“The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.”

“The night is far spent
Literally:  “The night {is} far gone.”–The day is at hand-the full manifestation of the Sun of Righteousness, in the illumination of the whole Gentile world approaches rapidly.

          THE NIGHT:  (Grk.–hê nux)—The time during which the Messiah is absent from His people is compared to night. He is the Sun whose coming converts it to day. The state of darkness and trials in this world. The salvation from that is “the day.”

           The word “night,” in the N.T., is used several ways: to denote night literally, (Matt. 2:14, etc.😉 the starry heavens, (Rev. 8:12;) and then it denotes a state of ignorance and crime, and is synonymous with the word darkness, as such deeds are committed commonly in the night, (I Thess. 5:5).  Here it may mean the period before the full realization of that salvation named in verse 11, whether that be when Christ comes, or when we are called to Christ.  That salvation is “the day.”
In this place “night” seems to denote our present imperfect and obscure condition in this world as contrasted with the pure light of heaven. The night, the time of comparative security and sin in which we live even under the Gospel, is far gone in relation to us, and the pure splendors of heaven are at hand.

        FAR SPENT: (Grk.–proekopsan)–Literally, “Is cut off” or “well advanced; nearly over.”  This word originally means to beat forward or lengthen out by hammering. Hence to   promote, and to go forward or proceed. Time is becoming short; it is hastening to a close.

           If we understand this in reference to the heathen state of the Romans, it may be paraphrased thus: The night is far spent-heathenish darkness is nearly at an end.  The day is at hand-the full manifestation of the Sun of Righteousness, in the illumination of the whole Gentile world approaches rapidly.”  The appearance of the Messiah is regularly termed by the ancient Jews as the “day” (yom), because previously to this all is considered to be night, Bereshith rabba sect. 91, fol. 89. 
“Cast off the works of darkness,”–prepare to meet this rising Light and welcome its approach, by throwing aside superstition, impiety, and vice of every kind: and put on the armor of light. That is, fully receive the heavenly teaching by which your spirits will be as completely armed against the attacks of evil as your bodies could be by the best weapons and impenetrable armor (see Ephesians 6:11-17).
           This sense seems most suitable to the following verses, where the vices of the
Gentiles are particularly specified; and they are exhorted to abandon them, and to receive the Gospel of Christ.  The common method of explanation is this: The night is far spent; our present imperfect life, full of afflictions, temptations, and trials, is almost run out; the day of eternal blessedness is at hand; is about to dawn on us in our glorious resurrection unto eternal life. 'Therefore, let us cast off-let us live as candidates for this eternal glory.

“the day is at hand
Literally:  “The day has drawn near.” 

            THE DAY:  (Grk.–hê hêmera)—Referring to the time of the “rapture” or catching up (Grk.–parousia) of all true believers, the church. The state of light and bliss in heaven. The full splendors and glory of redemption in heaven.  Heaven is often thus represented as a place of pure and splendid day, (Rev. 21:23; 22:5).

           AT HAND:  (Grk.–hêngiken)—Is near; or is drawing near. This is true respecting all Christians. The day is near, or the time when they shall be admitted to heaven is not remote. This is the uniform representation of the N.T., (Heb. 10:25; I Pet. 4:7; James 5:8; Rev. 22:20; I Thess. 5:2-6; Phil. 4:5).

 “cast off the works of darkness”
Literally:  “Let us cast off the works of darkness.”–Those dark, wicked deeds, such as are specified in the next verse. Sinful deeds of every kind.  All works of the kingdom and period of darkness, with which, as followers of the risen Christ our connection has been dissolved.

They are called works of darkness, because darkness in the Scriptures is an emblem of crime, as well as of ignorance, and because such deeds are commonly committed in the night.  “They that be drunken, are drunken in the night” (I Thess. 5:7), Comp. John 3:20; Eph. 5:11-13. Prepare to meet this rising light, and welcome its approach, by throwing aside superstition, lack of spirituality, and vice of every kind. 

          CAST OFF: (Grk.–apothômetha)–Lay aside, or put away. Throw off such sinful deeds as men do under the cover of darkness, and all sinful deed.   As we are about to enter on the glories of that eternal day, we should be pure and holy. The expectation of it will teach us to seek purity; and a pure life alone will fit us to enter there, (Heb. 12:14).

“and let us put on the armor of light” Literally:  “Let us put on the weapons of light.” The  weapons of light, that belong to the light (to the day time). For the metaphor of the Christian armor see 6:13; II Cor. 6:7; Eph. 6:13; I Thess. 5:8.

         PUT ON: (Grk.–endusômethata)–Let us clothe ourselves with.

       ARMOR (Grk.–hopla)–The armor worn in the light, and with which the Christian will be clad when “the day” comes (see Eph. 6:11). The word translated as “armor” properly means arms, or instruments of war, including the helmet, sword, shield, etc., (Eph. 6:11-17).    It is used in the N.T. to denote the aids which the Christian has, or the means of defense in      his warfare, where he is represented as a soldier contending with his foes, and includes truth, righteousness, faith, hope, etc., as the instruments by which he is to gain his victories.

