, it reminded me of the way of salvation through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You see, the word Karate literally means, empty hands. The way of Karate (Karate-do) is the way of salvation.
Notice the words to the old hymn, Rock of Ages: Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee; Be of sin the double cure, save me from its guilt and power. Not the labors of my hands can fulfill thy law’s demands; All for sin could not atone, Thou must save, Thou alone. Nothing in my hands I bring, Simply to Thy cross I cling.
You see, when a person realizes their need of God’s forgiveness for their sins and desires to make sure that Heaven will be their eternal home, they will have to come on God’s terms: “Nothing in my handsI bring, simply to Thy cross I cling.”
Many people believe that to be saved and sure of heaven that they must do something to earn a place in the bye-and-bye. They think that they must bring something to God before He will accept them.
But the fact is that salvation is “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy” (Titus 3:5). Salvation is “not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:9) but is by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:8). The salvation that all people need has been bought and paid for by Jesus Christ on the cross, and is offered to all men FREE OF CHARGE if they will repent of their sin and unbelief, and by faith receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their own personal Lord and Savior.
There is nothing we can bring to God that would impress Him and cause Him to accept us. The Bible tells us that “all our righteousnsesses (our best deeds) are as filthy rags” in the sight of God (Isaiah 64:6). There is absolutely nothing that we can do to gain God’s favor or earn our place in heaven. No work, whether it is church membership, baptism, giving to the poor, or anything else, can pay our sin-debt. We must come to God through His Son. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). There is only one way to God, and one way into heaven, and that one way is a Person – God’s Son, Jesus Christ. He is the way to God and the door to Heaven.
The way to heaven is the way of Karate: empty hands.
You must come to God as a sinner, realizing that you are morally and spiritually bankrupt, without any righteousness to call your own, with nothing to offer God. We must come to Him with empty hands.
If you will come to Jesus with karate, empty hands, you will not go away empty handed. God will grant you the forgiveness of your sins and give you eternal life.
His salvation is a gift that you can only receive by faith.
There are only two kinds of people in the world, who approach God in two different ways. Those who come to God in their foolish religious pride and say to God, “Something in my hands I bring,” and are rejected. And those who come to God humbly, saying, “Nothing in my hands I bring, Simply to Thy cross I cling” – and God accepts them because their trust is in His Son and what He did for them on the Cross.
If God is speaking to your heart about being saved, why don’t you at this moment lay aside all that you are trusting to get you to heaven, and put your complete faith and trust in Jesus Christ and Him alone for your salvation? The Bible tells us in Romans 10:13 – “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Right now, where you are, you can be saved and know you are ready to meet God. Just simply bow your head and pray to God: “Dear God, I know that I am a sinner, and that I need your forgiveness for my sins. I believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay for my sins that I might be saved. The best way I know how, I now repent of my sin and receive your Son as my personal Savior. Dear Jesus, please come into my heart and save me. In your name I pray. Amen.”
The way to heaven is the way of "Karate" – empty hands.
Solid Rock Baptist Church - Serving the Lord in the Memphis/Mid-South area