To walk after the flesh

(J. C. Philpot, "No Condemnation" 1862)

"There is therefore now no condemnation to
 those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not
 after the flesh
, but after the Spirit." Rom. 8:1

To walk after the flesh carries with it the idea of
the flesh going before us—as our leader, guide, and
example—and our following close in its footsteps,
so that wherever it drags or draws, we move after
it, as the needle after the magnet.

To walk after the flesh, then, is to move
step by step in implicit obedience to . . .
  the commands of the flesh,
  the lusts of the flesh,
  the inclinations of the flesh,
  and the desires of the flesh,
whatever shape they assume,
whatever garb they wear,
whatever name they may bear.

To walk after the flesh is to be ever pursuing,
desiring, and doing the things that please the
flesh, whatever aspect that flesh may wear or
whatever dress it may assume—whether molded
and fashioned after the grosser and more flagrant
ways of the profane world—or the more refined
and deceptive religion of the professing church.

But are the grosser and more manifest sinners the
only people who may be said to walk after the flesh?
Does not all human religion, in all its varied forms and
shapes, come under the sweep of this all-devouring
sword? Yes! Every one who is entangled in and led by
a fleshly religion, walks as much after the flesh as
those who are abandoned to its grosser indulgences.

Sad it is, yet not more sad than true, that false
religion has slain its thousands
, if open sin has
slain its ten thousands.

To walk after the flesh, whether it be in the
grosser or more refined sense of the term, is
the same in the sight of God.