|Luke 3:3 |
3 And he came into all the country around the Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission [release from the bondage] of sins;1 [For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: "In repentance and rest you are saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength, Isa 30:15. Repentance: turn from your evil ways. Rest: Be still and know that I am God. Psa 46:10. Saved: to see Christ bring your salvation. — Wait on the Lord in quietness, rest from all your worldly non-essential activities, and have confidence that the Lord will remove the sin that he shows you, as you repent; thus you will be saved. There is no other way.]
1 he came into all the country around the Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. John followed the Jewish traditions of purification (from past sins and errors) by washing with water. John's ministry and Baptism was for the Jews only, following the Jewish tradition of ceremonial washings; here are a few:
John's Baptism ceremonially washed away the Jews' sins of the past, providing men showed the fruits of repentance — a changed lifestyle with beginning repentance: sharing from their excess with those who lacked the necessities of life, not taking advantage of anyone, not defrauding anyone, not oppressing anyone, not lying, not wanting more, and not complaining. But John's baptism was only to prepare people to receive the ministry of Christ; and in no way excused their future sins, nor excused them from the necessity of becoming true disciples of Christ who finally produce the fruit of the Spirit. In the beginning of the early Church, they (Peter particularly) maintained Jewish circumcision, dietary law, and the Jewish water baptism of John. Peter even applied some of these practices on the Gentiles, until: the Holy Spirit corrected him on food, Paul further corrected him on food, and the Apostles Council issued different guideline for Gentiles. Since both Christ and John the Baptist spoke of a better baptism, this baptism was later eliminated from Christian practice and the faith maintained one faith, one Lord, and one baptism, the baptism of fire or of the Holy Spirit. Clearly, just as there are no multiple lords, there are no multiple baptisms.
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism. Eph 4:4-5
After John's ministry ended, and Christianity was extended to the Gentiles, Paul has told us there is only one baptism. So which baptism is the one, the Jewish washing of John, or the baptism of fire by Jesus? Clearly the one baptism is Jesus' baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire that burns up all the sin within a man's heart. Both Jesus and John told us that Jesus' baptism was the preferred baptism:
John said: I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but he that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire: Mat 3:11
Jesus said: For John truly baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence. Acts 1:5
The original Greek for release from bondage of sin could be translated as release from bondage, forgiveness, or remission, of sin. Release from bondage of sin is far more accurate, and perfectly describes the purification necessary to avoid being banned from heaven. The cleansing of the Word, the cleansing in the Light, both attained by waiting on the Lord, listening, hearing, watching, and obeying — such cleansing is a release from the bondage of sin. But the poor souls, who were trying to translate the Bible, had not experienced release from bondage of sin within themselves, and so obviously chose to emphasize forgiveness instead. Yet release from captivity, from the prison house, from the oppression, is what Christ said he came to do:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach release to the captives [of sin], and recovery of sight to the blind, to deliver [free] those who are oppressed [by sin], Luke 4:18-19
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim deliverance to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; Isa 61:1-2
and for what Paul said Jesus sent him to the Gentiles to accomplish:
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, release from sin's slavery, and an inheritance among those who are sanctified and purified by faith in me. Acts 26:18
Clearly forgiveness is not deliverance, recovery, healing, opening the prison, release, turned from power of Satan, — while release from the bondage of sin accurately describes all.