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2 Corinthians 5:16

ESV From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer.
NIV So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.
NASB Therefore from now on we recognize no one by the flesh; even though we have known Christ by the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer.
CSB From now on, then, we do not know anyone from a worldly perspective. Even if we have known Christ from a worldly perspective, yet now we no longer know him in this way.
NLT So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now!
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.

What does 2 Corinthians 5:16 mean?

Christ's death, which paid for the sin of all who believe in Him, resulted in a drastic change. Paul insists we look at every single person from a different and often-difficult perspective. Instead of looking at the outer appearance, the important question that must be answered about each person is spiritual. While every person is valuable, and worthwhile, their value is not found in physical things or worldly wealth. Nor can it be judged by shallow appearances. And, their greatest "need" is not for physical things, but for reconciliation with their Creator, through Christ.

Paul came to this understanding when he came to faith in Christ. He once thought of Christ only from a human perspective. Before his conversion, Paul viewed Christ as a mere man and His death as a just punishment for heresy. After his conversion, Paul came to know Christ as the Son of God and the substitute for human sin that he has described in the previous verses.

The understanding that everyone can be forgiven from sin and transformed through faith in Christ has changed how Paul regards every other person on earth. His primary concern, now, is whether another person is in Christ or still in their sin? Are they reconciled to God through faith in Jesus or not? As shown in the following verses, this is not about Paul deeming people "good" or "bad" on account of their faith. Rather, it reflects his deep desire to see people saved through faith.
What is the Gospel?
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