John the Baptist and Christian Baptism

The baptism of John the Baptist was not the Christian baptism that we know today. John was a special messenger of God with the task of being the forerunner of the Messiah to tell the people that the coming of the Messiah, Jesus, was near. He had to do two things:

 1) He had to proclaim that people must repent of their sins and

 2) He baptized people with water as a token of repentance and that they believed his message (Luke 3:3; John 1:33).

 The Christian baptism was instituted by Jesus shortly before his ascension to heaven as one of two sacraments in the church (a sacrament is a visible sign or symbol of a greater invisible work which God is doing within us). Baptism says: Just as you use water to wash your body, so God cleanses your innermost being by the power of the blood of Jesus (1 John 1:7). Baptism is like a seal on a contract which is a proof of the validity of the contract.

 See the other questions on baptism if you wish to know more of this wonderful sacrament.