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Know People After The Spirit
"And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again." (2 Cor 5:15)

Jesus died in your place and rose again in your place. He died in your behalf and rose again in your behalf. He died on your account and rose again on your account.

"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." (2 Cor 5:16)

Paul said we used to know Jesus after the flesh, but we do not know Him that way anymore because He has ascended to Heaven. We know Him after the Spirit. We do not know Him after the flesh because He is not walking around here in a body anymore.

Some translators reverse this to say that since we know Christ after the Spirit, we do not assess any man after the flesh anymore. In other words, I do not know you naturally. Paul said, “I am going to show you how you can know who people really are, not just who they are naturally by studying their roots, who their parents were, what country they came from, what race they are, or what language they speak. I am going to show you how you can know who people really are in Christ, in the Spirit.”

A Brand New Person
“Therefore if any man…” this means this will work for anyone. “Therefore if any man be in Christ…” It does not say if any man be in church. You can be in church and be the same old stinking thing you have always been, but when you get “in Christ,” you cannot stay the same. You are changed!

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is…” Paul was not talking about males only; he was talking about mankind, man and woman. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he (or she) is a new creature…” One translation says it this way, “a new species of being that never existed before.”

When you get born again, you are not just a forgiven sinner. You have been recreated. In the Old Testament, sins were only covered and forgiven. Because of the death and resurrection of Christ, you have not simply been forgiven; you have become a whole new person, a whole new creation. You are not just a forgiven sinner. You are a brand new person. God has recreated you.

Present Tense
I like the present tense of 2 Corinthians 5:17. It excites me to see that. “Therefore if any man be in Christ…” When you are born again, you be in Christ. Whatever is true of anyone else who is in Christ is true about you. If you be in Christ, then what be in Christ be in you.

Hebrews 11: 1 says, “Now faith is…” This is present tense. In other words, if it is going to be, it is not faith. If it used to be, it is not faith. God introduced Himself to Moses by saying, “I AM that I AM.”  Somebody said, “What is God’s last name?” AM is God’s last name. That is present tense. When you get in Christ, you am in Him. Whatever am in Him am in you right now. Whatever be in Him, be in you. You are not trying to be, not hoping to be, not going to be. Right now you be in Him. Now faith is.

The moment you declare who you are in Him, your faith will work. Otherwise, you will always try to be, hope to be, and want to be. This is the miracle of the new birth. Right now, in Him, you are a new creature. In Him, you have been made righteous. In Him, you are triumphant. In Him, you are redeemed. In Him, you have peace with God.

You need to forget who you are naturally and get up every morning seeing who you are in Him. You are complete in Him. So Paul said, “If any man (person) be in Christ, he is…” I am in Him, and I Am is in me!

Bragging On Redemption

E.W. Kenyon said, “The reason that the majority of Christians are weak, though they are earnest, yet they are weak, is because they have never dared to make a confession of what they are in Christ.” People think it makes God happy for them to talk about everything they are not. Would it make you happy if your kids came in every day and told you everything they are not?

Some people get upset with this because they think they are being humble when they continually run themselves down. You are not just being ignorant: you are opening the door to the devil. We know that in ourselves we can do nothing. We have already proven that!

Philemon 6 tells you to acknowledge every good thing that is in you in Christ. You need to acknowledge who you are in Christ and the good things that are in you because you are in Him. In other words, you are not really boasting of who you are in the flesh; you are boasting of what God has accomplished for you in Christ. You are not bragging on yourself; you are bragging on who you are in Him. You are bragging on redemption.

John G. Lake said that in all of your preaching and teaching you must always leave people with the consciousness of the triumph of Christ. Before you leave church, you should be conscious and aware of the triumph of Christ and who you are in Him. There should be a song in your spirit. No matter what the devil is doing, something in you should say, “I feel like singing! I want to shout!”

I Think Myself Happy

The Apostle Paul could be shipwrecked, snake bit, beaten in the head, left for dead, or be in the middle of the prison and still say, “I feel like singing right now because the Greater One is in me.” How would you like to be chained to Paul for about a year and a half? Paul was not some confused, lonely, bitter preacher. He stood before King Agrippa after thirty years and said, “Oh, king, I think myself happy” (Acts 26:2).

You can think yourself happy or you can think yourself sad. Paul said, “I am a happy man.” He could have said a lot of things. He could have said, “I am a lonely man. You know, never did get married.” He could have said, “I feel like a rejected man because I lost a lot of friends.” He could have said, “I am a tired man. I have been working at this for thirty years.” Standing there in chains before one of the rulers of the Roman Empire, Paul said, “I am a happy man.”

King Agrippa, his sister Bernice, Governor Festus, and all the military leaders, lawyers, and other prominent people were there when Paul came in. They wanted to poke fun at him, they wanted to mock him, but you cannot ridicule a happy man. When he entered he said, “I am a happy man.” He probably had the least reason to be happy of anybody in that whole crowed. Everybody else had power and money. They also had influence, fame, and prestige, but Paul said, “I am a happy man. I wish all of you were as happy as I am. “

They wanted to talk about other issues, but Paul said,” Let me tell you what the main issue is here. Jesus Christ came to this earth; He died on the cross; He arose from the dead. I met Him personally. He is alive.” Before it was over, King Agrippa was shaking because conviction hit that whole place. Paul turned the occasion into an alter call and said, “Does anyone want to come forward and receive Jesus?

The King said, ‘Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian” (Acts 26:28). He will be the most upset man in hell because he had a testimony from the greatest preacher other than the Lord Jesus Christ, and he said, ”I don’t have time right now. I have my friends here, and this is a little embarrassing. I am almost persuaded. I’ll talk to you later.” King Agrippa died a poor, broken man. Paul identified himself in 2 Corinthians 12:2 simply as a man in Christ.

He said, “I am a happy man.” One translation of Acts 26:2 say, “I have been congratulating myself.” Who is this man in Christ? Paul said, “I am a happy man, a man in Christ.”   

Summary Points:
  • The moment you declare who you are in Him, your faith will work.
  • You can think yourself happy or you can think yourself sad.

Source: The Power Of Identification With Christ
Excerpt permission granted by Mark Harper Ministries

Author Biography

Mark Hankins
Web site: Mark Hankins Ministries
Mark and Trina Hankins travel nationally and internationally preaching the Word of God with the power of the Holy Spirit. The vision of MHM is to take the spirit of faith, the message of who the believer is in Christ, and the work of the Holy Spirit to every generation and to every nation. Mark and Trina Hankins have been in full-time ministry for over thirty five years. Through church services, leadership conferences, mission trips, publications, radio, television, Bible schools, and the internet, MHM is reaching the world with the Word of God. Mark is known widely for his unique anointing to minister on the subjects of faith and the believer’s identification in Christ.

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