A close-up photograph capturing the intricate details of seven golden crowns arranged on a velvet cushion, symbolizing the biblical significance of the seven crowns mentioned in the Bible.

What Are The 7 Crowns In The Bible?

The Bible mentions several different crowns that believers can receive in heaven. If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: the 7 crowns in the Bible are the Crown of Life, the Incorruptible Crown, the Crown of Righteousness, the Crown of Glory, the Crown of Rejoicing, the Crown of Splendor, and the Crown of Authority.

In this comprehensive article, we will explore what each of these crowns is, what they represent, and how believers can receive them. We’ll look at the relevant Bible passages describing these crowns, analyze their symbolic meanings, and see how they apply as rewards for faithfulness in the Christian life.

The Crown of Life

Meaning and Symbolism

The Crown of Life symbolizes the reward given to those who remain faithful through trials, temptations, and persecution. It represents the gift of eternal life for those who persevere in faith. As described in James 1:12, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

This crown is not referring to an actual physical crown, but rather a symbolic crown or wreath placed on the head of a victor in athletic games or someone receiving honor or authority. The Crown of Life signifies victory in the trials of this life, with the ultimate victory being eternal life with God.

Scriptural References

The Crown of Life is directly referenced in two passages of Scripture:

  • James 1:12 – “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
  • Revelation 2:10 – “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.”

These verses indicate that remaining faithful in persecution and trials earns believers the Crown of Life. The reward is eternal life with Christ for enduring hardship and opposition for one’s faith without giving up.

How to Receive this Crown

According to Scripture, believers can receive the Crown of Life in the following ways:

  1. Remaining faithful to Christ despite persecution and suffering
  2. Enduring tests and trials without giving up or losing hope
  3. Finishing the race and keeping the faith (2 Timothy 4:7-8)
  4. Loving God and loving others – as it says in James 1:12, this crown is for “those who love Him.”

Essentially, to earn this crown requires perseverance through hardship, showing Christ’s love consistently, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, and fighting the good fight of faith all the way until the end.

As Paul says in 2 Timothy 4:7-8, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day.”

The Incorruptible Crown

Meaning and Symbolism

The incorruptible crown is one of the seven crowns mentioned in the Bible. It represents the reward given to believers who live a disciplined and self-controlled life. The word “incorruptible” means incapable of being corrupted, spoiled, or decayed.

Therefore, this crown signifies eternal perfection and purity. It is given to those who triumph over their sinful flesh and worldly desires.

The incorruptible crown is often associated with the Greek athletic games. In those competitions, the winner was awarded a laurel crown which would quickly spoil and fade away. In contrast, the incorruptible crown is an unfading reward given to spiritual champions who deny their fleshly lusts and exhibit Christ-like character.

This crown is sometimes referred to as the “crown of self-control” or the “crown of temperance.”

Scriptural References

The incorruptible crown is mentioned by Paul in two passages:

  • 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 – “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one.”
  • 1 Corinthians 9:27 – “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”

In both verses, Paul uses the illustration of Ancient Greek athletes training and competing to win a prize. He contrasts the perishable laurel wreaths awarded to game winners with the imperishable heavenly crown given to believers who exercise self-control over bodily passions and desires.

How to Receive this Crown

According to Scripture, followers of Jesus can earn the incorruptible crown by:

  • Living by God’s Spirit and overcoming the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16-17, 24-25)
  • Practicing self-discipline and self-denial as Jesus taught (Luke 9:23)
  • Exhibiting godly virtues like self-control, patience, gentleness (Galatians 5:22-23)
  • Abstaining from destructive behaviors like gluttony, drunkenness, lustfulness (Proverbs 23:20-21, 1 Peter 2:11, 1 Corinthians 6:12-20)
  • Purifying oneself from sinful influences (James 1:27, 2 Corinthians 7:1)
  • Finishing the Christian race with endurance and perseverance (2 Timothy 4:7-8)

Ultimately, the incorruptible crown is given freely by Jesus to those who rely on the Spirit to overcome worldly temptations and cultivate Christlike discipline and moderation in their lives. It is a gracious reward for the regenerate whose conduct displays the transforming work of God in their hearts.

