IF A MAN IS IN CHRIST

2 Corinthians 5:16–21 (KJV)

Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

As we finish up 2 Corinthians chapter 5 please notice a few thigs with me:

He’s talking about death

Vs 1–9

He’s talking about the judgment seat of Christ[1]

Vs 10–11

He’s talking about the love of Christ

Vs 14

He’s not saying that God’s love for me constrains him, but Christ’s love for all constrains him.

It’s a matter of perspective.

We see men differently because we see Christ differently.

2 Corinthians 5:16 (KJV)

Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.

We don’t see others in the flesh because suddenly we know Jesus Christ for who He is.

Therefore, if any man be in Christ

*I. HE IS A NEW CREATURE

2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Usually, I think, we look at this verse and apply it to ourselves. It’s ok to do that — it’s valuable to do that.

But don’t we also get a bit confused because

· We know we are in Christ but

· We know we aren’t that new

A more accurate way to understand this verse is to see it as it applies to others.

Those who are in Christ are new creatures.

Stop putting on them all your old problems with them.

· See them the way Jesus sees them

· See them the way they will be in heaven

· See them as joint heirs with Jesus

It might be that right now, all you can see is their flesh, their humanity and weaknesses.

If you know Jesus after the spirit — if you are saved, then trust the Lord that He will change all of that about them in His time.

Here’s something else about him,

*II. HE IS OF GOD

2 Corinthians 5:18–20 (KJV)

And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

So that, even if he is not saved, it’s God’s desire that He gets saved.

If you know Christ in some way other than the flesh.

· If you are born again.

· If you know Jesus Christ as the risen Son of God and your Saviour

· If you know Him to have forgiven your sin and made you a child of God

Then there are two things this passage says to you.

· Try to win others to the Lord

· Try to encourage other Christians to be ambassadors for Christ with you

Just see people differently.

· See them as persons who need to be saved or

· See them as persons who need to be encouraged in the Lord

There’s no room to be critical or mean spirited at them.

If you know Jesus in some other way than a fleshy, shallow, unchristian way, then you know that’s no way to see others.

Something else about that person in Christ

*II. HE HAS BEEN MADE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD

2 Corinthians 5:21 (KJV)

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Think about that.

Every sin that person has ever committed, including the ones that offended you — have already been judged, in Jesus Christ.

Jesus took it, carried it with Him to the Cross and prayed “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”[2]

· God the Father darkened the sun against that sin

· God the Father turned His back on Jesus against that sin

Jesus:

· suffered for that sin,

· was judged for that sin and

· died for that sin

That one who has offended you so badly has been made the righteousness of God in Christ.

Who are you to keep your grudge?

You see?

It’s a matter of perspective.

If you know Jesus Christ in some way other than after the flesh, then you can know everyone else as something other than the flesh.

[1] Hebrews 9:27 (KJV)

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

[2] Luke 23:34

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Marvin McKenzie

Marvin McKenzie

Pastor, self published Amazon Author, avid student of the Bible. teacher of the Word of God in college level . Daily visit with God www.marvinmckenzie.org