Knowing One Another After the Spirit in Us

For the love of Christ constrains us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they who live should no longer live unto themselves, but unto him who died for them, and rose again. Therefore from now on know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet from now on know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2Co 5:14-17 KJ2000)

Do we seek to know one another after the Spirit? The apostles and many in Israel knew Jesus after the flesh. They saw this man from Galilee walk among them, do miracles among them, heal many of them. He taught them and even fed them food when they were hungry. But did they know Him after the Spirit of God within Him? Most did not. When Jesus asked the disciples who men said that He was they answered, “John the Baptist. But others say Elijah, and others say one of the prophets.” They only knew him after the flesh, but Peter was given revelation of something more. Jesus asked them again, “Who do YOU say that I am?” To this Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Peter in that moment was given revelation by the Father as to the spiritual nature of Christ and would eventually know Him after the Spirit and not just after the flesh.

Two disciples were walking along the road to Emaus after Jesus died on the cross and this man came along and walked and conversed with them. The only knew that Man after the flesh, even though He opened the scriptures to them and showed them that Christ must suffer many things and die and rise again. It was not until He took some bread and broke it and gave it to them that their eyes were open to see Him “after the Spirit.”

Paul was not one of the disciples and it is not know if Paul ever saw Jesus in person before He died on the cross, but that would all change one day when he had an encounter with the living, resurrected Christ on the road to Damascus where he was heading to persecute the members of Christ’s body. He was so shocked by the vision of this Being that He asked, “Who are you, Lord?” To this Jesus answered, “ I am Jesus whom you persecute…” OOPS! Imagine what was going through Paul’s head right then! The people who believed in Jesus who Paul hated WERE Jesus, this all powerful Person who just knocked him down and blinded him! Members of HIS body were suffering and dying at the hands of Saul the Pharisee who later became Paul the apostle. Back to the drawing board! All stop! His self-righteous Pharisee days were over and he became a member of the body of Christ that went forth to give life and nurture it in every way he could.

Oh, that we who are called Christians today would first know Jesus after the Spirit and then start to know one another after that same Spirit that abides in Him and one another. How differently we would treat each other. How we would prefer one another in the love of God. How we would honor one another and honor the gift of the Spirit that abides in each of us. How we would nurture each member as Christ loves His church and gave His life for each person in it. Paul exhorted the church saying, “Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor [in honor preferring one another]. Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord” (Rom 12:9-11 RSVA). Do we prefer one another over ourselves? Do we prefer Christ in one another over our selfish estimate of who we are and the love we have for “our own ministry”? Do we try to outdo one another in showing His love for each member of the body?

When was the last time you asked Jesus to show you how HE see that brother or sister you fellowship with, especially the difficult ones that just seem to rub us the wrong way? Can you see that gift He has placed in them and nurture it and encourage them to function in the gift? Do you see the treasure that God has put in them for the benefit of the whole body and not just “your ministry”? Do you see each member of Christ’s body as a jewel in the crown of God?

Then they that feared the LORD spoke often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spares his own son that serves him. Then shall you return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serves God and him that serves him not. (Mal 3:16-18 KJ2000)

Or worse yet, are we persecuting Jesus in the way we treat members of His body? I hold that if we have no fear of God, we will also not have any fear of damaging or doing harm to the bride of Christ. Remember, the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Let us be wise in the way we treat one another and “outdo one another in showing honor,” preferring one another over ourselves.

Let us mine the depths of the riches of Christ in one another, dear saints. The church of Laodicea is seen by Jesus as poor, miserable, blind and naked. The church is sick today because we do not rightly discern the body of Christ. It might be well if we would often ask when confronted with another member of Christ’s body what Paul asked that blinding day on the Damascus road, “Who are you, Lord?”

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8 comments on “Knowing One Another After the Spirit in Us

  1. Michael, I had been thinking over your recent post, “The Lord is My Shepherd” and although I was most certainly in agreement, I couldn’t quite put into words how despite this truth we should be careful not to minimize the contributions of the saints. Now I know why. It seems our Father had this planned all along as this post fits in well as a part 2 if you will to the previous post. I’m glad I waited to reply- this is a beautiful reminder of how it ought to be and can be among the few who recognize these things.
    How little do we realize that we lose, that is, spiritual benefit and nourishment when we fail to place the interests of our brothers and sisters before ourselves.
    Where a handful or living room full of cross bearing disciples share life, these actions among the saints will be as natural as breathing. May we pray to this end.
    Thanks for continuing to listen and be an encouragement to us all.

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    • michaeldc110 says:

      Yes! You have put my ramblings together! Oh, how we need one another! “The LORD is my Shepherd…” But it does not end there… “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house– the household — of the Lord forever.” We are members one of another IN Christ, as we dwell individually IN Christ we are made co-joined members with Him in His body. It was also David who wrote, “How good and how pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity… for herein God commands both His anointing and His blessing.” Jesus prayed this very thing saying,

      “That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that you have sent me. And the glory which you gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them, as you have loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom you have given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which you have given me: for you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world has not known you: but I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me. And I have declared unto them your name, and will declare it: that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (Joh 17:21-26 KJ2000)

      True unity is only found as we individually abide in the Son… members of His body just as Jesus and the Father are members of one another. In His anointed unity we are made joint heirs in the fellowship of the Father and the Son. It is when we abide fully IN them that the world is given a witness that we are not of this world, but rather are of His kingdom, not the kingdoms of men… perfect heavenly beings in Christ. Oh, how we rob ourselves and one another by always seeing heaven as something way off in space or in the future instead of His kingdom reality. How we rob oursleves of all that Christ is when we fail to look for and apprehend the heavenly treasure of Himself, His glory, that He has put in each one of us to profit us all in the loving unity of the household of God… many members, each with his own measure of Christ within, yet members one of another, owing that metron of Christ to one another.