           In II Cor. 6:7, it is called “the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left.”  It is called armor of light here because it is not to accomplish any deeds of darkness or of crime;  but rather is our defense against such deeds.  Christians are represented as the children of light, (I Thess. 5:5; Note, Luke 16:8). 
It is appropriate to one who is pure, and who is seeking a pure and noble objectives. By the armor of light Paul means those graces which stand opposed to the deeds of darkness, (v. 13;) those graces of faith, hope, humility, etc., which shall be appropriate to those who are the children of the day, and which shall be their defense in their struggles with their spiritual foes. See the description of this armor in full in Eph, 6:11-17.
Your spirits will be as completely armed against the attacks of evil as your bodies could be by the best weapons and impenetrable armor.  This sense seems most suitable to the following verses, where the vices of the Gentiles are particularly specified; and they are exhorted to abandon them, and to receive the Gospel of Christ.  The common method of explanation is this: The night is far spent-our present imperfect life, full of afflictions, temptations, and trials, is almost run out; the day of eternal blessedness is at hand-is about to dawn on us in our glorious resurrection unto eternal life. “Therefore, let us cast off-let us live as candidates for this eternal glory.”  But this sense cannot at all comport with what is said below, as the Gentiles are most evidently intended.

“Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.”

“Let us walk honestly”
Literally: “Let us walk becomingly.”–As one walks in the day (when one avoids everything unbecoming). This in a moral sense, Paul desires, should be the ruling principle of the Christian, who sees the day dawning.  Dishonesty seeks the night. The children of the day will walk honestly.

This implies honest, upright, pure lives, which need no concealment. Let our manner of living be decent, orderly, and grave; such as we shall not be ashamed of in the eyes of the whole world. Live in a manner becoming disciples of Christ hastening to eternity, and preparing for heaven. (See notes for 12:17).  As a lad my father would say to me, “Don’t do anything now that you will need to explain to your children later.”  I might add to those words this: “what you do now you will live with later.”

            WALK: (Grk.–peripateo)—To walk is an expression meaning “to live,” let us live, or conduct, etc.

            HONESTLY: (Grk.–euschemonos)—In a decent manner; in a becoming manner;” that is,  in a manner appropriate to those who are the children of light.

“as in the day”
Literally:  “As in {the} day.”-As is if all our actions were seen and known. Men by day, or in open light, live decently; but their foul and wicked deeds are done in the night.

Paul exhorts Christians to live as if all their conduct were seen, and as if they had nothing which they wished to conceal. The Christian is bidden to think of himself as in the daylight; with light on him and around him. This is probably here the “light” of I John 1:7; the light of the knowledge of the Holy One, and of His felt presence. “Yea, the darkness hideth not from Thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light {are} both alike to {Thee}(Psalm 139:12).

“not in rioting and drunkenness
Literally: “Not in carousings and drinking”

          RIOTING: (Grk.–kômois)—Literally: “revelling.” Nocturnal carousing; reveling; denoting  licentious conduct, the scenes of disorder and sensuality, carousing, which attend luxurious living.

          DRUNKENNESS: (Grk.–methais)—This Greek word is plural; i.e., drinking-bouts. This signifies drunken festivals, such as were celebrated in honor of their pagan gods; when after they had they drank to excess, such actions were accompanied with abominable acts of every kind.

Rioting and drunkenness constitute the first class of sins from which Paul would keep them. It is scarcely necessary to add that these were common happenings among the pagans, and still are common among pagans, and, unfortunately, drinking of alcoholic beverages is common among weak Christians.

“not in chambering and wantonness”
Literally:  “Not in co-habitation and lustful acts.”–Varied forms of impurity; the one pointing to definite acts, the other more general.

         CHAMBERING: (Grk.–koitais)—Again in the plural: indulgences of lustful pleasures.The original Greek word,  (koitais),  signifies whoredoms and prostitution of every kind. This word brings to mind people who have no sense of fidelitiy.  A common cause of divorce in America; or sad to say, even in the church.

Lewd, immodest behaviourThis Greek word includes illicit sexual indulgences of all kinds, adultery, fornication, etc. The words chambering and wantonness constitute the second class of crimes from which Paul exhorts Christians to abstain. That these were (and still are) common crimes among the pagans it is not necessary to say.  It is not possible, nor would it be proper, to describe the scenes of licentious indulgence of which all pagans are guilty. As Christians were to be a peculiar people, therefore, Paul exhorts them to lives of purity and holiness.

          WANTONNESS: (Grk.–aselgeia)—Again in the plural: the varieties of lascivious sin are suggested. Wantonnesses (especially of lust).

