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THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS - Chapter 13 - Verse 12

Verse 12. The night. The word night, in the New Testament, is used to denote night literally, (Mt 2:14, etc.;) the starry heavens, (Re 8:12;) and then it denotes a state of ignorance and crime, and is synonymous with the word darkness, as such deeds are committed commonly in the night, 1 Th 5:5. In this place it seems to denote our present imperfect and obscure condition in this world as contrasted with the pure light of heaven. The night, the time of comparative security and sin in which we live even under the gospel, is far gone in relation to us, and the pure splendours of heaven are at hand.

Is far spent. Literally, "is cut off." It is becoming short; it is hastening to a close.

The day. The full splendours and glory of redemption in heaven. Heaven is often thus represented as a place of pure and splendid day, Re 21:23,25; 22:5.

The times of the gospel are represented as times of light, (Isa 60:1,2,19,20, etc.;) but the reference here seems to be rather to the still brighter glory and splendour of heaven, as the place of pure, unclouded, and eternal day.

Is at hand. Is near; or is drawing near. This is true respecting all Christians. The day is near, or the time when they shall be admitted to heaven is not remote. This is the uniform representation of the New Testament, Heb 10:25; 1 Pe 4:7; Jas 5:8; Re 22:20; 1 Th 5:2-6; Php 4:5.

That the apostle did not mean, however, that the end of the world was near, or that the day of judgment would come soon, is clear from his own explanations. See 1 Th 5:2-6. Comp. 2 Th 2.

Let us therefore. As we are about to enter on the glories of that eternal day, we should be pure and holy. The expectation of it will teach us to seek purity; and a pure life alone will fit us to enter there, Heb 12:14.

Cast off. Lay aside, or put away.

The works of darkness. Dark, wicked deeds, such as are specified in the next verse. They are called works of darkness, because darkness in the Scriptures is an emblem of crime, as well as of ignorance, and because such deeds are commonly committed in the night. 1 Th 5:7, "They that be drunken, are drunken in the night." Comp. Joh 3:20; Eph 5:11-13.

Let us put on. Let us clothe ourselves with.

The armour of light. The word armour—(opla)—properly means arms, or instruments of war, including the helmet, sword, shield, etc., Eph 6:11-17. It is used in the New Testament to denote the aids which the Christian has, or the means of defence in his warfare, where he is represented as a soldier contending with his foes, and includes truth, righteousness, faith, hope, etc., as the instruments by which he is to gain his victories. In 2 Co 6:7, it is called "the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left." It is called armour of light, because it is not to accomplish any deeds of darkness or of crime; it is appropriate to one who is pure, and who is seeking a pure and noble object. Christians are represented as the children of light, 1 Th 5:5. Note, Lu 16:8. By the armour of light, therefore, the apostle means those graces which stand opposed to the deeds of darkness, (Ro 13:13;) those graces of faith, hope, humility, etc., which shall be appropriate to those who are the children of the day, and which shall be their defence in their struggles with their spiritual foes. See the description in full in Eph 6:11-17.

{d} "therefore cast off" Eph 5:11 {e} "put on the armour of light" Eph 6:13

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