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THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS - Chapter 13 - Verse 11

Verse 11. And that. The word "that" in this place, is connected in signification with the word "this" in Ro 13:9. The meaning may be thus expressed: All the requirements of the law towards our neighbour may be met by two things: one is Ro 13:9,10 by love; the other is Ro 13:11-14 by remembering that we are near to eternity; keeping a deep sense of this truth before the mind. This will prompt to a life of honesty, truth, and peace, and contentment, Ro 13:13. The doctrine in these verses Ro 13:11-14 therefore is, that a deep conviction of the nearness of eternity will prompt to an upright life in the intercourse of man with man.

Knowing the time. Taking a proper estimate of the time. Taking just views of the shortness and the value of time; of the design for which it was given, and of the fact that it is, in regard to us, rapidly coming to a close. And still further considering, that the time in which you live is the time of the gospel, a period of light and truth, when you are particularly called on to lead holy lives, and thus to do justly to all. The previous time had been a period of ignorance and darkness, when oppression, and falsehood, and sin abounded. This, the time of the gospel, when God had made known to men his will that they should be pure.

High time. Greek, "the hour."

To awake, etc. This is a beautiful figure. The dawn of day, the approaching light of the morning, is the time to arouse from slumber. In the darkness of night men sleep. So says the apostle. The world has been sunk in the night of heathenism and sin. At that time it was to be expected that they would sleep the sleep of spiritual death. But now the morning light of the gospel dawns. The Sun of righteousness has arisen. It is time, therefore, for men to cast off the deeds of darkness, and rise to life, and purity, and action. Comp. Ac 17:30,31. The same idea is beautifully presented in 1 Th 5:5-8. The meaning is, "Hitherto we have walked in darkness and in sin. Now we walk in the light of the gospel. We know our duty. We are sure that the God of light is around us, and is a witness of all we do. We are going soon to meet him, and it becomes us to rouse, and to do those deeds, and those only, which will bear the bright shining of the light of truth, and the scrutiny of him who is 'light, and in whom is no darkness at all,'" 1 Jo 1:5.

Sleep. Inactivity; insensibility to the doctrines and duties of religion. Men, by nature, are active only in deeds of wickedness. In regard to religion they are insensible, and the slumbers of night are on their eyelids. Sleep is "the kinsman of death," and it is the emblem of the insensibility and stupidity of sinners. The deeper the ignorance and sin, the greater is this insensibility to spiritual things: and to the duties which we owe to God and man.

For now is our salvation, The word salvation has been here variously interpreted. Some suppose that by it the apostle refers to the personal reign of Christ on the earth. (Tholuck, and the Germans generally.) Others suppose it refers to deliverance from persecutions. Others, to increased light and knowledge of the gospel, so that they could more dearly discern their duty than when they became believers. (Rosenmuller.) It probably, however, has its usual meaning here, denoting that deliverance from sin and danger which awaits Christians in heaven; and is thus equivalent to the expression, "You are advancing nearer to heaven. You are hastening to the world of glory. Daily we are approaching the kingdom of light; and in prospect of that state, we ought to lay aside every sin, and live more and more in preparation for a world of light and glory."

Than when we believed. Than when we began to believe. Every day brings us nearer to a world of perfect light.

{c} "awake out of sleep" 1 Th 4:5-8

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