This is he of whom I said, After me comes a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.…
The work of Christ, according to the Baptist,was to take away the sin of the world and to baptize with the Holy Ghost. It is not possible for believers to think too much of the first part; but it is quite possible for them to think too little of the second. These are the two pillars of our faith. The atoning sacrifice was offered and completed on Calvary once for all; but the baptism of the Holy Ghost is ever going on. Our Saviour died to be the Atoner; He lives to be the Baptizer. And our Saviour lives and reigns to baptize us not occasionally, but permanently; not fitfully and uncertainly, but surely. Were this baptism fully realized, there would be a vast increase of holiness, power, and success in ministers and churches: of Christian unity and charity. What encouragement have we for expecting this baptism? The announcement that Christ is as much Baptizer as Atoner, not the one without the other, or He would have laid the foundation and built nothing upon it. The atonement is the rock: the baptism builds the Church. So the gospels run up to the atonement, but the Acts start from the baptism. And so as the sinner seeks the one for salvation, so should the saint seek the other for service and testimony.
(C. Clemance, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.