The Wayto the salvation of which John the Baptist spoke is relatively clear. One must repent from the way they think about their sin and the ministration of the law and must produce evidence of that repentance. In the case of the Pharisees they had to set aside their thinking about righteousness under the law or imputed righteousness through Abraham and had to receive John's water baptism for the remission of their sins.
You see the people had, in a manner of speaking, set up a pay to play system for the remission of their sins through the ceremonial law. Under this system however the most one could accomplish, the highest level of holiness that could be achieved under this system, was blamelessness.
(Luk 1:5) There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
(Luk 1:6)And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. Now this does not mean that Zacharias and Elisabeth were sinless, it means that under the ministration of the law they were found blameless. It means that they were found to be righteous because they kept the ceremonial laws which covered up the sins committed under the moral laws (the 10 commandments). This however does not meet God's standard of sinless perfection. It is this idea that the people were instructed to repent from, to change their minds about. The idea that they could sin without consequence by simply making a sin or atonement offering or that they were somehow covered by the righteousness of Abraham.
The problem with or the imperfection of this system is that it never led to repentance. The people could sin all year long and have their sins wiped away on the day of attunement. Every year they could start out anew. There was no morning over their sins. There was no sense that they were offending their God and no remorse over it. They lived as they willed and paid the price for that lifestyle later!
This is clearly not what God had intended when He gave the laws, both the moral and the ceremonial laws, onto the people. That is to say that they were originally given to reveal God's will as to what needed to be done to keep covenant with Him and later to demonstrate to man that he/she could never live up to God's standard of righteousness in and of themselves. The moral laws were given to ultimately bring man onto an end of himself. The ceremonial laws were not given until after the people had broken covenant with God at the foot of mount Sinai. So their intent and purpose was to cover over transgressions of the moral laws. (iniquity - lawlessness)
The salvation offered by the water baptism of John was temporal. It was a type and shadow of that which was to come.
John clearly stated that although he baptized with water for the remission of sins, there would be coming after him who was greater than he and who would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
Now Watch This!
Who are the Saved?
(1Jn 5:4) For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
(1Jn 5:5) Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
(1Jn 5:6) This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.
(1Jn 5:7) For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
(1Jn 5:8) And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. The evidence of salvation demonstrated by those who are truly saved is that they have overcome the world through faith! It is not simply believing in the name of Jesus through faith, it is acting on their belief of who He is that saves a believer.
Many persons "believe" in the name and person of our Lord including Satan and his minions. That belief obviously does not mean that they are saved. It is the actions that come through their belief that saves, or not.
Take for example the story of the Centurion in Matthew 8. This man was a man of faith and through that faith he "believed" in Christ and His ability to heal his servant. He also believed that Jesus need not be present in his house to heal his servant, that He could do it with a word from a remote location. His heart felt proclamation of this belief was a demonstration of his belief. And his servant was healed within the hour.
There is also the example of the woman with the issue of blood (Luke 8:43) who demonstrated what she believed by even being in the crowd to begin with because she was seen as being unclean and cursed by the people. Yet she reached out from within the crowd believing that she would be healed just by touching the garment of our Lord. Her being there and her reaching out was evidence of her belief.
Now if one professes to believe in our Lord and His finished work concerning the law, how does that person demonstrate their belief?
By going back under the yoke of the law? By believing that their own works bring righteousness in the sight of God?
You see just as repentance is the beginning of salvation, believing in the name and person of Jesus as the Christ is the beginning of deliverance and is evidence of their salvation. Of what good is faith without belief and of what use is belief without action?
Faith - Belief - Action Faith without works is dead!
If faith is dead is there salvation? If one remains under the yoke of the law are they free from the law? If one is not yoked with our Lord and living under grace are they saved? If one has conformed to the world rather than overcome it is there liberty?
We overcome the world by renewing our mind (repenting). We change the way we think and receive the word of God above and beyond the doctrines of men and devils. We believe those who bear witness in heaven (the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit) and we are saved by that which bears witness on earth, the water (baptism of John for the remission of sins), the blood (the baptism of the shed blood of our Lord for the remission of sins) and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which all agree in one.
Most importantly of all we demonstrate that belief by living under the yoke of rest that is in Christ and not the under the yoke of bondage that is in the law.
Renew The Mind Ministries is a global new covenant church, that meets online to worship The Lord God Christ Jesus, edify one another through scriptures, have fellowship, encourage each other in the Lord, and to pray for one another .