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THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL TO TIMOTHY - Chapter 4 - Verse 8

Verse 8. Henceforth there is laid up for me. At the end of my race, as there was a crown in reserve for those who had successfully striven in the Grecian games. Compare See Barnes "1 Co 9:25".

The word henceforthloipon—means what remains, or, as to the rest; and the idea is, that that was what remained of the whole career. The race had been run; the conflict had been waged; and all that was now necessary to complete the whole transaction, was merely that the crown be bestowed.

A crown of righteousness. That is, a crown won in the cause of righteousness, and conferred as the reward of his conflicts and efforts in the cause of holiness. It was not the crown of ambition; it was not a garland won in struggles for earthly distinction; it was that which was the appropriate reward of his efforts to be personally holy, and to spread the principles of holiness as far as possible through the world.

Which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me. The Lord Jesus, appointed to judge the world, and to dispense the rewards of eternity. It will be seen, in the last day, that the rewards of heaven are not conferred in an arbitrary manner, but that they are bestowed because they ought to be, or that God is righteous and just in doing it. No man will be admitted to heaven who ought not, under all the circumstances of the case, to be admitted there; no one will be excluded who ought to have been saved.

At that day. That is, the time when he will come to judge the world, Mt 25.

And not to me only. "Though my life has been spent in laboriously endeavouring to spread his religion; though I have suffered much, and laboured long; though I have struggled hard to win the prize, and now have it full in view, yet I do not suppose that it is to be conferred on me alone. It is not like the wreath of olive, laurel, pine, or parsley, See Barnes "1 Co 9:25, which could be conferred only on one victor, See Barnes "1 Co 9:24; but here every one may obtain the crown who strives for it. The struggle is not between me and a competitor in such a sense that, if I obtain the crown, he must be excluded; but it is a crown which he can obtain as well as I. As many as run—as many as fight the good fight—as many as keep the faith—as many as love his appearing, may win the crown as well as I." Such is religion, and such is the manner in which its rewards differ from all others. At the Grecian games, but one could obtain the prize, 1 Co 9:24. All the rest who contended in those games, no matter how numerous they were, or how skilfully they contended, or how much effort they made, were of course subjected to the mortification of a failure, and to all the ill-feeling and envy to which such a failure might give rise. So it is in respect to all the prizes which this world can bestow. In a lottery, but one can obtain the highest prize; in a class in college, but one can secure the highest honour in the scramble for office, no matter how numerous the competitors may be, or what may be their merits, but one can obtain it. All the rest are liable to the disappointments and mortifications of defeat. Not so in religion. No matter how numerous the competitors', or how worthy any one of them may be, or how pre-eminent above his brethren, yet all may obtain the prize; all may be crowned with a diadem of life of equal brilliancy. No one is excluded because another is successful; no one fails of the reward because another obtains it. Who, then, would not make an effort to win the immortal crown?

Unto all them also that love his appearing. That is, unto all who desire his second coming. To believe in the second advent of the Lord Jesus to judge the world, and to desire his return, became a kind of a criterion by which Christians Were known. No others but true Christians were supposed to believe in that, and no others truly desired it. Comp. Re 1:7; 22:20. It is so now. It is one of the characteristics of a true Christian, that he sincerely desires the return of his Saviour, and would welcome his appearing in the clouds of heaven.

{d} "crown of righteousness" 1 Co 9:25; 1 Pe 5:4; Re 2:10

{e} "all them also" 1 Co 2:9

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