HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
“And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” (1 Peter 5:4).
When we take the time to meditate on the depth of our sin, it is not too long before we realize the incredible grace of God that provides for our salvation. Our willingness and complicity in sin make it truly remarkable that the great Lord of the universe would reach down and rescue His chosen people from their bondage. Our redemption is wholly undeserved and is the greatest gift we could ever receive from our heavenly Father.
However, even though our salvation is a gift we do not earn, our Father not only promises eternal life to those who follow His Son, He promises many extra rewards to those who obey Him. This promise of extra blessings is found throughout the Bible. To the people of Israel already saved from the bondage of slavery, God promised many blessings if they would persevere in their obedience to Him (Deuteronomy 28:1–14). Jesus promised that those who would leave everything to follow Him would receive a hundredfold reward in addition to eternal life (Mark 10:29–31).
This idea is also expressed in today’s passage. We read that those who shepherd the flock of God properly will also receive a reward in addition to the gift of their salvation. An “unfading crown of glory” will come to the faithful under-shepherds of God’s flock when the great Shepherd — the Lord Jesus Christ — shall return (1 Peter 5:4).
We have a serious situation here with many shepherds having no sheep nor flock to shepherd. All this will God bring into judgement and consideration for this type of reward. However, those that have sheep to shepherd I am here to encourage you to feed the flock of God with the unblemished word that they may grow in the power of His might. But woe to you that cause the sheep to scatter and end up among wolves.
The word for “crown” here is the same word used for the wreath given to those who had won an athletic contest, the crown given to a soldier for valour in combat, or the crown worn by a king. In any case, it rewarded an extraordinary achievement.
Though we must not forget that we do not earn our salvation, this verse shows that God’s faithful servants can expect a reward. When we, whether or not we are ordained elders, faithfully care for those under our authority, we can expect to receive an unfading crown of glory. Yet even this reward is from God’s grace since none of us will ever perfectly shepherd the flock entrusted to him. And in the end, this reward will be for God’s glory, for one day we will cast these crowns at the foot of His throne in worship (Revelation 4:9–11; 22:3).
Though God certainly has the right to require obedience from us without promising a reward, today’s passage shows us He has not chosen to do this. Rather, He promises His faithful servants rewards for their obedience. When you faithfully shepherd those under your care, you can expect to gain an unfading crown of glory in the life to come, as well as blessings even now. Ask the Lord to help you live in gratitude for these blessings and use them to glorify Him.
Brethren you will not only be rewarded for your faithfulness to God tending to the flock, but every soul will give you an added star in your crown. He that winneth souls for Christ is wise and to God, we give the praise. All honour belongs to His Name. So dear God lead us into the right path and teach us the truth that we may be able to shepherd the flock in spirit and truth. Amen