Behold, He Makes All Things New

The First Sunrise of the New Year 2009

compiled by Michele Rayburn

Behold, He makes all things new…a New Covenant, a new creation in Christ, a new identity in Christ, a new spirit…

Psalm 40:3  He has put a *new* song in my mouth. Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the Lord.

Psalm 96:1  Oh, sing to the Lord a *new* song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth.

Isaiah 42:9  Behold, the former things have come to pass, And *new* things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them.

Isaiah 62:2  The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, And all kings your glory. You shall be called by a *new* name, Which the mouth of the Lord will name.

Isaiah 65:17  “For behold, I create *new* heavens and a *new* earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.”

Jeremiah 31:31  “Behold the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a *new* covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.”

Ezekiel 11:19  Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a *new* spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh.

Ezekiel 18:31  Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a *new* heart and a *new* spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel?

Ezekiel 36:26  I will give you a *new* heart and put a *new* spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Matthew 26:28  For this is My blood of the *new* covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Mark 14:24  And He said to them, “This is My blood of the *new* covenant, which is shed for many.”

Luke 22:20  Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the *new* covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.”

John 13:34  A *new* commandment that I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

Romans 6:4  Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in *newness* of life.

Romans 7:6  But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the *newness* of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

Romans 12:2  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the *renewing* of your mind…

2 Corinthians 3:6  God…who also made us sufficient as ministers of the *new* covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

2 Corinthians 4:16  Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being *renewed* day by day.

2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a *new* creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become *new*.

Galatians 6:15  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a *new* creation.

Ephesians 2:14-15  For He Himself is our peace…having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one *new* man from the two, thus making peace…

Ephesians 4:22-24  …put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to deceitful lusts, and be *renewed* in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the *new* man which was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness.

Colossians 3:9-10  …you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the *new* man who is *renewed* in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.

Titus 3:5  …according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and *renewing* of the Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 8:8  “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a *new* covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah…” (Jer.31:31)

Hebrews 8:13  In that He says, “A *new* covenant,” He has made the first obsolete.

Hebrews 9:15  He is the Mediator of the *new* covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

Hebrews 10:19-20  Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a *new* and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is His flesh…

Hebrews 12:22-24  But you have come…to Jesus the Mediator of the *new* covenant…

1 Peter 2:2  …as *newborn* babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby…

2 Peter 3:13  Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for *new* heavens and a *new* earth in which righteousness dwells.

1 John 2:8  Again, a *new* commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.

2 John 1:5  And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a *new* commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning; that we love one another.

Revelation 2:17  And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a *new* name written which no one knows except him who receives it.

Revelation 3:12  And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the *New* Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God. And I will write on him My *new* name.

Revelation 14:3  And they sang as it were a *new* song before the throne…

Revelation 21:1  And I saw a *new* heaven and a *new* earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.

Revelation 21:2  Then I, John, saw the holy city, *New* Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Revelation 21:5  Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things *new*.”

Morning Has Broken – sung by Cat Stevens

My First Real Christmas

emmanuelAfter 26 years of living without acknowledging Jesus Christ in my life, in October of 1976, God opened my heart to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and I became a Christian.
I tell that story in a recording made in 2007 here –> here.

But at this Christmas time, I want to tell what that meant way back then as far as Christmas is concerned.

It was a stunning change, actually!

Christmas to me had always been a nice time to get together with family, decorate things, and give and receive gifts.  At times it also had a note of sadness and emptiness that I’m sure some of you may identify with, due usually to remembrances of days gone by with the questioning thought from the old song, “Is that all there is?”

But after being “born again”, becoming a Christian, Christmas was totally, totally, different.

All of a sudden, it MEANT something!  It was the birth of, not jut THE Savior, but MY Savior.  It was the time when God actually came to Earth as a man!  Emmanuel, God with us!

Everything was different.  I loved people like never before.  I saw the Christmas decorations and carols and gift exchange and hot chocolate and Christmas dinners and all the hoopla as REMEMBERING that Christ the Savior is born!

