Henceforth know we no man after the flesh—2 Cor. 5: 16.
The Apostle did not mean that we should pay no attention to the shortcomings of the flesh, either in ourselves or in other disciples of Christ. All fleshly weaknesses should be striven against, and they may frequently demand rigorous treatment in the interest of the new heart, mind and will; but nevertheless, we are to differentiate distinctly between it and the weak mortal body, and are to love and sympathize with the brother or sister, while it may be necessary for us, in his or her interest, and also in the interest of the Church, to reprove or rebuke or otherwise correct the wrong course. The Apostle's definition as to how we are to know the two classes apart is that the unregenerate will mind the things of the flesh, while the regenerate will mind the things of the Spirit.
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To know others after the flesh is to think of and to appreciate them from the standpoint of human nature. He knows others after the flesh who esteems and treats them according to something in their humanity, such as beauty, sex, wealth, strength, position, reputation, affiliation, etc. If we find ourselves more favorable toward some of the brethren for these and similar advantages than we would be if they lacked them, we know them according to the flesh. Our esteem of others should be based upon their relation to the Lord and His Truth. The more Christlikeness we see in them, the more we should esteem them; the less Christlikeness we see in them, the less we should esteem them, thus knowing them according to the Spirit.
Parallel passages: Deut. 33: 9; 1Sam. 2: 29; 1Tim. 5: 21; 2Cor. 11: 22; Gal. 2: 11-14; Matt. 10: 37; 12: 48-50; John 2: 4; 6: 63; 15: 14; Gal. 2: 5, 6; 5: 6.
Questions: What were this week's experiences in line with this text? How were they met? What helped or hindered therein? What were the results?
NOT REALLY GROWING OLD
THEY say that I am growing old—
I've heard them tell it times untold;
They think that I have lost my youth,
But I am glad I know the truth:
This frail old shell in which I dwell
Is failing fast—I'm not the shell;
With hopes eternal, still unsung,
My "inward man" is really young.
My "outward man" may feeble be,
And that is all the people see;
Inside I'm young and bright and gay,
I'm growing stronger every day.
What if my hair is turning white
And I am weak? I still can fight
The fight of faith, nor suffer loss,
For I'm a soldier of the cross.
What if my eyes are growing dim?
I still can see to follow Him
Who sacrificed His life for me
Upon the cross at Calvary.
My hearing may not be as keen
As in the past it might have been,
Still I can hear my Savior say,
In whispers soft, "I am the way."
My legs may bow, my back may bend,
As I approach my journey's end,
But in His strength I walk upright—
To do His will is my delight.
What though I falter in my walk?
What though my tongue refuse to talk?
I still can walk the righteous way,
And run the race, and praise, and pray.
Why should I care if time's old plow
Has left its furrow on my brow?
Another house, made by God's hand,
Awaits me in my promised land.
These few short years can't make me old;
Eternal ages will unfold
The glorious life He'll give to me—
The best of life is yet to be!
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