With what other reward does Jesus encourage His disciples who have left everything to follow Him? See Mat 19:29. Does this promise refer only, or even primarily, to a future age in heaven? See Luke 18:29-30. In what sense do those who have left home and family to follow Jesus receive “a hundred times as much now in the present age” (Mar 10:30)? See 1Ti 5:1-2. In what ways does the true church as the family of God contrast with the families of this world? Think: are literal fathers and mothers always fatherly and motherly? Are blood brothers and sisters always brotherly and sisterly? See Mar 10:30 and notice what Mark makes clear will accompany the reward of which Christ speaks; then think: from where does the greatest source of persecution often come?
Consider that Jesus offers the true Church as a reward in this present age for those who have left home and family to follow Him; what does this teach us about the rich blessing of the true family of God that walks in the light of God’s truth compared to the darkness that even the best natural families of this world stumble in? Do we consider the body of Christ to be such a great reward, or do we love the worldly nature of our earthly families more than the spiritual nature of the family of God? Would most people today, including those who call themselves Christians, consider the organized religion that they think of as the “church” to be a great reward for having forsaken their own home and family to follow Jesus? Is this because God’s promises have failed and the gates of Hell have prevailed against the Church so that it is in such a sorry state that people don’t want anything to do with it? See Mat 16:18. Or is it because what people often think of as the Church is not the true Church? How does Scripture refer to a so-called church that the world loathes and wants nothing to do with because of its pretense? See Rev 17:5,16. In what ways does the true church as the family of God contrast with the so-called family of a harlot church? See Jer 9:8, 2Sa 20:9-10, Pro 27:6, Mat 26:48-49, 2Pe 2:18-19; cf. Act 1:13-14, 2:44-46, 4:32, 12:12, 1Jo 3:18. What does this teach us about the importance of our role in the family of God as fathers and mothers and brothers and sisters? If we are unwilling to receive the true saints of God as family members into our homes and grant them the same privileges as our natural family, have we been a part of fulfilling Christ’s words in Mat 19:29? Should those who seek family privileges in the household of God suppose there are any less family responsibilities there than in a natural home? Shall those who are of the household of God grant such privileges with any less expectation of the responsibilities that exist in a natural family?
What mechanism exists in a natural home to prevent children from neglecting their family responsibilities? See Pro 22:15. Does such a mechanism exist in the family of God? See Mat 18:15-20, 1Co 4:21. As our earthly fathers wield the rod in our natural homes, who ultimately wields the rod in the family of God? See Deut 8:5, Heb 12:5-7. With what sort of “rod” does the Lord discipline those whom he loves? See 1Co 5:4-5; cf. Isa 10:5, Jer 51:20-24, Isa 13:3-5, 14:4-8, Mat 3:10, Luke 4:6, Eph 2:2, Job 1:8-19, 2:3-7. With this understanding, what is the proper response to discipline, whether as a child in a natural home, or as a believer in the family of God? See Pro 3:11-12, 12:1, 13:1, 19:20. What is the danger of resisting such discipline? See Pro 13:18, 15:5,10,32, 19:27, 1Co 11:30-32. What does the Bible call those who are without discipline? See Heb 12:8, Isa 30:9-11. Does the family of God have any more responsibility to extend family privileges to those will not accept its discipline than a natural family does to those who are not true sons? As the family at home is a microcosm of the family of God, what do we learn about the importance of our families at home, as imperfect as they may be, to teach us about the family of God, as well as the importance of the family of God to teach us what our families at home should be? What is the result if either of these degrades to what it should not be?
Besides the true Church as a family of God, what else does Jesus promise as a reward to those who have forsaken all to follow Him? See Mat 19:29. What is the significance of this promised reward to the preceding context? See Mat 19:16. In contrast to the fulfillment of the promise of the family of God, when did the synoptic writers understand the primary fulfillment of the promise of eternal life to be? See Mar 10:30, Luk 18:30. Is the promise of eternal life just future? See Joh 3:36, 5:24, 6:47, 17:3, 1Jo 5:11-13,20. What does this again teach us about the now and the not yet fulfillment of God’s promises? See also Joh 6:40,54, 11:24-26.
The Atonement of Christ's Blood: Understanding How the Blood of Christ Saves and Reconciles us to God
- What is the relationship between Jesus’ sacrifice and our redemption, forgiveness and receiving an inheritance per the terms of the covenant / will that was effected by His death?
- From what, and to what, are we saved? Is it Jesus’ death alone that saves us? What part does His resurrection have in our salvation?
- Does the justice of God demand the satisfaction of blood before He will forgive, similar to what pagans throughout history have believed?
- What was the purpose of the Old Testament sacrifices?
- Does blood alone atone for sin?
- How does Christ’s death render powerless the devil?
- To whom was Christ’s life given as a ransom? From what are we ransomed?
- Why did Jesus not only die, but suffer and die? If all that was necessary was His shed blood, why didn’t God sovereignly ordain a more merciful death for His own dear Son?
- What is the relationship between a will or testament, and a covenant? What was willed to Jesus as an inheritance from His Father, and what was willed to us through the new testament in His blood?