Even the “meaningless” stuff had new meaning for me, because it marked the birth of Emmanuel.

And it was the first time I understood that He wasn’t just born to be a “good example” or even a “good teacher”.

He was born to DIE on the cross for my sins, so that I could be forgiven and have eternal life with Him forever.

I couldn’t earn my own salvation with good works, it had to be a free gift.

And He offers that gift to ANYONE who will come to Him, who will believe in Him, who will trust that He died for our sins, and rose again from the dead.

And that Christmas, for the first time, I loved Him for who He is, and what He’d done for me.  And I still do, 37 years later.

That really was my first REAL Christmas, KNOWING the Son who was “given” by His Father.

I pray that you, dear reader will know Him too, if you don’t already.

“You shall call His name ‘Jesus’ for He shall save His people from their sins” – Matthew 1:21

Remembering The Jesus Of Christmas

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We all know the Christian warnings about remembering Jesus:

“Jesus Is The Reason For The Season.”

“Keep Christ in Christmas.”

And these cliches have become cliches because they are valid and true.

Still, the baby in a manger was just the beginning.

It’s good to celebrate the birth of Christ. But the Son of God didn’t come to earth for the purpose of being a baby. As He grew in years, He grew in wisdom and stature, as a man. He was and is God, but now God with us, Emmanuel.

And He came to us, dwelt with us, tabernacled with us, in a human body, on Earth, that He might die to pay for our sins, so that we might be saved, forgiven. And then He rose again from the dead, and lives today, in a body at the right hand of the Father, but by His Spirit in us, who believe in Him.

Have you ever done Bible memorization? I have.

If you have, one verse you probably haven’t memorized is 2 Tim. 2:8.

It’s something important that Paul the Apostle told his spiritual son and protege, Timothy. He tells Timothy to remember something. It’s something that you wouldn’t think Timothy would need to be reminded of. But he did need to be reminded of it, and so do you, and I.

2 Tim. 2:8:

“Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel.“

Why would Paul remind Timothy to remember Jesus?

1. To be strong in grace.

“You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”

Strong in the Grace? Sounds like a contradiction.

But life is tough, isn’t it? Timothy had things to do. And so do you.

These things require the grace of God. Remember Paul’s thorn in the flesh?

We can’t be strong in grace if we don’t remember Jesus, that He is alive (risen from the dead). He’s not just a dead Savior, He is a living Savior, and may I say it like Jesus did?…He calls us his friends.

Can you imagine? We are FOJ’s. Friends of Jesus. The Creator of the Universe, the Lord of all Creation, the almighty God, calls us His friends.

And the Lord wants us to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

Do you ever hear preachers, or other Christian folks, all they talk about is sin? Now if you’re preaching through the Bible and you come to something about sin, preach it. But do you notice how some think the most important subject in the world is sin? I’m talking about Christian brothers and sisters. They think the most important subject in the world is sin.

Now sin is important. As Christians we’re against it, aren’t we? But we don’t need a huge amount of teaching about it, because we are very familiar with it, aren’t we? It’s not something we need to be constantly reminded of, or to be constantly dwelling on.

What we do need to be constantly reminded of, and to be dwelling on is Jesus Christ, and His astounding grace. That’s what honors Christ, and that’s what gives us the light to walk by, the light to walk in the Spirit. And the Bible says that when we walk by the Spirit we won’t fulfill the lust of the flesh.

See how that works? If we dwell on sin, we end up trying to defeat it in the flesh, which just compounds the mess. It’s like trying to clean honey off of your hand with your other hand, and both hands end up sticky with nowhere to go.

But if we dwell on Jesus, who gives us the water of life, He by grace fills us with His Spirit, and we walk with clean hands. It’s grace we need to obsess over, not the Law and sin. And the grace will minimize the sin, as we realize freshly that we are not under Law but under grace, and we are dead to sin and alive to God through Jesus Christ, Rom. 6:11.

