When a person puts their faith and trust in Jesus promise in John 3:16, the burden of keeping that promise is on God, just as He intended it to be. God is faithful to His word. If a person has placed their faith and trust in Jesus, in God’s promise of salvation for all who trust in Jesus to save them, they are saved, period. So, the answer to our title question is YES. A Christian who is walking in the flesh can be saved.
The truth is, all Christians are walking in the flesh to some degree. Doubt, fear worry, anger, bitterness, jealousy, unforgiveness, impatience, lack of control in any area, resentment, restlessness, lack of peace, and many more symptoms are sins and all indicators of walking in the flesh.
When we come to Christ, we are saved, based upon His promise and His faithfulness to His word. But the choice is how we walk out our Christian life. We can walk in the flesh experiencing doubt, fear, worry, struggle, failure and defeat or in the Spirit doing living works for our living God in victory as the fruits of the Spirit overcome the failures of the flesh.
Choose Your Christian Life:
1) We can walk in the flesh where the works of the flesh rule, sin is plentiful, and life is a great struggle for us. Believers in this group will not be doing living works. If any works are done, they will most likely be dead works that will not survive, but the person will be saved based on God’s promise.
If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 1 Cor 3:15 NAS
There were many in the early church in this category.
According to Paul, in 1Tim 3:1-5 ESV, 1 Tim 3: 8-13 ESV, Titus 1:5-9 the early church had some members who should not be chosen as leaders, which is very understandable. But Paul’s request reveals to us the truth that there were members who were drunkards, out of control, not respectable or hospitable, insubordinate, living a debauched lifestyle, violent and not gentle, quarrelsome and a lover of money, unable to manage their household, quick-tempered and arrogant and the husband of more than one wife. Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles and they were a very raucous group. The odds are, you are a Gentile as I am. Read: Is There Such Thing as a Violent Christian Drunkard?
And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? 1 Cor 3:1-3 NAS
2)We can also choose to walk in the flesh in a legalistic sense as the Galatians were deceived into doing. This is where the works and sins of the flesh, including self-righteousness, pride, judging others, condemnation, guilt and doing dead works is prevalent and so is struggle. There were many in the early church in this category. These were the members who tried to impose the law upon believers in our first group who they probably claimed were not true believers. Their request that the law be added to grace for salvation was shot down by the leaders in the early church.
You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Gal 3:1-5 NAS
Read Acts 15 and all of the book of Galatians to learn more about the truth. We are saved by faith through grace alone, no law or works required so that no man can boast.
When we walk in the flesh we are walking by sight, looking at our flesh under the law and not by faith in God's promise of who we are now in Christ. We are not walking in faith and anything not of faith is sin.
Whatever is not from faith is sin. Rom 14:23b NAS
The law is not of faith.
However, the Law is not of faith; Gal 3:12a NAS
God is looking for our faith in His promises, in His Sons finished work on the cross, in the New Creation we are in Christ, our new identity.
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Heb 11:6 NAS
"I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:8 NAS
3)The most popular option is to live in the flesh while flirting with the Spirit. This is where I believe most Christians live and there is great struggle here too.
Virtually all believers, where I lived most of my Christian life, operate in the flesh to some degree and flirt with the Spirit. From my experience, most in this category lean more towards operating in the flesh than the Spirit.
This group is a combination of group one and two. Here, we tell others that we are saved by grace through faith alone but the law is often used to try and perfect and defeat the flesh, which will never work according to scripture. The flesh will never defeat itself. Any temporary victory in the flesh leads to the sins of self-righteousness, boasting, pride and the judgment of others.
If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence. Col 2:20-23 NAS
Sin, the inherited sin nature in our flesh, has no dominion over us specifically because we are no longer under the law. In other words, this verse is also saying that if we falsely believe we are still under the Old Covenant law of Moses, sin will have dominion over us.
For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. Rom 6:14 ESV
4)Or, we can choose to walk in the Spirit by faith where our born again and perfected Spirit rules. This is where we have great victory as the fruits of the Spirit are supernaturally produced overwhelming and overcoming the dead works, sins and struggles of the flesh.
