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16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way.


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16. Wherefore—because of our settled judgment (2Co 5:14),

henceforth—since our knowing Christ's constraining love in His death for us.

know we no man after the flesh—that is, according to his mere worldly and external relations (2Co 11:18; Joh 8:15; Php 3:4), as distinguished from what he is according to the Spirit, as a "new creature" (2Co 5:17). For instance, the outward distinctions of Jew or Gentile, rich or poor, slave or free, learned or unlearned, are lost sight of in the higher life of those who are dead in Christ's death, and alive with Him in the new life of His resurrection (Ga 2:6; 3:28).

yea, though—The oldest manuscripts read, "if even."

known Christ after the flesh—Paul when a Jew had looked for a temporal reigning, not a spiritual, Messiah. (He says "Christ," not Jesus: for he had not known personally Jesus in the days of His flesh, but he had looked for Christ or the Messiah). When once he was converted he no longer "conferred with flesh and blood" (Ga 1:16). He had this advantage over the Twelve, that as one born out of due time he had never known Christ save in His heavenly life. To the Twelve it was "expedient that Christ should go away" that the Comforter should come, and so they might know Christ in the higher spiritual aspect and in His new life-giving power, and not merely "after the flesh," in the carnal aspect of Him (Ro 6:9-11; 1Co 15:45; 1Pe 3:18; 4:1, 2). Doubtless Judaizing Christians at Corinth prided themselves on the mere fleshly (2Co 11:18) advantage of their belonging to Israel, the nation of Christ, or on their having seen Him in the flesh, and thence claimed superiority over others as having a nearer connection with Him (2Co 5:12; 2Co 10:7). Paul here shows the true aim should be to know Him spiritually as new creatures (2Co 5:15, 17), and that outward relations towards Him profit nothing (Lu 18:19-21; Joh 16:7, 22; Php 3:3-10). This is at variance with both Romish Mariolatry and transubstantiation. Two distinct Greek verbs are used here for "know"; the first ("know we no man") means "to be personally acquainted with"; the latter ("known Christ … know … more") is to recognize, or estimate. Paul's estimate of Christ, or the expected Messiah, was carnal, but is so now no more.




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