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The baptism of John the Baptist: the baptism of repentance

Mbote child of GOD! May the grace of the LORD JESUS CHRIST, the love of GOD, and the communication of the HOLY SPIRIT be with you (2 Corinthians 13:14).


  1. John the Baptist: his mission and his message

  2. The baptism of John the Baptist: the baptism of repentance


" In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight.’ ”

(Matthew 3 :1-3, NKJV)



" But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.’ “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. " (Matthew 11: 9-11, NKJV)


" John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. " (Mark 1: 4-5, NKJV)




1. John the Baptist: his mission and his message

John the Baptist was a prophet (Luke 7:28, Luke 1:14-17, Matthew 11:9). John the Baptist preached repentance. His message was repent and be forgiven. Repentance is a change of attitude, a turning away from evil toward good. It is a sincere expression of regret for a sin, a thought, a word, an act or a fault, translating into an acknowledgment of wrongdoing, a change in behavior, and, as far as possible, the intention to correct, repair, protect, and prevent.


John the Baptist's mission was to prepare and smooth the way. His message prepared hearts to receive the ministry of JESUS. He announced and prepared the coming of JESUS. John the Baptist was the one foretold by the prophet Isaiah when he said: "A voice cries out in the wilderness, "Prepare the way of the LORD, make a straight path for our GOD [ELOHIYM, Strong's #430, Hebrew] in the dry places!" (Isaiah 40:3).


(Matthew 3:1-3, NKJV): "In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight.’ ” (Matthew 3:1-3, NKJV)


(John 1:22-23, NKJV): "Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” He said: “I am ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Make straight the way of the LORD,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”


❖ (Mark 1: 4-8, NKJV): " 4 John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. 5 Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. 6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And he preached, saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. 8 I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the HOLY SPIRIT.


❖ (Matthiew 3: 11, NKJV) : " I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the HOLY SPIRIT and fire. "


John the Baptist's message was repentance, not the kingdom (Matthew 3:2, Mark 1: 4:8, Matthew 3:11, John 5: 33-36). The kingdom of GOD is also called the kingdom of heaven because it exercises its authority from heaven (Mark 1:14, 15; Matthew 4:17). Repentance is an important part of the Kingdom message. But the Kingdom message is not just about the remission of sins or the forgiveness of trespasses. JESUS gave his life so that, beyond forgiveness, we might receive life in abundance and walk in newness of life (John 3:16, John 10:17-18, Romans 6:4-5, Colossians 2:6, 2 Corinthians 2:14, 1 John 1:7-9). JESUS gave his life so that we could have fellowship with GOD and be born again. He gave his life so that, through the assistance of the HOLY SPIRIT, we could know, understand, and live in Love, Truth, and Holiness. JESUS gave his life to free us from the condemnation of the law (Romans 1:11). He gave his life to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29). By giving his life, JESUS triumphed over the devil, and stripped off satanic dominions and authorities (Colossians 2:11-15, Luke 10:19).

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❖ (Mark 1: 14-15, NIV) : "After John was put in prison, JESUS went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of GOD. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of GOD has come near. Repent and believe the good news!


❖ (Matthiew 4: 23, NKJV): "And JESUS went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people."


❖ (Acts 19: 1-7, NIV): "1While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, “Did you receive the HOLY SPIRIT when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. 4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in JESUS.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the LORD JESUS. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all. "


❖ (Acts 2: 38, NIV): " Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the HOLY SPIRIT."



2. The baptism of John the Baptist: the baptism of repentance


The word baptism is the translation of the Greek word baptisma (strong no. 908) meaning immersion or submersion. Baptisma (strong no. 908) comes from the Greek verb baptizô (strong no. 907), meaning to plunge, immerse, or submerge.


John the Baptist's baptism signified repentance for one's sins, a desire to be forgiven, and a commitment to live in accordance with GOD's laws while awaiting the arrival of the Messiah. Being baptised by John the Baptist also meant acknowledging that you had a heart ready to receive salvation. Salvation can only be received by those who recognise that they are sinners, that they cannot overcome sin on their own, and that they need to be saved.


❖ (Matthiew 3: 7-10, NIV): "7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."


🙂 Do you remember the article When praying, let's not multiply empty words? Using the story of Cain and Abel as an example, I explained that GOD looks at intention before action. John the Baptist's baptism was not a religious baptism. John the Baptist did not baptize children. Again, his message was repent, then you will be forgiven. He asked people to repent and then be baptized. He warned those who wanted to be baptized without repenting. He warned that they would be judged. He asked them to produce fruit worthy of repentance, fruit that would confirm their changed attitude (Matthew 3:8).


John the Baptist's baptism was not in the name of JESUS CHRIST (Acts 2:38, Romans 6:3-4) or in the name of the FATHER, SON, and HOLY SPIRIT (Matthew 28:19). John the Baptist's message was not to receive JESUS CHRIST as SAVIOR and LORD. John the Baptist was filled with the HOLY SPIRIT from his mother's womb (Luke 1:15), but his baptism did not make it possible to receive the HOLY SPIRIT (Acts 19:1-5, John 20: 21-23, Acts 2:3-4). John the Baptist's baptism was not that of those who have victory over sin. Those baptized by John the Baptist were not born again.


❖ (Jonh 5: 35-36, NIV) : " John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light. “I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the FATHER has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the FATHER has sent me."


** Mbote = Good morning in Lingala (Congo)

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