John's baptism was a baptism of repentance, signifying confession of sin by those who took part in it, and commitment to a holy life in anticipation of the coming Messiah for whom John was preparing the way (CP 3:1-11; Ac 19:1-5). John knew that Jesus was the Messiah (CP Jn 1:19-34). John knew that Jesus did not need to be baptized for the remission of sins, as Mt 3:14 clearly shows (CP 3:14). Jesus was sinless (CP 2Cor 5:21; He 4:15; 7:26; 1Jn 3:5), but He insisted that John baptize Him "to fulfill all righteousness" (CP Mt 3:15). Jesus got baptized to be identified with sinners - "He was numbered with the transgressors" (CP Isa 53:12). Jesus was to fulfill all righteousness by bearing the curse of the law for those who did sin, and He took His place with sinners in John's baptism as the pledge that He was ready to go down into death for them (CP Ro 5:8-10; Ga 3:13). John's baptism unto repentance is not the same as the baptism instituted by Jesus (CP Mt 28:19). This baptism is the repentant sinners' pledge of a good conscience toward God - a conscience reconciled to God by their new found faith in the resurrected Christ and the salvation benefits He has purchased for them with His blood (CP 1Pe 3:18-21).
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