Does the crown of life along with the other crowns represent the benefits that go with receiving eternal life? Are the crowns an issue of rewards?
All of the crowns are related to salvation: crown of righteousness, crown of life, crown of glory. Here is a list of the passages related to crowns.
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last for ever. (NIV) 1 Corinthians 9:25
. . . in the future there is laid up 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 loved His appearing. (NASB) 2 Timothy 4:8
Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (NASB) James 1:12
Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. (NASB) Revelation 2:10
And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. (NASB) 1 Peter 5:4
The crown of life is given to those who “who love Him” and who are “faithful until death.” These are marks of a Christian. Love for God is not a work; it is the result of the Holy Spirit working in us. Faithfulness is the mark of a true Christian.
The crown of righteousness appears in a statement which states that Paul is righteous before God. If so, this is not a reward but the result of God’s forgiveness of his sins. The crown of glory appears to be another way of saying a person will live for ever. These crowns are about our salvation. But are there three different crowns or one crown? 1 Corinthians 9:25 seems to imply that we receive one crown and it lasts forever.
The crown of righteousness, crown of life, and crown of glory are all related to our salvation. While it is possible they are different crowns, it appears they are the same crown with different names. It is interesting that Paul refers to it as the crown of righteousness. Jesus’ brother, James, calls it the crown of life and Peter calls it the crown of glory. Did each writer just use a different name? That appears to be the case – they were talking about the same crown. The crowns are not rewards but gifts.