Saturday, 7 December 2013
The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Romans 13:12
Based on his preceding comment concerning our need to “awake out of sleep,” Paul uses a set of metaphors “night” and “day” to explain that. He says “the night is far spent.” The literal night equates to the darkness of the world and its spiritual corruption; a world lacking order and which is in chaos. This is seen, for example, when Jesus was confronted at night at Gethsemane –
“When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not try to seize Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” Luke 22:53
This time of spiritual darkness is still in the world. Victory is found in Jesus, but it is not yet fully realized. That will only occur when He returns. For now, and for an indeterminate length of time, “the day is at hand.” The rapture of the church and what comes after that has been imminent from the start of the church age. There is no time that a believer could rightly say, “the Lord won’t come back today.” Therefore, that day is always at hand. And because it is, Paul gives us a stern admonition – “Therefore, let us cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light.”
“Therefore” asks us to consider what has been said and then to act on it. “Let us cast off the works of darkness” implores us to live in spiritual light and in holiness. Time and again, the Bible refers to the light in this way. John speaks of the light contrasting the darkness in the first chapter of his gospel – “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:4, 5)
In order to “cast off darkness” one must be clothed with light. Darkness cannot overcome itself. Only when found clothed in light will the darkness flee away. This is why Paul next says to “put on the armor of light.” In order to do this, one must move from the devil to Christ; from the misdeed of fallen Adam to the triumph of Jesus. He is our armor from the darkness which is found in the fallen world and the One who can protect us from being cast into “outer darkness” when our days are complete.
Once one has put on Christ, they need to continue in Christ actively through prayer, studying His word, fellowshipping with others, etc. By doing this, we won’t be unfruitful, nor will we be pulled back into the spiritually corrupt world around us.
Life application: The Bible uses many metaphors to help us understand spiritual truths. As your read the Bible, take time to think through these things – elements, types of animals, types of grain and other foods (milk and honey for example), light and darkness, etc. God uses things we understand in the natural world to show us these spiritual truths.
Heavenly Father, thank You for another beautiful day. I look forward to walking in Your presence, talking to You, enjoying the sights and sounds as they come my way. As the day unfolds, please keep reminding me of our close and personal relationship as I ponder the work of Jesus and how He has reconciled me to You. I want to thank You for all You do for me! You are great, O God. Amen.