Useful Bible Studies > Romans Commentary > chapter 13

The day of Christ's return is near

Romans 13:12

Paulís words seem to describe the camp of an army. That army hopes to surprise its enemies with a sudden attack, early in the morning. However, by night the soldiers are pleasing themselves, with foolish and wild behaviour.

They are drinking wine and they are eating too much food. They are having sex with women; and they are arguing with each other. As the night continues, even the guards are sleeping. They are all in great danger. Anyone could enter the camp and attack them.

The Bible uses darkness as a word-picture for peopleís evil deeds (for example, Isaiah 8:21 to 9:2). Many people who are now Christians formerly cared only to please themselves (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). However, then God changed their lives in the most powerful manner (2 Corinthians 5:17). The knowledge of Christ changed them completely, like a light that shines in darkness (2 Corinthians 4:6).

The darkness of peopleís evil deeds must end because, suddenly, Christ will return (Luke 21:25-28). He will defeat all that is evil in this world (1 Samuel 2:1-10). In Romans 13:11-13, Paul compares Christís return to the beginning of a new day.

The beginning of the new day has an astonishing effect on the soldiers in the camp. Long before dawn, they are all awake, and they are preparing themselves for the battle. Now none of them cares to please himself; their only desire is to carry out their tasks well, and to win.

The knowledge of Christís soon return (Revelation 22:12) should have a similar effect on the lives of Christians. Christians should not desire to please themselves. Instead, they should loyally do the work that God has given them to do. They should not behave like those foolish soldiers in the darkness. Instead, they should make themselves ready for the day of Christís return (Mark 13:32-37).

Next part: Wrong behaviour when we start to relax (Romans 13:13)


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© 2018, Keith Simons.