Post Tenebras Lux

What is Reformation and WHY do we need it?

The phrase “Post Tenebras Lux” dates back to the very beginning of the Protestant Reformation. This seemingly simple phrase means “after darkness, light”.

During a time of much turmoil across Europe, the Reformers saw these three words as a reflection of the truth of the believer’s life. We are bound in darkness and sin from the point of conception. Our hearts are at enmity with God and we are in complete and total darkness apart from Him. With God and His rich mercy we are given LIGHT.

The Reformers had this relationship with the Lord and applied it to the work that God set before them. Men like Luther, Calvin, Tyndale, Knox, and so many others viewed their efforts as a return from the pit of darkness, dependency on tradition, and heresy under the Roman Catholic Church to the light of loving and sharing the true Gospel.

The work of the Reformers did not end when Protestantism become more accepted. We are meant to be CONSTANTLY reforming and coming back to the light of God’s Word. As fallen man, we are far too prone to wander into tradition and self-serving practices. There is nothing more important than the proclamation of God’s Word and the truth of it.

“If we want reformation, we have to start with ourselves. We have to start bringing the gospel itself out of darkness, so that the motto of every reformation becomes post tenebras lux — “after darkness, light.” Luther declared that every generation must declare freshly the gospel of the New Testament. He also said that anytime the gospel is clearly and boldly proclaimed, it will bring about conflict, and those of us who are inherently adverse to conflict will find it tempting to submerge the gospel, dilute the gospel, or obscure the gospel in order to avoid conflict. We, of course, are able to add offense to the gospel by our own ill-mannered attempts to proclaim it. But there is no way to remove the offense that is inherent to the gospel message, because it is a stumbling block, a scandal to a fallen world. It will inevitably bring conflict. If we want reformation, we must be prepared to endure such conflict to the glory of God.” – R.C. Sproul

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