11. And this, knowing the time: that it is now the hour for us to rise from sleep. For now our salvation is nearer than when we believed.
12. The night is far advanced, and the day has approached. Let us, therefore, throw aside the works of darkness, and put on the arms of light.
13. Let us walk honestly as in the day; not in feasting and drunkenness, not among couches and immodesty, not in strife and emulation.
14. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and take not care of the flesh in its desires.
11. Knowing the time. The hour of battle is come. The night is over. It is time to awake from sleep, and put on the armour needed in the struggle of the day. Our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. These words imply a certain reproach, as if his readers had not accomplished all that was expected of them when they first believed in Christ.
The resurrection is near, Saint Chrysostom says. Near is the dreadful judgment, near the day that shall burn as an oven. Let us not sleep nor be idle, lest that day take us unawares.
The arms of light, good works, which shine out from far. These shall protect us from our spiritual foes.
Theodoret considers that the time which preceded the Incarnation of Christ, is the night here meant, nowpassed. The Incarnation was the rising of the Sun of Justice, and therefore the Apostle urges his hearers to seize the arms of light.
13. Let us walk honestly, as those who go forth publicly in the broad hght of day.
14. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Saint Paul constantly uses this phrase, as in Gal 3:27, Eph 4:24, Col 3:10, 1 Thess 5:8. Put on the example of Christ, in all and over all, as the vesture in which a man is draped is all that is seen of him.
Take not care, make provision for the flesh for necessary subsistence, but do not lay up treasures to be spent in selfish luxury and pleasure.
As is well known, it was these two verses which finally conquered Saint Augustine, after his long struggle with himself, as is related in his confessions.
Corollary of Piety.
Charity is like no other debt, for though it is always being paid, it is never paid, and is still always due. Pay therefore perpetually what thou perpetually owest. Pay freely, for thou hast freely received: pay promptly, largely, liberally, for promptly, largely, liberally, shall the reward be rendered thee.
Charity includes all virtues, and destroys all vice. On one hand it keeps from every wrong, on the other it works effectually every good. It is the fullness and completion of God’s law.
The trumpet of the Apostle rings out through the stillness of the early dawn with startling suddenness. It is time to wake from sleep. The night is past: eternitv is upon us, and the terrible day of doom which must decide our lot for eternity.
The night of ignorance and heathendom is past from the world’s history. The Sun of Justice is risen. Let us, upon whom his light is shining, walk before him, honestly and holily as in the day. Within us is the spirit and the grace of Christ: without, his glorious example, sobriety, chastity, humility, patience, charity. In such Christ appears, and only Christ. I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me.