Crowns God Sets Aside for His Servants, Part 1

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:7–8)

As those who serve the living God, we occasionally need to consider the eternal "crowns" being set aside for God's servants. What an intriguing study!

There are at least five crowns promised in the Bible. For our purpose here, I will simply list the eternal crowns mentioned in the New Testament and offer a brief explanation of each. We'll cover three today and two tomorrow.

1. The Imperishable Crown (1 Corinthians 9:24–27)

This reward is promised to those who victoriously run the race of life. Taking into consideration verses 26 and 27, that is, the "buffeting" of the body, it is clear that this reward will be awarded those believers who consistently bring the flesh under the Holy Spirit's control, refusing to be enslaved by their sinful nature. In other words, those who carry out the truths of Romans 6:6-14.

2. The Crown of Exultation (Philippians 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:19–20)

This crown will be one over which its recipients will glory and rejoice! This is the "soul-winners crown." It is claimed by Paul regarding two bodies of believers whom he had led to and discipled in Christ Jesus . . . the Philippians and the Thessalonians. Our Lord will distribute this crown to those servants who are faithful to declare the gospel, lead souls to Christ, and build them up in Him. And remember: the rewards at this judgment will be based on the quality not quantity of our earthly works (1 Corinthians 3:13).

3. The Crown of Righteousness (2 Timothy 4:7–8)

The crown of righteousness will be awarded those who live each day, loving and anticipating Christ's imminent return . . . those who conduct their earthly lives with eternity's value in view. Kenneth Wuest captures the complete meaning of verse 8 with these words:

To those who have considered precious His appearing and therefore have loved it, and as a result at the present time are still holding that attitude in their hearts, to those the Lord Jesus will also give the victor's garland of righteousness.1

Those who qualify for this crown anxiously look for His return daily.

Charles R. Swindoll Tweet This
  1. Kenneth S. Wuest, The Pastoral Epistles in the Greek New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956), 163.

Taken from Improving Your Serve by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. www.thomasnelson.com

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