Romans 13:11-14November 27, 2022 / Metropolitan United Methodist Church, Indian Head, MD
Metropolitan UMC, Indian Head, MD
New International Version
11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.[a]
As Paul moves toward the close of his instructions to the Romans on how to live a transformed life in the world, he shifts his focus from the location of that activity to its timing. The fact that these believers were “being” in Rome (see comments on 1:7) added a certain urgency to this letter. That urgency was intensified by Paul’s conviction that the present age was drawing to a close and a new age was about to break into history. (1 Thessalonians 5:1–4).
The New Testament gives abundant evidence that the believers in Paul’s day expected the return of Christ momentarily. Both Peter and Paul alerted their readers that the Lord was “at hand” (Phil. 4:5; 1 Peter 4:7 KJV). Paul’s letters to the church at Thessalonica resolved questions about the timing of the Second Coming. Paul assured these Christians that those who had died recently (“fallen asleep” would be included in the hosts who would greet Christ at His return (1 Thess. 4:13–16). The question of what would happen to deceased saints suggests that the Christians at first assumed the end would come before death overtook the saints in the church.
 Clarence L. Bence, Romans: A Bible Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition (Indianapolis, IN: Wesleyan Publishing House, 1996), 216–217.