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John's Baptism: "We need to change our ways."


A. His Identity

  1. A brief overview of his life can be found in various Bible study books. A copy of the information found in Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary (now public domain) is available in a separate article.
  2. In Matthew/Mark/Luke: Called "John the Baptizer" or "John, the one who baptizes"
  3. In the gospel of John: some unique features


B. Various locations where John baptized


C. The people who came to see John

  1. Those who came to be baptized
  2. Those who refused to be baptized
  3. The significance of one's response to John's baptism


D. What John preached: the need for repentance (change)

  1. He preached a "baptism of repentance"
  2. Repentance is necessary for the forgiveness of sins
  3. Confession of sin is a part of repentance. This means openly admitting (in the presence of others) that one's thoughts and actions are sinful; openly admitting one's own sins.
  4. A change must take place in one's life: The things he does (the "fruit" of his life) must be compatible with repentance. [Whatever is in a person's heart will affect what he does. Compare with Mark 7:20-23.]


E. Who John pointed to: Jesus, the one who makes this change possible

  1. John knew that his main purpose was to point to the One who would bring salvation.
  2. John's baptism of Jesus: this was the climax of his ministry.
  3. We must "look to" Jesus when we repent. (We must trust and rely on him, for the power to make this change take place.)


F. Other things about John's Baptism

  1. Comparison / contrast to Jesus' baptism - see next section.
  2. John's baptism / ministry was important.
  3. But by itself, it was not enough.


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Dennis Hinks © 1999