The Crown of Righteousness

Meaning and Symbolism

The crown of righteousness symbolizes the reward given to those who long for Christ’s second coming. It represents living righteously, loving His appearing, and eagerly anticipating His return. This crown is not earned by one’s own righteous deeds, but is a gift of God’s grace to those who trust in Christ alone for salvation.

Scriptural References

The crown of righteousness is mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:8, where Paul states: “Now there is in store 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 longed for his appearing.”

This verse indicates that this crown is given not only to Paul, but to all believers who love and anticipate Christ’s return.

How to Receive this Crown

Christians receive the crown of righteousness by:

  • Trusting completely in Christ’s righteousness instead of their own
  • Pursuing holiness and obedience to God
  • Eagerly waiting and watching for Christ’s return
  • Enduring trials and persecution while looking forward to His coming
  • Finishing the race of faith and loving His appearing

This crown encourages believers to live godly lives and remember that Christ will return to make all things right. It motivates Christians to set their hope fully on the grace to be given at His revelation.

The Crown of Glory

Meaning and Symbolism

The crown of glory represents the reward given by God to church leaders who faithfully care for their congregations. As 1 Peter 5:2-4 states, elders are to willingly “shepherd the flock of God” among them by serving as examples and overseers.

When the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ, appears at His second coming, He will reward those leaders’ faithfulness with an unfading crown of glory.

This crown is often envisioned as brilliant and radiant, symbolizing the spiritual brightness, clarity, and insight these elders attained from God through their steadfast leadership ministry. Their faithful endurance despite hardships or lack of appreciation has been transformed into imperishable rewards and honor before Christ.

Scriptural References

The primary Scripture passage discussing this crown of glory rewarding faithful spiritual leaders is in Peter’s first epistle:

“Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.”

(1 Peter 5:2-4, NKJV)

This clearly defines the criteria for the elders to receive this crown – they must willingly and eagerly shepherd and oversee their church without greed or bossiness, but rather by being living examples of Christlike humility and service.

In so doing, they will be rewarded by Jesus with eternal glory like the unfading wreath crown given to winning athletes in the ancient Greek games.

How to Receive this Crown

For church leaders and elders to receive the crown of glory, the main requirement is faithfully caring for and serving those Christians under their oversight, tending them diligently like a shepherd guards and guides his sheep. This includes:

  • Willingly taking the role of spiritual leadership over a congregation, not under compulsion
  • Eagerly serving from the heart, not for money or power
  • Instructing others humbly by word and example instead of being domineering
  • Protecting the church members from dangerous influences or misleading doctrines
  • Nurturing their ongoing spiritual growth through wise counsel and teaching

As 1 Peter 5 states, elders who serve God’s flock this way until Christ returns will be rewarded generously with imperishable glory and honor in heaven. So while the crown may not be physically worn, it represents the superior spiritual blessings for their dedication that will elevate these leaders to positions of prominence when Jesus establishes His millennial kingdom.

The Crown of Rejoicing

Meaning and Symbolism

The crown of rejoicing, also known as the soul winner’s crown, is a reward promised to believers who lead others to faith in Christ. It signifies the joy and satisfaction of seeing people come to know the Lord through one’s efforts in evangelism and discipleship.

The crown depicts the wonderful privilege believers have in participating in the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20).

Scriptural References

The crown of rejoicing is referenced in 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20, where Paul says to the Thessalonian believers, “For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.”

This indicates that believers will rejoice over those they had a hand in bringing to the faith when Jesus returns.

How to Receive this Crown

To receive the crown of rejoicing, believers can actively share the gospel with nonbelievers whenever there is an opportunity. They can make efforts to guide people to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior through explaining the way of salvation.

According to GotQuestions.org, even just one person coming to faith through a believer’s witness makes them eligible for this crown. However, the more people who are saved through someone’s evangelistic efforts, the greater the reward in heaven will likely be.

The Crown of Splendor

Meaning and Symbolism

The crown of splendor represents the reward given to believers who lead others to salvation in Christ. It symbolizes the joy and pride that comes from bringing people out of darkness and into the light of God’s love.