“The Law came by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” –John 1:17

2. Because of His past faithfulness.

Don’t you just love the Book of Psalms?

An entire Christian life could be spent meditating on the Psalms. Maybe no other book so exalts God as the powerful creator of the universe, and maybe no other book exalts God as the faithful provider of mercy for His children.

He is faithful.

And the Psalm-writers, mostly David, write over and over about remembering the Lord.

I want to mention some things the Psalmist says about the Lord, and just let them wash over you.

Take a few moments. Be still, and know He is God.

Remember Him for these things. His:

Loving-kindness
Mercy
Word
Salvation
Faithfulness
Deliverance
Justice
Compassion
Righteousness
Strength
Watchful eye
Blessing
Protection

We are so prone to forget these things, and partly because we are so prone to forget Him.

We live in a “now” world.

We have things to do, people to see, presents to buy, things to arrange, go go go!

And we’ve got problems, and we have them NOW.

And we know we will have more problems in the future.

And so we’re prone to worry.

But then we remember Jesus.
That He is born in Bethlehem.
That He died for us, for the forgiveness of our sins.
That He is risen.
That He is here.
And not just here, but in us (Christ in you, the hope of glory).

And we remember His faithfulness in the past.

How He rescued us from that storm of life (even a literal storm, maybe).
How He comforted us in that loss we had.
How we had this thorn in our flesh, but His grace was sufficient.
How we lost hope in a certain person and then God turned them around.
How we had that financial setback or lost that job, and He provided.
How we thought we just couldn’t get through that one thing, and He brought us through it.

And so we remember His past faithfulness to us.

We remember Him as we walk through the day, and we remember Him as we lie on our beds at night, like David did.

We remember Him as our Rock and our Fortress, and our Deliverer, and our Friend, and we long for Him like the deer who pants after the waterbrook.

And we love Him. We love Him.

And we remember that He loved us first. Even when we were unloveable. And maybe we don’t feel all that loveable even today. But He loves us anyway. And so we love Him.

I became a Christian in 1976.

Contemporary Christian Music was a brand new phenomenon.

Four years before I became a Christian, there was a man named John Fischer who wrote a song. And it’s a song I have never forgotten in 30 years. It’s simple, almost simplistic, but it sticks in your mind, and it blesses you, and then you realize how profound the simple little song is.

It’s called the “All Day Song”.

“Love Him in the morning when you see the sun arising,
Love Him in the evening ‘cause He took you through the day.
And in the in-between times when you feel the pressure coming,
Remember that He loves you and He promises to stay.”

Have a blessed Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Savior!

Merry Christmas.
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Celebrating Halloween With Abraham, Martin and John (Transcript)

Audio: 2007_1029_celebrating_halloween_with_abraham_martin_and_john

In America Halloween is celebrated on October 31st. I don’t particularly like Halloween, especially its occult aspects, but that’s a message for another time.

I want to tell you a brief story of God’s grace.

Reformation Day

You see, October 31st is also Reformation Day, when we celebrate the light that dawned when the so-called Reformers began to break out of the darkness of Roman Catholicism, and once again began to preach salvation by grace through faith.

It was more than 490 years ago [1517 A.D.] that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the big wooden door of the Wittenburg Church, denouncing the sale of indulgences by the Roman Catholic Church, in which the souls of dead people were supposedly purchased out of the mythical Purgatory, or their time in Purgatory was shortened.

It was an evil practice, which preyed on the fears and superstition of the people, and made them poorer as the so-called Church grew richer.

Abraham

But I want to begin our story much farther back in time, to a man called Abraham.

Abraham was called by God out of Ur of the Chaldees, a pagan land with a pagan superstitious culture. God called Abraham away from his people and his culture, to begin a whole new people and culture, which eventually culminated in the nation Israel, and eventually the promised Messiah of Israel, the Lord Jesus Christ.

And the reason I want to begin with Abraham is because of a covenant that God made with Abraham. And this covenant became the forerunner to what we now call the New Covenant.

