Fellowship at the Ranch

The Lord gave me a love for linguistics. I often spend quite a bit of time determining the root and meaning of Biblical words and phrases. That love compelled me to look at the word April! Being confident about the origin of a word that’s been around since before 700 B.C. is not all that simple.

There are a few common theories behind the name. The one that seems to have the most support is that the name is rooted in the Latin “Aprilis,” which is derived from the Latin “aperire” meaning “to open”—which could be a reference to the opening or blossoming of flowers and trees, a common occurrence throughout the month of April in the Northern Hemisphere.

Another theory comes from the fifth century A.D. The Anglo-Saxons referred to April as “Oster-monath” or “Eostre-monath,” a reference to the goddess “Eostre,” whose feast was celebrated during the month. The Venerable Bede, a monk from the Northumbrian monastery of Saint Peter, believed this gave root to the word Easter—which is most often observed during the month of April.

Whatever the origin, April brings the promise of later sunsets, warmer weather, fields full of bluebonnets, and new life. When we have faith, we have a new life in Christ.

Jesus is described as the author and perfecter, or finisher, of our faith in Hebrews 12:2. That means that Christ is the originator of our faith in that He begins it. The Greek for “author” can also mean “captain” or “prince.” This indicates that Jesus controls our faith, steers it as a captain steers a ship, presides over it, and cares for it as a monarch presides over and cares for his people.

The Greek word translated “perfecter” appears only here in the New Testament. It literally means “completer” or “finisher” and speaks of bringing something to its conclusion. Putting the two words together, we see that Jesus, as God, both creates and sustains our faith.

It is important for us to understand that God in Christ is not only the creator and sustainer of our saving faith, but He is also the sustainer of our daily walk and the finisher of our spiritual journey. For if God in Christ is not the author of our new life, and if Christ is not the finisher and perfecter of our faith through the Holy Spirit’s indwelling power, then we are neither born again nor are we a true follower of Christ.

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)

I’m thankful for my faith, and I’m thankful for bluebonnets.

Ed Jones pastors Fellowship at the Ranch Church at Robson Ranch. This nondenominational church meets at the Robson Clubhouse on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. For information, visit Fellowship’s website, www.fellowshipattheranchchurch.com.