Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The will of God that most believers resist. Knowing no man after the flesh. Part 3.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
3. Knowing or recognizing no one after the flesh.
The phrase according to the flesh is a reference to knowing or recognizing no one on the basis of our own flesh or the thought pattern of our old sin nature.
From now on we estimate and regard no one from a [purely] human point of view [in terms of our natural standards of human viewpoint]. (AMP)
2CO 5:16, Therefore from now on we recognize no man according to the flesh;
We are to recognize no one according to our human viewpoint or our flesh.
Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring themselves with others with their own system of human good but never get around to living the spiritual life.
ACT 17:28, For in him we live, and move, and have our being;
Those whose mental attitude is obsessed with themselves are filled with spiritual death manifested by such things as the three arrogant skills: self-justification, self-deception, self-absorption.
The mental attitude which concentrates on the Spirit leads us to liberation and freedom.
You are being delivered from the bondage of your flesh or your self-life.
Focusing on yourself or the flesh is the opposite of focusing on God.
2CO 5:16, Therefore from now on we recognize no man according to the flesh beginning with yourself;
Anyone who is absorbed in themselves inevitably completely ignores God. They end up thinking more about themselves rather than God.
If God the Holy Spirit has taken residence within you in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of Him.
They will be too consumed by their own flesh and therefore compete and compare with the flesh of others.
This is what Satan and his kingdom of darkness desires, the breakdown of Christian unity from the principle of competing and comparing.
PHI 2:2-3, Bring to completion my inner happiness [in your life] by thinking the same things, maintaining the same virtue-love, united in soul, concentrating on the same objective. Do nothing motivated by contentiousness or ambitious pride, but with humility of mind [by means of grace orientation] let each of you keep on considering one another as more important than himself;
PHI 2:4-5, do not merely be regarding your own personal interests, but also for the personal interests of others. Keep on thinking this [doctrine] within yourselves which was also resident in Christ Jesus,
He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of Himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what.
When the time came, He set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, becoming a member of the human race, and having become human, He stayed human.
2CO 8:9, For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.
Instead, He lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death--and the worst kind of death at that: a crucifixion.
PHI 2:10-11, at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Even though you still experience all the limitations of the sin nature, you will experience life on God’s terms.
If God who raised Jesus from the dead moves in your life, He’ll do the same thing in you that He did in TLJC, bringing you alive to Himself through resurrection life.
When God lives and breathes in you (and He does, as surely as He did in TLJC), you are delivered from that dead life of recognizing or knowing anyone after the flesh.
With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as our Lord’s was still subject to physical death but living in, and looking forward to, eternal life.
If you walk and live habitually in the Holy Spirit, being responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh which is the human nature without God.
What is the flesh?
It is the human nature without God.
Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit and then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness.
The desires of the flesh are opposed to the Holy Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are opposed to the flesh, the godless human nature. There is a root of sinful self-interest in all of us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. When you regard people from the flesh or human viewpoint you feel threatened by them.
Whatever it is you feel, recognizing or knowing others according to your flesh eventually causes you to feel threatened by people, by their success, by their talent or ability.