God promised Abraham that he would become a mighty nation, that he would have millions of descendants, through which the world would be blessed. Now the whole story is too long to tell here, but there was one little problem.

Abraham’s wife Sarah was barren, childless. And the years had passed, and Abraham had assumed that his heir would be someone from his household staff. This was customary when there was no offspring.

Let’s read the promise of God from Genesis Chapter 15, verse 4 and following:

“Then behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, ‘This man will not be your heir; but one who shall come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.’ And He took him outside and said, ‘Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.’ And He said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’”

Now Abraham could either believe that or not. Did he believe it?

Well, let’s fast-forward to the book of Romans and see what Paul wrote to the Romans about it, and at the same time we’ll learn a very important Bible truth about salvation.

In Romans 4:3,5 we read,

“For what does the Scripture say? And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.” “…but to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness.”

Through the story of Abraham we learn something that has always been true:

Salvation is a free gift from God, through believing God. Or as the Bible says, by grace (that’s the free gift), through faith (that’s believing God).

And this salvation was paid for by Jesus Christ on the cross when he paid for our sins. The Bible says He became sin for us, so that we could become the righteousness of God.

In other words, He paid the price, so that we could be declared or reckoned righteous by God, Who gave us the gift of His own righteousness, when we believed in Jesus Christ.

There is no other way, and there never has been.

Even the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sin, the Bible says in Hebrews 10:4. All the blood of the sacrifices of Israel did were to temporarily cover the sins of the people until the time that the Messiah could shed His blood to pay for and take away sins.

But salvation was always by grace (a free gift) through believing God.
Now let’s fast-forward a few hundred years beyond Paul and the other Apostles, who taught this beautiful Gospel, good news, that whoever believes in Jesus Christ would be saved by grace through faith.

The Roman Catholic Church

The organized Church became infected more and more with the world’s view of religion. What is the world’s view of religion? It’s simply this: we must DO something, some obedience, some ritual, some work to EARN the favor or love or salvation of God. Salvation couldn’t be a gift, so it must be earned in some way.

And every religion of the world, except true Christianity, has that in common. Some aspects of doing good works or rituals to attain heaven, or Nirvana, or eternal life, or whatever.

And although the Church has always had that evil Legalism influence knocking at its door, after around 400 A.D. it became more and more of an organized Legalism, built into the very documents and teachings of the Church.

And on into the rightly-called Dark Ages, and into the Middle Ages, it became the norm. The headquarters of the organized Church became Rome, with its Bishop known as the Pope, and the Roman Catholic Church held its grip on most of the then-known world.

And without going into great detail, the basic doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church was that of works plus “grace”, or what they called “grace”. It really wasn’t grace at all, because as the Scripture says,

“But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.” (Romans 11:6)

In other words, if you add works to grace, as a requirement for salvation, then it’s not really grace at all. Because grace means “free gift”, and if you have to add works to get a free gift it’s not a free gift.

That was the problem with the Galatians, and Paul minced no words when he told them that by mixing grace and works, they not only were corrupting grace, but they were believing in another gospel, which is not really a gospel at all, and those who taught such a thing were accursed.

This is still, by the way, the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church today. You will hear their leaders talk about salvation by grace, or salvation by faith, or talk about justification, or the merits of Christ, or the mercy of God, even the Bible and the authority of the Bible.

But despite the twisted terminology, the final result is a teaching that it’s not grace by itself or faith by itself by which we are saved, but grace plus works, faith plus works.

Martin

Well, we come in our story to a Roman Catholic monk named Martin.

By his own admission, there was never a monk who strived any harder than Martin to gain God’s favor. There was never a monk who worked any harder, drove himself any farther, punished himself any more than Martin Luther.

But no matter how he worked and strived and prayed and worked and strived and prayed, he had no peace. And the reason was that he understood how righteous and holy God was, and that man’s works can never gain favor from such a perfect and righteous and holy God.

