John’s Baptism and Christian Baptism, Part 1
Understanding baptism helps us understand the bible and our baptism. What is the relationship between John’s baptism and Christian baptism? John's function was to prepare the people for Jesus' arrival. John's baptism must be characterized by repentance, for it is a covenant renewal ceremony. Christian baptism overlaps with John's baptism, but it has two significant differences. In part one of this series we see that Christian baptism symbolizes the outpouring and renewal of the Holy Spirit.
The first difference is about looking back vs. forward; anticipation vs. accomplishment. John’s message and baptism looked back to the Mosaic covenant; John called people to repent and to renew their covenant with God in light of Christ’s coming. Christ's baptism fulfills what the prophets promised, and thus his command to baptize (Matt 28:19–20) symbolizes what his mission has accomplished.