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There can only be minimal appreciation (though in full possession) of that which derives from “life and godliness” (2Pet 1:3) if there be not settled assurance concerning the permanent efficacy of Christ’s redemption (unfailingly covers all sin). What fruit of redemption could there be that would be temporary, and greater still, what use could there be of such a work? There is at no time anything meaningful in a so-called temporal walk of faith, nor would it be sensible to conceive such as a work of God.
None can find a demonstration in Romans Eight that one who “walks after the Spirit” can also “walk after the flesh.” Scripture exemplifies those appearing to be “in the Spirit” (v 9) by a nominal (in name only) outward profession of Christianity (Mat 15:8; Mar 7:6; Jam 2:18). But their inward state will eventually manifest their “departure” (1Tim 4:1) from a false profession of faith, and a “fall” (Gal 5:4) from an insincere pursuit of grace (1Tim 4:1; Gal 5:4; 1Jhn 2:19).
Verse One in chapter Eight reveals evidence that those who are is Christ—“walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” This does not indicate that those who are reborn can walk after the flesh but rather the opposite, that they will not walk after the flesh, and the following verse explains why—“Because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin.” Free, not that there will be no more sinning but that there will be no more will to sin (Heb 10:26).
Walking after the flesh does not intend intermittent sin but a willingness to pursue a continuous lifestyle and state of sin, as was our condition prior to rebirth. I do not believe that the scriptural warnings and admonitions to believers represent what they might again desire after but rather what identifies them. It’s not as though one who is reborn can ever again desire to willfully sin.
Hence the urgent significance concerning the doctrine of the permanency of salvation. If it’s not permanent it’s not redemption, because there is only one strain of salvation—“eternal salvation” (Heb 5:9). Regardless of how long or how sincere others may have appeared, discontinuing the Christian walk indicates (not confirms) a nonoccurrence of rebirth.
The word “walk” is in reference to that which one wills to do outwardly, which is directed by that which is desired inwardly (natural or spiritual). What one wills to do has precedence over what is practically done. Thus our “will to do of His good pleasure” (Phl 2:13) is predominant in significance as to that which is done, because it’s the intention of our actions and not deeds which determines their quality.
This defines the meaning of a “new heart,” which is ever desiring to please God, though knowing our actions will also include that which is undesirable due to the “old man” (Rom 7:15-20). For those reborn, their walk will progressively manifest that which is of the new nature more than that of the old, which between these two natures is how God is “glorified” (Mat 5:16; Jhn 15:8; 1Co 6:20; 10:31; Phl 1:11; 1Pe 2:12; 1Pe 4:11).