An appetizer ...
From The Applied New Testament Commentary (Thomas Hale):
“The believer who perseveres will receive the crown of life.
The “crown of life” is the crown of victory over sin, or the crown of victory in our life’s race.
The main meaning of the crown of life is salvation, or eternal life (see Mark 13:13).”
James 1:12-15 • “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved,
he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
… But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin;
and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth (eternal) death.”
We all know that sin results in both physical and spiritual death
(Romans 5:12-20, Romans 6:23, 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, etc.)
Please note the 2 opposites above:
No sinning results in the crown of life … sinning results in eternal death!
Rev 2:10-11 • “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”
He who is faithful until death will receive the crown of life.
Mark 13:13, etc. (below) promises eternal life to him who endures with his faith until death.
The second death is eternal death (Rev 20:14, Rev 21:8).
If one overcomes by being faithful until the end, he does not experience eternal death,
but instead he receives the crown of life … he experiences eternal life (salvation).
Mark 13:13 • “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.
But he who endures (in his faith) to the end (of his life) shall be saved.”
Confirmations: 1 Cor 16:13, Gal 5:1, Phil 4:1, Col 1:22-23, Heb 10:35-36, James 5:7-8, 1 Pet 5:9
2 Tim 4:7-8 • “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge,
will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
So, why is not the crown of righteousness the same as the crown of life?
Our imputed righteousness must be practiced (i.e. continued)
in order to maintain (keep) that righteousness …
“… whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.” (Acts 10:35)
“… you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether (slaves) of sin leading to (eternal) death,
OR (slaves) of obedience leading to righteousness” (Romans 6:16)
“… the kingdom of God is … righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who
serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.” (Rom 14:16-18)
“… let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous” (1 John 3:7)
Scripture teaches us that “the crown of life” means salvation (eternal life).