“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you” (I Peter 1:3,4).
The rich, old hymn, “No Blood, No Altar Now,” written in the mid 1800’s, praises God for the final sacrifice for sin accomplished by our Lord Jesus Christ. Its final verse unfolds the ultimate blessings to the believer.
We thank thee for the crown Of glory and of life;
’Tis no poor withering wreath of earth, Man’s prize in mortal strife;
’Tis incorruptible as is the throne,
The kingdom of our God and His incarnate Son.
Our struggles in life are compared to that of an athlete, striving “to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible” (I Corinthians 9:25). Our goal is not a victor’s wreath; instead, “when the chief shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away” (I Peter 5:4), “the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him” (James 1:12).
Note the deep thought in the hymn. These crowns are as incorruptible as “the throne of the Majesty in the heavens” (Hebrews 8:1), for “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption” (I Corinthians 15:50). They are ours because of the incorruptible Jesus and His work.
“Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1,2). JDM