Put aside the deeds of the darkness and put on the armor of light. (Romans 13:12)
We have been doing an inductive study of Romans 13. First we read, observed and noted what Paul said in the chapter. Then we sought to understand what he meant. That is, we worked at interpreting what he meant. Thus far we have considered the first 11 verses of the chapter. Let’s now look at verse 12: “The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of the darkness and put on the armor of light.”
Jesus once said, “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” (John 9:4) Are Jesus and Paul referring to the same period of time?
Both statements emphasize time is running out. Jesus talked about working diligently during the remaining time, before we can’t work any more. Paul is talking about our walk or our behavior.
The conditions in the world during the time leading up to the day when Jesus Christ is going to return are characterized by darkness. The “deeds of darkness” are described in verse 13 as “orgies and drunkenness.” This picture, according to Thayer, is what the Greek writers described as “a nocturnal and riotous procession of half-drunken and frolicsome fellows, who after supper, parade through the streets with torches and music in honor of Bacchus or some other deity, and sing and play before the houses of their…friends; hence used generally of feasts and drinking-parties that are protracted till late at night and indulge in revelry.”
Our walk or behavior should be taken far more seriously than those described here by Paul.