Drinking Deeply

Thursday, July 27, 2006 at 2:54 AM

Crowns (3) - Crowns of life

The verses all fall into a few categories. This post will deal with the first type.

The crown of reward to the ones who endure or run the race according to the rules. 1 Corinthians 9:25, 2 Timothy 2:5, 2 Timothy 4:8, James 1:12, 1 Peter 5:4 (one must read more of the context to get that one), Revelation 2:10, and Revelation 3:11 are all examples of this.

Within this group, Revelation 3:11 is distinct in that it assumes that the people already have a crown, the rest promise the crown as reward for those who endure. Now, the question of "preservation of the saints" is probably beyond the scope of what I was intending, but let me just state what I believe on it, quote a verse, and move on, taking logical conclusions of those beliefs. Of course, if one rejects "preservation of the saints," then that changes the interpretation of these passages.

I believe (or more strongly, the Bible teaches) that those whom God has chosen will endure to the end, held and preserved by the power of God so that they will never fall away. Here's a verse that I think sums it up appropriately. In Philippians 1:4-6 Paul writes, "4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

For further reading on this, monergism.com has a great section. Vincent Cheung has a huge article that deals with it's biblical support and how it's tied into the rest of the doctrines of grace.

But anyways, with that understanding of preservation, it is just a logical corollary to understand all these passages as speaking of the gift of eternal life, given to all the elect, all of whom will run the race according to the rules and be rewarded with the crown of life, by God's sovereign and gracious hand. Thus these passages do not teach that some Christians will obey the rules and thus get a crown, while others will not obey the rules, will still be saved, but won't get a crown. Rather, all Christians will, by the power of God, endure to the end and thus get the crown of life.

All the elect will: undergo strict training, compete according to the rules, long for God's appearing, persevere under trial, be faithful, even to the point of death, hold on to what they have. Their reward will be the crown of life - eternity with the Son of God, source of all blessings.

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Blogger jazzycat said...

Good post...
It is all about God's power and grace as you point out.

Jazzycat  

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