The crown of righteousness – Part 1
Some weeks, back having preached on the topic: “Running Well, Finishing Strong” from the passage above, the phrase “The Crown of Righteousness” continued to ring in my heart and today, we shall consider that phrase deeply. Of what use is our running well and finishing strong, if not to win the crown. (1 Cor. 9:24b).
In the Bible, there are many crowns the Christian could win. These include:
• Crown of Rejoicing (1 Thes. 2:19)
• Crown of Life (James 1:12, Rev. 2:10)
• Crown of Glory (1 Peter 5:4)
• Crown of Gold (Rev. 4:4) and
• Crown of Righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8), which is what we are examining today.
Definitely, the judgment day for believers will also be a coronation day. The big question is: Are you working, running, serving, preaching, teaching, giving, and singing to win a crown? May your head not be empty, when others are wearing their crowns!
The crown of righteousness: what is it?
Royalty is the highest pitch of human grandeur. Those that wear earthly crowns are considered to be at the very summit of earthly honour and its worldly glory and happiness. Also, every saint in the Kingdom of God can wear an unfading, incorruptible and immortal crown. In 2 Timothy 4:8, Paul clearly speaks of a crown, which he calls “The Crown of Righteousness.” What is this crown?
• A crown of perfect and everlasting righteousness
According to its name, this crown consists of perfect and everlasting righteousness. The sparks of this crown are perfect holiness and a life of conformity to God and His Word. It is a crown whose beauty is moral beauty, not of gold or precious stones, but of those more precious and priceless things, such as justice, truthfulness, purity, charity and humility.
• A crown purchased by the righteousness of Jesus Christ This crown was purchased by the righteousness of Jesus Christ. The cost is a valuable price and therefore is of inestimable worth. Jesus purchased it for us by His perfect righteousness and obedience.
• A crown to be possessed only by way of righteousness
Just as the name suggests, we can only possess this crown by way of righteousness. The fact that Jesus purchased it for us does not mean we can be slothful, sinful and careless. It is a crown won in the cause of righteousness and it shall be conferred as the reward of victory in temptations and efforts in the cause of holiness. It is a crown for those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. (Matt. 5:6) This crown is the reward of a conqueror and righteousness is the diadem. The crown of righteousness is given only to righteous men who followed the path of righteousness in spite of the challenges they face. It is not a crown to be won accidentally, but through a resolve and deliberate effort.
Shepherdhill Baptist Church (Sanctuary of Grace & Glory), Baptist Academy Compound, Obanikoro, Lagos.
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