“Know no man after the flesh…” (2 Corinthians 5:16a)
What is Paul implying when he says, “know no man after the flesh?” Is he revealing we should not consider the temporary “flesh,” or body of a person above the eternal spirit or “inner man,” as does God? Paul is simply proclaiming what the Lord considers or looks upon in each of us? Shouldn’t we do likewise when we consider each other?
“But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7) See also Luke 16:15, Romans 8:4-6, 2 Corinthians 5:11, Galatians 5:19-26, 6:8)
To clarify the importance of the spirit above the “flesh,” consider that our body is only a temporary “house” for our spirit. The “me” Job refers to is the spirit or “inner man” as also depicted throughout the Word of God.
“You have clothed me with skin and flesh and have knit me with bones and sinews.” (Job 10:11) “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty gives them understanding. Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment. Therefore, I say, Listen to me! I will also show my knowledge.” (Job 32:8-10)
“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.’ (Ecclesiastes 12:7) For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 2:26) “But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” (1 Peter 3:4, See also 2 Corinthians 5:1-10)
To expand on this critical Biblical truth, note that Adam, even though his body was “formed from the dust of the ground,” did not become a “living soul” until God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” (Genesis 2:7) God created man in His own Image, a trinity, spirit, soul, and body. (1 Thessalonians 5:23) Our bodies are where our spirit dwells and where the Spirit of God dwells when we are “Born Again.” (John 3:5-7, 14:15-24, Luke 17:21, 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:19) What part of us communicates with God? How will we “appear before the judgment seat of Christ?”
That being the case, we can now appreciate the full message and ministry of Christ as He expresses the importance of our spirit. (Matthew 11:25-27, John 3:5-7, 4:23-24, 6:63, 14:17, 16:12-13, etc.) Notably Jesus declared: “And THIS is eternal life, that they might KNOW You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3) And Jesus emphasized when He warns: “I never KNEW you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:23) For more on knowing God see “Trinity” at EarsToHear.net.
With this significance on recognizing and respecting a person’s eternal spirit and not his temporary appearance (flesh or body), what does it reveal about “Critical Race Theory” undermining the words of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.: “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: …We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” …”I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. …And if America is to be a great nation this must become true.”
To read more articles by Gary Kelly click here.