      Jesus prayed, “Father, I will that they also, whom you have given me, be with me where I am… that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them… That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us.” Where was Jesus when He prayed this, totally enveloped in the Father and His love and enveloped in the heavenly vision of a people who would dwell in the unity of the love of the Father for the Son. THIS is the heavenly body of Christ in action and it is for the here and now!

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  2. Markus says:

    To see Christ in the other we first have to live in Christ ourselves. As soon as we’re in Him… we’ll see him in the other, too!
    A true disciple of Christ has two ways of looking at things… has received “two eyes” to look at reality.
    1. Our natural eyes – we don’t need any training at all to look through them
    2. The eyes of the Spirit – it needs a wilfull denial of the natural, a refusal of the the old way of vision, the dying towards the old to see by them.

    Then we need to have “the mind of Christ” – quite contrary to the mind we’re born with:
    “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
    And be not conformed to this world: but be ye TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Ro. 12:1-2)

    John words it a little different when saying: “But if we walk in the light, AS HE IS IN THE LIGHT, we have fellowship one with another” (1.Jo. 1:7)
    To live in the light as he is in the light is the same as to live by the Spirit as He is the Spirit!
    Normal human functioning won’t bring forth true felloship as desired by God. Yes, we might – with much sweat and compromise create some quickly evaporating, temporary “unity”… but never it will be the fellowship coming with a life in the Spirit.
    This fellowship is immediately there… instantly present… when Spirit meets Spirit… and unless we wilfully embrace the death of the old, we will never be able to enjoy the joys of this fellowship.

    True fellowship is only possible if – at least – two spiritual minded meet (can be more, of course :-D).
    This fellowship is just a “natural by-product” of a life in intimacy with the Beloved. There is never a need to think about “loving each other” at all… true love is present, right from the first moment. In the natural quite some differences in culture and character might meet but this isn’t important anymore if the pre-condition – a life in the light of God/by His Spirit – is met.

    … and this isn’t some nice philosophy! It works! All over the world!

    However, unless we embrace the death of our own self/ego this will always stay a dream… an idealistic, romantic ideal ridiculed by the reality of a carnal mindset.
    But though the mass seems to prove the impossibility… there are quite some “living proofs” testifying the blessed fellowship possible when we start to live by the Spirit alone.

    We have to die so His life can transform us into His likeness!

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    • michaeldc110 says:

      Amen, Markus!!! You have in your own words (or should I say, in Christ’s words) clarified even further what I was trying to bring forth in what I wrote. The body in action… members one of another… not ever saying, “You are not like me so I have no need of you.” When we come together in the unity of the Father and the Son we can put all our individual pieces together and thus manifest the very Son of God to one another and to the world. This can not be done in the old Adam, the self-willed fallen nature we are born with. We MUST be born anew of the Father into HIS kingdom first.

      Yes, we not only need spiritual eyes that can see spiritual things, but spiritual hears that can hear His voice. We need need spiritual noses that can smell His sweet fragrance in one another and a sense of spiritual taste so we can taste and see that the Lord is good! We also need the ability to touch and be touched by one another with His love. And as you so clearly pointed out, we need these spiritual senses to be governed by the mind of Christ over and in us all. “Oh Lord, strip away all that is not of you and your fullness that you would have us each to walk in. Father, conform us to the image of your Son. Father, remake us that we might be where Jesus IS, one in you as you are one in Him.”

      “Therefore from now on know we no man [nor female, no Jew, nor Gentile, no slave or freeman] after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet from now on know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2Co 5:16-17 KJ2000)

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  3. Mia says:

    Dear Michael
    I truly need to thank you for your words for it helped me sooo… much today as I was battling to spend time with a difficult person. And true to His word, He loved her right through me as I stayed in Him, allowing Him to do the loving on my behalf.

    Yes, we need to know Him intimately and experience His love and heart for others, before the true unity in the Holy Spirit is possible. In the past, during my religion days, I used to strive so hard trying to love, but to no avail. But He brings us to the end of ourselves and then teaches us how to know Him after the Spirit.

    After that we never look at anyone the same way we used to before. It is as if we sense His tremendous love for each and everyone He has ever created!

    A blessed God-filled 2013 for you and your family.

    Much love

    Mia

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  4. oikoskrk says:

    I pray often to really see others through the eyes of Christ. When that happens it changes everything and allows me to affirm and acknowledge the Christ who is in those I am praying for and relating to. To know others after the Spirit and not the flesh is a total gamechanger

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  5. Hosea says:

    Amen brothers and sisters…agape

    Like

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