You have mentioned that in going for the Crown of Victory, we’re not competing against each other, but against our old selves, also called “the flesh”. My question is this, if a born-again believer loses the battle against the flesh and commits adultery, is the Crown of Victory gone forever, or can it still be awarded if the person repents and lives out the rest of their days in righteousness, justice, mercy and truth?
First let’s agree that no one lives any part of their life in righteousness, justice, mercy and truth. If we could do that we wouldn’t need a Savior. But to answer your question, the Bible doesn’t get specific on the rules governing these awards. The Lord will make a just and proper judgment with which we’ll all agree.
But we can apply some common sense, such as the fact that since everyone stumbles repeatedly, it doesn’t make sense that stumbling would automatically disqualify us. My guess, and it’s only a guess, is that the motives of our heart will be given considerable weight in determining our qualification.