4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
John’s baptism is the one that the apostles use in the early church when dealing with Jewish proselytes. It is a baptism for the nation of Israel to turn from their sins. It is not the baptism that Gentile Christians received after believing. This is for the remission of sins to the nation of Israel.
Acts 2: 37 ¶ Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Luke 7:28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. 29 And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. 30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.
Acts 18:24 ¶ And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.
This is remission, as in “your cancer is in remission”. The sins aren’t gone but are remitted by the blood of bulls and goats until the final work of the Lord Jesus Christ, at which time they are eliminated by being placed on Him.
Romans 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
Christ’s sacrifice for our sins is not redone every year. It is once and for all. Read Hebrews, chapters 9 and 10, which I won’t copy here. Try to understand remission’s two applications and under what conditions sins were temporarily remitted and under what conditions they are eliminated completely.
Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
John the Baptist was not offering to take away the sacrifices or the visits to the temple or the observance of the law for the Jews. Only the Lord Jesus Christ would do that, and that for all mankind. John was speaking to a corrupt nation to turn from their sins.