In Romans 13:13-14 NIV we read

Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.
Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

People sin in daytime as well as night-time, so in what sense is "daytime" being used here?

2 Answers 2


Jesus and others in the Bible have used day and night figuratively. In general, light and day refer to positive aspects of a believer's relationship with God while darkness and night refer to more sinful aspects.

For instance, in John 3:19-21, we read,

19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

The light in this case is God sending Jesus into the world to save us, and especially to make us aware of that need. The darkness here is that part within us that prefers to hide from God's truth about our sinful state rather than have our sins exposed and forgiven. But "whoever lives by the truth," that is, he who is honest with himself about his shortcomings and recognizes the need for God's remedy, comes to the light -- comes to the need for faith in Jesus and forgiveness.

Darkness refers to the "shady dealings" of mankind, where people will do what's wrong secretly in order not to be found out and accused. Being people "of the day" (1 Thess. 5:5) means to be bold and open in one's conduct, unafraid because it is right and honest and good.


Just to add to Steve's excellent answer:

Jesus used the word light to highlight Christian living.

Jesus said;

Matthew 5:14 through 16 KJV

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Since we Christians are the only image of God that the World can see, It will judge the effectiveness of the Gospel by our actions. Many times I have heard people use the bad actions of Church members as an example of why they don't need Jesus in their lives.

Here Jesus is saying that those who are his disciples need to reflect it, and Paul is just adding to that in Romans chapter 13, by saying that we should be the same when we think we are hidden by darkness as we are in the daylight.

If we get down to the bare facts of the matter God sees just as well in darkness as he does in the light of day. So it behooves us to remember that God is always watching, and act accordingly.

We should keep in mind that Jesus is at the right hand of the father making,intercessions for us; when Satan accuses us; but what can he say in our defense when we deliberately do something wrong.

Jesus is still human and I feel it is just as embarrassing to him to have to say to the father.

"Yes that is one of those I died for, so please forgive him/her."

as it is to the mother whose child throws a tantrum in a store; to say to the other mothers whose children are well behaved; "yes that's my kid."

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