He was somewhat awakened to the corruption of the Church when he saw the practice of indulgences being stepped up drastically to pay for the building of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The building program was financed by indulgences being sold to the people. And the chief salesman was a man named Tetzel.

Luther was appalled at the crass misuse of power and superstition, and nailed his complaint to the Church door as his 95 Theses.

But that was not Luther’s most important enlightenment. As a student of the Scriptures, he studied the books of Galatians and Romans intently. And he began to see something in the Scriptures, and finally the light dawned on him, as God opened his heart, just as he had opened the heart of Abraham, and millions of others since.

What Luther saw, what was revealed to Him by God through the Scriptures, was that salvation was not earned in any way, but was a free gift of God, through faith in Jesus Christ.

And it set Luther on fire.

In this modern day of gospel books and Bibles on every desk and shelf in America, we may take it for granted. But Luther was living in a day when the light of the gospel had almost been put out for hundreds of years. Darkness had settled in so deeply that when Luther began teaching salvation by grace alone through faith alone, HE was the one who was considered a heretic.

But by God’s grace, the Reformation had begun with gusto. Luther had meant to Reform the Roman Catholic Church, but they would have none of it. And thus the so-called Protestant Church became a whole new thing.

Through Martin Luther, and other Reformers, the Bible was widely spread in the language of the people. Formerly it had only been widely available in Latin, and many leaders had meant it to stay that way, so that doctrine could only be dispensed through them, twisted as they made it. But as people were able to read the clear teaching of Scripture, the good news spread.

John

One of the most influential of the Reformers was John Calvin, who headquartered in Geneva [Switzerland]. Another intense student of the Bible, by the time he was only 27 years old, he wrote The Institutes of the Christian Religion, and became one of the key streams for the spread of the grace message throughout Europe in this exciting time.

There were many others who caught fire with this light of the gospel that God blasted onto the earth in a new setting. Names like Zwingli, and Melanchton, and Knox. It was Knox who prayed, “Lord give me Scotland or I die.” And Scotland was revolutionized by the gospel.

Not to be thoroughly run out of town, the Roman Catholic Church lashed back with Inquisitions and persecutions designed to maintain its power and the false gospel of faith plus works. Many were tortured, burned at the stake, or otherwise martyred for the simple gospel of salvation by grace through faith. But the blood of these martyrs became the seed of the church, which grew rapidly.

And out of this storm survived some basic truths that we celebrate alongside Halloween, some 500 years later. Despite Halloween winning the popularity contest in our culture, I invite you to join me in celebrating what has become known as the Five Solas.

Five Solas

The first is Sola Gratia, by grace alone. Our salvation has to be a free gift of grace, because our own righteousnesses are as filthy rags, useless in securing our salvation in any way.

Another is Sola Fide, by faith alone. Faith will always be followed by works, but the works are never the requirement or instrument of our salvation.

Another is Solus Christus, by Christ alone. Only by the work of Christ, in shedding his blood and dying on the cross, may we be saved by grace through faith in Him. There is no other way to the Father except by Him, Jesus Himself said.

Another is Sola Scriptura, by Scripture alone. The Scriptures, the Bible, is the only authority we have from God for ultimate truth. Because it came by revelation from God, it is true, and He reveals to His children the truth of the Scriptures, and there is no other authority for doctrinal truth, including the Church itself.

And one more, Soli Deo Gloria, for the glory of God alone. That is the heart song of the redeemed, that He might be glorified in our lives. And He is.

One glimpse of the glory of the Lord makes the glory of the greatest Medieval Cathedral, or the glory of the splendor of the Vatican and its gold and fancy dress, fade by comparison.

Celebrate with me, and Abraham, and Martin and John, the Reformation, and the bright light of the gospel of grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Audio: 2007_1029_celebrating_halloween_with_abraham_martin_and_john

Post Tenebras Lux

In Geneva, Switzerland there is a wall called The Reformation Wall. That’s it in the picture above.  I’ll tell you a little about it.

