I Corinthians 9:19-27
Paul challenges the church here about the Gospel and discovering their purpose here on earth. He says that his main focus and goal was to share the Gospel. He would change his methods and approach, but the Gospel never changes. Therefore, then he would gain when he would be in Heaven! He then mentions that a reward or crown will be given out.
Rewards are spoken of throughout Scripture. They speak of crowns and how they will be given to faithful saints for certain things that are done in this life at the judgment seat of Christ. Let’s look at these different crowns:
- The Incorruptible Crown
This is a crown mentioned here that will be received at the judgment seat of Christ. The crown implies imperishable and a crown that lasts forever. Achieving this crown requires a great deal of dedication.
A Basketball team must be dedicated to excel. They must be in shape, they must be faithful, they must practice, they must eat right and drink right, they must have good character and an attitude. There is dedication that is required to be in a sporting event. This dedication is a dedication for the future. You are playing for the championship, and the end result to win!
What Paul is telling the church at Corinth is that they must play for the highest goal, and that is for eternity! We are not in this thing just for today and for us to feel good today, we are in this thing for eternity. Therefore, because of this thought, we must discipline ourselves and dedicate ourselves to put aside things in our lives that could hinder our future glorification.
Hebrews 12:1 says, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”
How disciplined of a believer are you?
2. The Crown of Rejoicing- I Thessalonians 2:19
It has been said that there are only two things that will last forever. God’s Word and the souls of men! This crown and reward is given to those who are faithful in sharing the Gospel with the world.
God holds you accountable for faithfully sharing His gospel!
Mark 1:17 says, “And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.”
You must go fishing to catch fish. The same principle is true, you must go soul winning to be a soul winner.
3. The Crown of Righteousness- II Timothy 4:8
If you look at the context of this writing, you find that Paul is about to die. He is about to go up to meet His Jesus that he has been living for. The crown laid up for him speaks of a crown for those anticipating His return.
This crown represents eternal righteousness that was given to us by Christ Himself when He purchased us. Righteousness is not only the nature of the crown, it is the source of the crown.
Righteousness means right living!
It is impossible for us to say that we are anticipating the Lord’s return and living in sin! It contradicts ourself. What we believe dictates how we behave so if we are anticipating the Lord’s return, we are going to be diligently living for God as best we can
Righteous living provides the confidence necessary for a Christian to look forward to Christ’s return!
Do you want Christ to return right now or are there some things you need to get right first?
4. The Crown of Life- James 1:12
This crown is mentioned for those who endure temptation. Trials and temptations are not fun to endure all of the time, but they are imperative for us to mature in our faith.
Great coaches learn from their mistakes and losses. A great Christian learns and grows from his setbacks!
We will suffer setbacks, and through those setbacks, we are being taught and grown to be more like Jesus.
5. The Crown of Glory- I Peter 5:1-4
This crown is awarded to men who have served faithfully as shepherds of the local assembly, the church! His requirements are found in verses 2-3. A pastor or overseer is responsible for being properly motivated. He should have a loving heart for the people. He must feed the flock, teach them, disciple them. He is to be humble and an example of a Godly believer for His people to follow.
If a pastor does these things, he is deserving of a crown of glory.
God may be preparing some of you for ministry of some sort or to even be a pastor or a youth pastor. Let me encourage you that this is not just fun and games, there is a great responsibility involved in ministry. I have to answer to God for what goes on in this student ministry!
6. What will we do with our crowns?
Crowns are a sign of authority today and have always been! They represent glory and honor. These crowns we have spoken of are given to those who have lived out the Christian life. It is not that they are the most heroic, but that they endured and demonstrated that a person can live for God in this world.
Richard the lionheart- the two earls had to stand on each side just to hold his head up, it is so heavy. Queen Elizabeth’s crown is worth over 20 million dollars. Edward II owned 9 crowns which was a record. Now, if you put all of these crowns together, they are but trinkets compared to the crowns that Jesus gives!
So, we will be rewarded with these crowns at the judgment seat of Christ. Will we walk around with these crowns boasting about us?
They will not be symbols of who was a super Christian here on this earth.
They will not be displayed for all to see what we have done.
He is going to give us these crowns and we are going to cast them at His feet. Why? Because we did not have to wear the crown of thorns!
Revelation 4: What you do with what you get out of this life will be laid at the feet of Jesus!
Are you going to receive any crowns to lay at His feet?