We overcome the flesh and its lusts by walking in the Spirit.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. Gal 5:16 NAS
Walking in the Spirit fulfills the requirement of the law in us, fulfills the Spirit of the law, when we walk in the Spirit. The requirement of the law is "love" - Rom 13:8-10, Gal 5:14.
so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Rom 8:4 NAS
If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Gal 5:25 NAS
Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law. Rom 3:31 NAS
This is specifically walking in faith by agreeing with God’s word that we are saved for all eternity and He has made us righteous, sanctified us, made us holy and perfected our born-again Spirit and that our flesh was crucified and died on the cross with Jesus when we first believed. Any believer who wants victory in this life over reoccurring sin, struggle and dysfunction, should have it as their goal to walk by faith in the Spirit where the lusts of the flesh are defeated.
A picture of the choice we have can be seen in the Old Testament that is filled with pictures and shadows of the true reality. The Jewish nation was saved and set free from slavery to Pharaoh (a picture of Satan), by the blood of the lamb (a picture of the shed blood of Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God) placed on the doorposts. But only two of the original group fully trusted God’s promises and wanted to walk by faith into the promised land. God said Caleb had a different Spirit.
"But My servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall take possession of it. Num 14:24 NAS
Joshua and Caleb walked by faith in God’s promises and this is how one walks in the Spirit. The rest were saved, but walked in the flesh by sight and struggled mightily, dying in the wilderness of sin, as it is called. To walk in the Spirit, we must walk like Joshua and Caleb, by faith and not by sight. As you can see, out of the millions of Jews in that group, scripture only tells us of two believers who walked by faith instead of sight. The numbers today are very similar.
To walk by faith in the Spirit, we must believe we are the New Creation God states we are right now. Will you focus on your crucified and dead flesh in an attempt to resurrect it? Or will you focus on the New Creation God has already made you in Christ? Will you walk in the flesh or will you walk in the Spirit going forward? Whatever you focus on will grow in your life.
I accept that in Christ I am:
Greatly loved by God - Ephesians 2:4 - Forgiven of all my sins - Ephesians 1:7
Free from the law of sin and death - Romans 8:2 - Righteous - Rom 5:19
Complete - Colossians 2:10 NASB - Justified - 1 Corinthians 6:11
Sanctified - Hebrews 10:10 NASB - Holy and without blame - Ephesians 1:4
Perfected - Hebrews 10:14 NASB
These verses are not talking about our crucified and dead flesh. They are talking about your born-again and perfected Spirit. God is not counting your sins Christian. If you are really concerned about stopping your outward acts of sin, you will believe God’s truth of who you are in Christ, a New Righteous Creation, and walk in the Spirit where the fruits of the Spirit will rule your life and the works and sins of the flesh will fade away. God is for you and not against you. You are saved based on His promise. You need not doubt, fear or worry anymore.
Make a commitment to God and yourself. Believe God, stop doubting so you will walk in the Spirit, pleasing God as your new God given heart wants to, being His light of glory for all to see.
More New Covenant Bible Studies that Apply:
Why Don't I look Like a New Creation in Christ in the Mirror?
How to Walk in the Spirit Instead of the Flesh
How to Defeat Sin, the Lusts of the Flesh
Seek First His Righteousness
God WILL NOT Erase Your Name from of the Book of Life, Christian
Jesus is The End of The Law for Believers
Satan Will Always Point You Back to the Law
Fallen From Grace
Christians are Blessed Because God is Not Imputing our Sins
God Sees A Believers Faith Not Their Sins
Believers are Never Called Sinners in the New Testament
Jesus Never Called a Believer a Hypocrite
Your Flesh is Dead Christian, Not in School
God is Looking for Our Faith Not Our Holiness
How Grace Defeated Sin in My Life
Many more New Covenant Bible Studies HERE. Jesus poured out His blood for the New Covenant of grace and truth, replacing the Old Covenant law of Moses. Believers are exclusively under the New Covenant, the last will and testament of Jesus that began after the cross.
And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. Luke 22:20