This chapter addresses the crucial question: what is the nature of the experience that Paul images as “awakening”? According to Paul, “awakening” is an experience wherein the past event of the Messiah's death and resurrection comes together with the present moment in the life of believers, such that “salvation” acquires a higher degree of actuality than it had “when we [first] believed” (Romans 13:11). Because Paul represents awakening as an increased concentration upon the messianic kairos—that is, upon an event that has already happened, and in which his Roman readers have already believed—we are justified in regarding awakening as a graduated process, whose initial stages may be traced in Paul's earlier epistles.
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