4:8 the crown of righteousness. Perhaps the crown awarded for the faithful life of one who has received the righteousness of Christ through faith (Rom. 3:22). More likely, this is the crown consisting of perfect righteousness—eternal life that is given the believer as the climax of the process of sanctification (2:10; James 1:12; 1 Pet. 5:4; Rev. 2:10).
the righteous judge. Christ in His role as the Judge who brings to completion the work He has begun in His elect.
that Day. The Judgment Day (1:12, 18).
his appearing. Christ’s Second Coming (v. 1).