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As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. Prov. 27:17

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The Church - The Church is here to equip the saints in much the same way that military boot-camp equips a soldier for duty. Success in either situation produces visible fruit.
 
Producing Fruit - We cannot produce fruit directly, whether by ourselves, or by the Spirit of Christ. Good-looking fruit is the natural and symptomatic by-product of a mature and healthy tree (Matt. 7:17). And so we need to be sure our tree is growing toward full maturity. Then it will produce fruit in its season (Matt. 21:19; Lk. 13:7).
The Mature Christian - What characterizes mature Christians? 

          They have grown beyond the basic principles of Christ (Heb. 6:1-8; 1Cor. 3:2).

          They rightly divide the Word of Truth (2Tim. 2:15)

          They have learned to abide in Christ through personal obedience (Jn. 15:5, 10).

          They press on, letting go of what hinders them (Heb. 6:1; 12:1).

          They are not blown about by every wind of teaching (Jms.1:6).

          They have renewed their minds, now having the mind of Christ (Rom. 12:2; 1Cor. 2:16).

          They learn to love one another just as Christ loved them (Jn. 13:34).

          They walk by faith and not by sight (2Cor. 5:7).

          They learn to be content in every circumstance (Phil. 4:11).

          They are committed and faithful to the point of death (Rev. 2:10).

          They delight in God and in his Law (Ps. 119:35,70; Rom. 5:11; 7:22)

          And so they have become Salt and Light in the world, because that is their nature (Matt. 5:13-16).

The lessons in Christian Boot Camp are designed to foster these characteristics in the serious Bible student. You may find you disagree with some of what is said here. That's OK. But be honest enough to examine the passages that are cited in support of a given teaching, and reconcile them in your mind against your own beliefs. May your conviction increase as a result of such testing.

William H. Gross

 

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