John did baptize in the wilderness, and preached the baptism of repentance for the remission (forgiveness) of sins (Mark 1:4).
Prior to one being baptized, they should first repent of their sins. Repentance must come from the heart and not the mouth, if not, the individual will continue to practice sin and continue to ask for forgiveness. In order for one to receive forgiveness of sin, they must acknowledge to themselves they have sinned against God. Those who were baptized by John confessed their sin and then they were baptized. What is a sin? Sin is the opposite of what God has instructed us to live by according to His written Word. God’s Word has authority over what man says. The Constitution was set up by man, and man hasn’t fulfilled the laws that were set up for all men. Discrimination is prevalent throughout the United States, justice is only for a certain status quo or nationality. God has been taken out of the schools. Christmas has been banned from the workplace, now it’s called “Holiday”. If Christians speak against ungodly actions they are considered as haters. As Christians, we must look to the Word of God, and not be a hearer or a reader, but a doer of the Word of God. God has given us instructions on how to live both spiritually and morally; and whatever He has instructed in His Word, overrules what man has to say.
John the Baptist was leading the people to the confession of their sins and repentance. John was the messenger of God who was sent to prepare the way of the Lord which was foretold prior to John’s birth Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me; and the Lord whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of host (Malachi 3:10). Baptism is not mentioned in the Old Testament, and the New Testament never mentions the origin of the rite of baptism. In the Old Testament those who was regretful of their sins, they showed it by putting on sackcloth and pouring ashes on one’s head or rolling in them. Nowadays, so many people continue in their sins and have no regret of what they have done against God or against others.
In the New Testament, people would confess their sins and then be baptized Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord (Acts 3:19). The reason why there are so many spiritually weak Christians is that many of them felt a moment of regret for their sins and returned to them. Repentance from the heart brings about a change in the individual’s spirit that shows on the outside through their behavior. Many times people get baptized and returned to their sinful state because they think baptism makes them a Christian or gives them the entrance to heaven, but it doesn’t. It has to be a change in the person’s heart to bring about a change in their spirit. This is why Jesus instructed Nicodemus, a person must be born of water and of the Spirit. We must be born of God, water will not do it, but it does show our confession of our belief of the Son of God.
Jesus was baptized by John and as He was being baptized, John saw the Spirit of God descending from heaven in a form of a dove coming upon Jesus. Although Jesus was the Son of God, He was baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit. Every Christian should be filled with the Holy Spirit, if not, our commitment to God will not last. Our worship will only be a Sunday worship. Worship is not attending church, but it is a lifestyle. Our minds and our hearts have to be transformed by the Word of God, if not, we will continue to live as unbelievers. There must be a repentance from our hearts towards the things we have committed to the Word of God (For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented (regretted) of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death (spiritually) – 2nd Corinthians 7:10) The Spirit of God must be living within our physical bodies (But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his – Romans 8:8-9).
You can enter into the kingdom of God without being baptized, but you cannot enter in without repentance of sins; an example is the thief on the cross, he didn’t get off the cross to be baptized, but he believed that Jesus was the Son of God, and Jesus told him “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise – Luke 23:43). In order for us to battle the spiritual war that is going on in the world, we must be committed to the Word of God. We must have the Spirit of the Living God living within us to fight. We’re not fighting people, we’re fighting something we cannot see with the natural eye (For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places – Ephesians 6:12). We cannot fight and win if the Spirit of God is not dwelling in us. It’s time for the church to rise in power and it’s through the Spirit of God!