VIDEO Crown of Life

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. James 1:12

The Olympics began in ancient Greece. But the spirit of prowess and competition didn’t disappear when Rome replaced Greece as the dominant Mediterranean power. The Romans tested themselves with training and competition just as the Greeks had—all for the glory of winning a crown, a wreath of leaves to wear on one’s head.

Two prominent biblical themes have their roots in athletic competition: the idea of testing and the reward of a crown. Both passages in the New Testament where the “crown of life” is mentioned are in the context of testing, or temptation (James 1:2-12; Revelation 2:10-11). James 1 is the well-known section on joyfully facing spiritual tests, concluding with the promise of the “crown of life” for all who persevere. The same is true in Revelation 2:10-11. The church in Smyrna was about to undergo testing, after which the “crown of life” would be given to the faithful.

Even if tests lead to death, we have the promise of eternal life—a reward leading to praise of Christ (Revelation 4:10).

[Christ] went by the cross to the crown, and we must not think of going any other way. Matthew Henry

How Temptation Works – James 1:9-18

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