John, who would be the voice of God out in the wilderness, went to the school of the Spirit. Hearing and learning the Word of our Lord at his local synagogue, he personally grew strong in the faith knowing and trusting in the Truth of God’s great love for him and all people. By the Spirit he was led to repent daily of his many sins, but also daily trust in the word of forgiveness.
When all of Jerusalem would come to John at the Jordan river, he faithfully declared the Word of truth, giving to all who repented the free gifts of salvation in the sweet words of forgiveness and in the cleansing waters of holy baptism. This was the comfort God desired John to cry out to His people. His Word which stands forever bestows exactly what it declares – their warfare is over, their iniquity is pardoned. God is now reconciled to us through His Christ.