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Did you know that scripture speaks of five crowns available to the believer?
Paul talks in this passage about the crown of righteousness awarded to him and to all those that love his appearing. The Berean Study Bible uses the word “crave” in place of “love” in regards to Christ’s appearing.
Paul writes this to Timothy while in prison, the conditions unfavorable and uncomfortable (in the verses following he urgently requests that Timothy get to him before wintertime, and that he brings him his coat). The shadow of death is hovering over Paul, but he is looking ahead to the splendor of the next life and prophetically anticipates the reward safeguarded for him by Christ. Further, he reminds Timothy that this crown is available not only to Paul himself, but to every believer that is eagerly watching for the manifestation of Christ.