Baptismal Homily (Vance Parriott)

Baptismal Homily

Profession of Faith Baptism

August 27th, 2023

John the Baptist declares in Matthew 3:11, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.”

Christian baptism is not the baptism of John (Acts 19:1-7), it is not a baptism with mere water, nor a bare external act. Christian baptism is baptism by the Lord Jesus, and when Jesus baptizes, he does so with the Holy Ghost and with fire. What we signify here with water, is that the Holy Spirit was poured down from heaven like a flame at Pentecost. As the Apostle Peter says in Acts 2:38, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

This promise and gift that is the Holy Spirit is the fire that is given to us in baptism. Fire removes the dross of the old man, fire burns away and destroys our sinful nature, fire purifies us into precious gold, and fire transforms us so that we who are living sacrifices may ascend to heaven like smoke. This and so much more is signified in baptism, and you will spend the rest of your life learning more about what Jesus did to you, in this moment.