This chapter attempts to comprehend the particularity of that stage in the process of salvation that Paul images as “awakening” in Romans 13:11–14. In Romans 13, Paul urges his readers toward a moment when the full import of the messianic event will be received in the present as an actuality. In that moment, the latent messianic self that was unveiled in the calling, and that had emerged through participation in the Messiah's death and resurrection, ignites in the flash of an awakened consciousness. In that moment, the constant projection of thought toward desire is arrested; the existence of the believer is enveloped in the Messiah. The awakened self takes charge of his conduct, giving each action a higher ethical purpose. The awakened self is a militant, armed for struggle against the powers of darkness that had once enthralled him and that still hypnotize others. And the awakened self participates in a collective consciousness, bound to others by the love that led the Messiah to die for all. The community of awakened selves is “the revelation of the sons of God” for which the whole creation waits with eager longing (Romans. 8:19).
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