"It is a delicately nuanced, and little understood subject that one knows, going in, will not sit well with a good many equally earnest Christians. Yet, I scripture inclines me to insist that there is nothing incongruent or incompaitible between knowing that the very foundation of God literally stands or falls with whether He keeps His covenant (speaking of the everlasting / new covenant) with all the true seed of the Spirit and the simultaneous, guarded working out of our salvation with fear and trembling, proving "through many dangers, toils, and snares" (btw, the author of that song taught the view I hold) that our faith remains steadfast, not because of something of, or in ourselves (excepting, of course, the new man of the Spirit), but because our faith has been born of God. Only then can we say that it is "God who works in you to will and to do of His own good pleasure."
"Does this mean we relax our guard, or "coast" in pressing on to a greater and fuller sanctification? By no means! That is a perverse and unnecessary 'guilt by association". Of course the regenerate heart knows the danger of falling, as many with much fairer beginngs than we have conspicuously done. Does it mean we "presume" that we can set light by any of the warnings of what it will mean if we fail or come short of the grace of God (in continuance)? Of course not. It only makes us all the more careful to make our calling and election sure. And, as to prospects of greater fruitfulness, it makes us all the more careful that we "keep our hearts with all diligence, so that we lose not what we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward." But success in fulfilling our responsibility depends on His grace and His keeping. This is because when we lost our abiity in the fall, we lost none of our responsibility. This predicament brings the revelation of the glory of the mystery of grace that enables us to be and to do what, in the words of Jesus, is impossible with man. "Impossible with man" all to the end that the inheritance might be all of grace, not of works but of Him who calls. That's why the choice was determined before any good or evil could possibly be done to bias the decision. No wonder Zerubbabel brings forth the headstone with shoutings, Grace! grace! unto it (Zech 4:7). Grace, glorious grace is the theme and the song that will reverberate throughout heaven's portals for an eternity of eternities."
"But I digress. Back to my point. It is the Spirit in us who stirs us to greater desire and sober watching, taking every warning and every conditionality of the Word with utmost seriousness. That's what a truly regenerate heart does. That's part of the means God employs to keep His sons in whom He has "put" His fear. A true child knows he or she will indeed surely die" if the commandment or the warning is flouted. But such earnest watchfulness counts for nothing if it out of a works oriented conscience that finds its only rest in the disasterous pride of presumption that its offering of a self based 'cooperation' has been accepted. That is works and pride. But fear of another kind, the holy, clean and enduring fear of God that directs the heart into wisdom and righteousness is 'built right into' the promise of the NC. "I will PUT my fear in their hearts and they shall never again depart" (Isa 59:21; Jer 32:40)." The one simply does not exist without the other, as the one is evidence of the other."
"This vigilance and pursuit of His fullness are the marks of authentic, tested and proven sonship. This is the sign and seal of the true regeneration of which the scripture speaks. The scripture is full of warning of how close things may seem or appear and yet fall short, sometimes fatally short. Yet, the same scripture is full of comfort and good encouragement for every need and every crisis with which every pilgrim is appointed to meet on his or her way to the celestial city. "He who keeps Israel (specifically, the "Israel of God") shall neither slumber or sleep", and He who keeps you, is no less committed in His covenant to bring you all the way home, and to grant you the true enduring fruit that you desire with such passionate pursuit. Just know, and, of course you do, that this desire did not take its rise from you, but He "PUT" it there. :-) "He is faithful, who also will do it!"
Soli Deo Gloria! (Reggie)