To Him That Overcometh
2 Timothy 2:5 “And if a man also strive for masteries,
yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.”
There are two Greek words for crown. One is the word diadema,
i.e. diadem—a kings crown, a jewel. The other word is
stephanos, which is used 18 times as a noun, and 3 times (stephanao)
as a verb. Stephanos is an overcomer’s wreath or a victor’s
wreath. Stephanos was obtained after a conflict or contest
where one emerged as the victor.
I don’t believe that we will literally be wearing crowns
on our heads to exhibit. Rather, I believe the crown given
is a recognition of an accomplishment or attainment. It’s
not what we will wear, but what we have become in God. The
crown is that which you have attained in God and have become
that very thing.
Paul mentions five crowns in his writings
(1) 2 Timothy 4:8 –a crown of righteousness. There
are two kinds of righteousness: imputed righteousness and
imparted righteousness. Imputed righteousness is that which
is mine by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul says in
Romans 4:3 that Abraham believed, and it was imputed. Imparted
righteousness is that which we appropriate or put on—a
daily walk with God. We are becoming righteousness. Phil.
3:7-11; Rom. 1:17. Righteousness is God governing our actions
and works. “Not ours by nature,” but imparted.
(2) James 1:12—a crown of life. Blessed is the man
who endureth or overcomes testings: for when he is tried,
he shall receive the crown of life. Obedience through suffering,
obedience of faith, life in the present to sustain in the
hour of testing. Eph 2:1-2. You have to be quickened—made
alive. There is a sharing in this life by the Holy Spirit.
He quickens us. Rom. 8:10-11. The Spirit is life because of
righteousness. His Spirit quickens—makes alive—our
mortal or dying bodies. We are putting on Christ, receiving
His life. Death will be swallowed up of life. Rev.2:10. Those
who are faithful will receive the crown of life. Romans 6:22-23.
(3) I Cor.9:25—an incorruptible crown (Greek: a crown
of undyingness!). Rom. 8:2. The law of the spirit of life
has set me free from the law of sin and death. Praise God!
Death has no more dominion over us. God is having a people
who will appropriate this truth. The overcomer will have a
crown of undyingness.
Paul says in I Cor. 15:54-56, “we will be clothed with
undyingness, i.e. immortality. Death is swallowed up of victory.
O death where is thy sting. Grave where is thy victory.”
2 Cor. 5:1-4. Paul had to desire to be clothed with immortality.
There is a cry of the Spirit, a groaning within that desires
and anticipates this mortal to be clothed with immortality
or undyingness. Rom. 8:22-23.
(4) I Thes. 2:19—a crown of rejoicing or glorying.”
“Joy is a sign of maturity.” God’s people
are characterized by joy. The joy of the Lord is our strength.
Joel cried out joy is withered from the House of the Lord.
Joel 1:9, 12, 13, 16. As God’s people were coming out
of Babylon, it was not a time for mourning, but a time to
joy, rejoicing in the Lord. Neh. 8:9-10. As we are coming
out of Babylon and keeping the feast of Tabernacles, it is
a feast of joy and glorying in the Lord. This is God’s
new day. God’s people are coming into realms of praise
and rejoicing that we have not heretofore known. It is time
to do battle for the Lord. Neh. 8:17.
(5) I Peter 5:4—a crown of glory. Isaiah said, “His
glory will He not give to another but He shares it with those
who are His.” Isaiah 60:1 Arise and shine for the glory
of the Lord is upon thee. His glory shall be seen. Num 14:21.
The earth shall be full of the glory of the Lord. The glory
of God is His very presence. God is coming forth in His people
in these last days. Jesus said to Mary in John 11:40, “If
thou wouldest believe, thou shalt see the glory of God.”