In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. - 2 Timothy 4:8
In this letter to Timothy just before Paul’s death, Paul makes a startling assertion: he knew that he would receive the “crown of righteousness.” What is he referring to?
I think Paul was saying in simple terms that he knew that God saw him as righteous, that he lived a life of faith till the end.
Paul makes very clear in Romans that we are righteous through faith in Christ. We have no merit of our own. Apart from Jesus Christ we are depraved sinners, deserving of judgment and hell. However, because of God’s grace we receive righteousness as a gift from God.
But this righteousness is demonstrated through our faith. As we walk with God by faith and run the race that is before us, we demonstrate the righteous life that was imparted to us through the grace of Jesus Christ.
Paul could see the end of the race that he was running. God had encouraged him and strengthened him to believe in Christ, firm until the end. As such he was soon to receive the crown of righteousness, given to those who love Christ’s appearing.
I liken it to a graduation ceremony. Students walk in faith, persevering through the trials and tests of a course, encouraged on by their teachers and fellow classmates. Then comes the end when that student goes forward to receive his or her diploma.
What a day it will be when all of us complete the course and step on the stage to receive the crown of righteousness from the Lord!
Great Commission Churches
One-Year Bible Reading
1 John 4:1-21