This is one of the ugliest words in the Greek language.  It describes not only immorality; but it really means thosse who have lost all sense of shame.  Aselgeia is the quality of people who dare to do in public what is unbecoming for anyone to be doing.  Most people will seek to hide or conceal their evil deeds, but people in whose hearts there is aselgeia are long past that, or past even caring what people think of them.  Aselgeia includes all manner of uncleanness and sodomiy (homosexual) practices; unbridled lust, all manner of excesses, licentiousness, shamelessness, insolence.  Unfortunately, this is rapidly becoming the attitude of many Americans, especially those who do not want to recognize any standards of right and wrong. Chambering and wantonness constitute the second class of sins from which Paul would keep them.

“not in strife and envying” 
Literally: “Not in fighting and envy.”  These followed naturally uponrevels and drunkenness, and shameless sensuality.

Fighting usually takes place when people have had too much alcohol to drink because their self-control is “drowned out” by the alcohol. This passage is referred to by Augustine as the cause of his conversion. It rebuked his own sins, which were the common sins of his time.

          STRIFE: (Grk.–eris)—Contention, disputes, litigations; the expression of enmity.

            ENVYING:  (Grk.–zêlos)—Literally:  “jealousy.”  It denotes any intense, vehement, fervid passion. It is not improperly rendered here by envying. These vices are properly introduced in connection with the others. They usually accompany each other. Quarrels and contentions come out of scenes of drunkenness and debauchery.  But for such scenes there would be little contention, and the world would be comparatively at peace.

Strife and envying are the constitute the third class of sins from which Paul would keep them.  The word strife means The exhortation is, that they should live in peace.  The six vices mentioned in this verse are listed in pairs, with each pair so closely related that they could be considerd as one basic idea

“But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.”

“But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ”
Literally: “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ.”

             PUT YE ON: (Grk.–endusasthe)—This word is used in verse 12 where it is rendered as, “let us put on,” and is commonly employed in references to putting on clothing or apparel.

          The phrase “to put on the Lord Jesus Christ, which seems a harsh expression in our language, was one frequently used by Greek writers; and means, “to drink in or put on His principles;”  to “imitate His example,” to copy His spirit; i.e.,  to become like him.
“For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27).  To put on Christ is to enter into fellowship with Him. He who is in fellowship with Christ cannot fulfill the lusts of the flesh. “He walks after the Spirit, and not after the flesh” (8:1).
Thus, to put on the Lord Jesus means to take Him as a pattern and guide, to imitate His example, to obey His precepts, to become like Him, to unite yourselves in the closest fellowship of life with Christ, so that you may wholly present the mind and life of Christ in your conduct. etc. In all respects the Lord Jesus was unlike what had been specified in the previous verse. He was temperate, chaste, pure, peaceable, and meek; and to put Him on was to imitate Him in these respects (Heb. 4:15; 7:26; I Pet. 2:22; Isa. 53:9; I John 3:5).

       “For we have not an High Priest whiich cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points temped like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 9:15).

       “…Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps;

       “Who did not sin, neither was guile found in his mouth” (I Peter 2:21-22).

       “And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin” (I John 3:5).

Clothe yourselves with His character and Spirit.  In order to do the most in their power to remove all existing evils, and promote the greatest good, Christians should in all things manifest, the Spirit of Christ, labor to make known His character and will to all people, and set before them the motives which He has revealed, to lead them to believe on and obey Him. All should look upward to Him who has the residue of the Spirit, that His heavenly influence may descend and the evils of sin become as the frosts of winter on the approach of spring, and vanish as darkness before the light of day.

“make not provision for the flesh”
Literally:  “Do not make forethought for the flesh.” 

            PROVISION:  (Grk.–pronoian)—This word here is that which is used to denote provident care, or preparation for future wants. It means, that we should not make it an object to gratify our lusts, or study to do this by laying up anything beforehand with reference to this design. Etymologically this word is akin to “take thought for.”

             FLESH:  (Grk.–sarx)—Referring to the depraved nature; the “old man the whole of our human nature in its fallenness, organized as it is in rebellion againt God.”

By “flesh” we are here to understand, not only the body, but all the irregular appetites and passions which led to the abominations already recited.  No provision should be made for the encouragement and gratification of such a principle as this.

“to fulfil the lusts thereof.”
Literally:  “For {its} lusts.”–To make provision for which the Gentiles lived and labored for; what they bought and sold, and schemed and planned for.

           LUSTS: (Grk.–epithumias)—Literally means “strong desires of any kind.”  This word is used of a good desires in Luke 22:15; Phil. 1:23; I Thess. 2:17.  Elsewhere in the Bible it is used in a bad sense

           It was the whole business of their life to gratify the sinful lusts of the flesh.  Their philosophers taught them little else; and the whole circle of their so-called deities, as well as the whole scheme of their religion, served only to excite and inflame such passions, and produce such practices.
Explicitly and directly, men provide for their lusts by entertaining such thoughts in their minds as to kindle, excite, and stir up lust; and when those thoughts are gratified with desires, and those desires accompanied with endeavors; but worst and saddest of all it is, when men's desires to gratify their lusts are turned into prayers unto God Almighty in order to that end. The apostle James says, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts” (James 4:1).