But first, let me tell you a happy — and sad — and happy story on this Reformation Day, October 31.

A happy story…

The happy story is that over two thousand years ago, God came to Earth as a baby, born of a virgin, Mary in Bethlehem of Judea.

His name was Jesus (which He was named because it means something like “yahweh or jehovah saves”, and He would indeed save his people from their sins — “God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing ye dismay.  Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day.”).

Jesus grew to be a man, was crucified and died on a cross to pay for our sins, was buried, and rose again from the dead on the third day.

And whoever will believe in Him is saved from their sins and hell, and will have eternal life forever with God.

This good news is called The Gospel, because “gospel” means “good news”.  And this salvation was (and is) a free gift from God to all who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  That “free” aspect is what is called “grace”, and our salvation is by grace…that is, free!

There.  I’ve covered Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, and and the Gospel.

A sad story…

But there is a bad news, sort of.  The bad news is that a form of religion crowded in on this good news, this gospel.

Men, in the name of The Church, began to add things to this Good News, this Gospel.

Things like Sacraments which they said could give us “grace”.

Things like priests, and popes who claimed to be “intermediaries” between God and men, even “vicars” (actual fill-ins for Christ on Earth).

Things like “good works” which they said must be mixed with “grace” in order for us to get to heaven.  They wrote in official documents that the Sacraments and the “good works” gave us “grace”, contradicting the very meaning of “grace” as a “free gift”.

They even invented something called Purgatory, so that those who didn’t do enough good works and sacraments on Earth could get “purged” of their uncleanness by suffering over many many years after death, sort of earning their final passage into heaven.

The popes sold what were called “indulgences” for money, so that fearful people could buy the way out of purgatory and into heaven for their friends and relatives who had already died.

They so perverted the Good News of the Gospel, that the masses of people descended into Darkness, no longer even knowing what the Gospel was.  They descended into the Darkness of trying to earn their way into heaven, an impossibility in light of the awesome holiness of the God whose standards all of us have broken.

And no doubt millions perished under this great Darkness, just as millions today perish under the dark illusion that they can merit what can only be given as a gift by God through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

But the story becomes happy again.

After 1,000 years of this Darkness, God opened the eyes and hearts of a few…then many. 

One of the first was a Catholic Monk, Martin Luther, who had his heart opened as he read the Scriptures, and realized for the first time that salvation was a free gift of grace, through faith alone, not earned by works.  Alas, lacking blogging software, he posted his “95 Theses” by nailing them to the church door at Wittenburg, Germany, stating some of the errors of the Roman Catholic Church and its Pope.  And thereby endangering his own life.

That day, October 31, 1517, Luther began, and joined with others, in a movement that blew open a window of Light that the Darkness folks have not been able to shut since.

I said I’d tell you about the Reformation Wall in the picture above.  It portrays four others of these “Reformers” who went out and proclaimed the Light of the Gospel which had been mostly hidden in Darkness for so many years.

They are Guillaume Farel, the first to spread this Reformation in Geneva — John Calvin, a main leader of the Reformation Movement, and spiritual father of Geneva — Theodore Beza, Calvin’s successor, and — John Knox, friend of Calvin and the mighty preacher of the Reformation in Scotland.

These men were not gods.  They were mere men.  Fallible men.  But God used them to light a fire that has still not gone out.  And on this Reformation Day we “give honor to whom honor is due”, to these men whom God used so wonderfully.

On that wall is printed a Latin phrase, the title of this post:

Post Tenebras Lux.

It means literally “After Darkness Light”, or:

Light After Darkness.

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.”  Then He said, “You are the light of the world”, referring to us, His disciples who tell others about Him and His Gospel.  As we shed the light of the Gospel of grace, God opens up more and more hearts, making disciples who desire to learn of Him.

Friend, if you don’t know Jesus Christ, I urge you to call on Him as your Lord and Savior.

After 1,000 years of darkness, God saw fit to raise up a few men, who recaptured the ancient truth:

Whoever believes on the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved.

Will you?