Those who turn many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever and ever (Daniel 12:3). This crown is sometimes referred to as the “soul winner’s” crown.

The Greek word translated “crown” is stephanos, which refers to a laurel wreath or garland given as a prize for winning an athletic contest. So the crown of splendor is the trophy Christ will award to those who have lived a spirit-filled life of evangelism and discipleship.

It is a special honor given to those who have made sharing the gospel a priority during their time on earth.

Scriptural References

The main Bible verse associated with the crown of splendor is Daniel 12:3: “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.”

This verse describes the eternal reward for those who have dedicated themselves to bringing others to salvation.

1 Thessalonians 2:19 also mentions this crown: “For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you?” Here Paul suggests that new believers are like a crown or prize for faithful evangelists and teachers.

Proverbs 11:30 declares, “Whoever seeks good finds favor, but evil comes to one who searches for it. The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and the one who is wise saves lives.” This reinforces the idea that those who live wisely and righteously will be instrumental in leading others to spiritual life.

How to Receive this Crown

Here are some practical ways to earn the crown of splendor:

  • Make sharing the gospel a regular part of your life through activities like volunteering with evangelistic organizations, going on mission trips, and looking for everyday opportunities to share your faith.
  • Invest in discipling younger believers to help them grow in their faith and become evangelists themselves.
  • Support ministries that specialize in evangelism through your donations, prayers, and words of encouragement.
  • Set an example of devoted Christian living that makes others interested in the source of your joy, peace, and love.
  • Study apologetics to be able to defend the truth of the gospel and answer people’s objections.
  • Use your spiritual gifts and abilities to reach people for Christ in creative ways tailored to your personality and passions.

The crown of splendor is not earned by tallying up converts like trophies. It is given to those whose hearts beat with the same passion as God’s heart – to seek and to save the lost through self-sacrifice and wholehearted service (Luke 19:10).

If we desire to shine like the stars in God’s kingdom, we must make leading others to Christ our life’s ultimate aim.

The Crown of Authority

Meaning and Symbolism

The crown of authority represents the believer’s heavenly reward for faithfully executing the authority God has entrusted them with on earth. It symbolizes the sovereignty believers will share with Christ in His kingdom.

This crown is reserved for those who cultivate an intimate relationship with God and devote themselves to advancing His kingdom.

The crown of authority is often associated with the crown of righteousness mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:8, which will be awarded to those who have loved Christ’s appearing. Both crowns signify the authority believers will possess in heaven.

Scriptural References

The Bible contains several references to the crown of authority:

  • Revelation 3:21 – To the one who conquers, Jesus promises, “I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.” This indicates believers will share in Christ’s authority.
  • 2 Timothy 2:12 – “If we endure, we will also reign with him.” Persevering believers will be elevated to positions of authority with Christ.
  • Luke 19:17 – The master tells his servant, “Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, take authority over ten cities.” Faithfulness leads to authority.

These verses reveal that believers who faithfully walk with God on earth will be rewarded with crowns of authority to reign alongside Christ in heaven.

How to Receive this Crown

Here are some ways believers can receive the crown of authority:

  • Submit to Christ’s authority with a humble heart. (James 4:7)
  • Exercise authority wisely and lovingly. (Matthew 20:25-28)
  • Defend truth and confront deception boldly. (Acts 18:9-10)
  • Persevere through hardship and temptation. (James 1:12)
  • Fulfill God-given responsibilities faithfully. (Matthew 25:23)
  • Win others to Christ and make disciples. (Daniel 12:3)

As Christ’s representatives on earth, believers are called to walk in humility and purity while operating in His authority. By depending on the Spirit and obeying God’s Word, we can receive the magnificent crown of authority that awaits overcomers.

Conclusion

In this in-depth article, we studied each of the 7 crowns in the Bible—their symbolic meanings, the passages where they appear, and what believers must do to receive them. Understanding these crowns provides insight into the eternal rewards promised in Scripture for faithfulness during our lives on earth.

Our hope is that learning about these crowns will encourage all Christians to live God-glorifying lives worthy of these glorious rewards.

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