This is a good question.
Some people believe there is an "order" of salvation. That may sound crazy but bare with me here for a minute.
John the Baptist came "BEFORE" Jesus. Why didn't he came after Jesus?
Matt 11:10; "This is the one about whom it is written, 'BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER AHEAD OF YOU, WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY BEFORE YOU.'
Mark 1:2; As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: "BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER AHEAD OF YOU, WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY;
Luke 7:27; "This is the one about whom it is written, 'BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER AHEAD OF YOU, WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY BEFORE YOU.'
This is quoting Isaiah 57, as a prophecy about John the Baptist. But it seems that John's purpose was to "Prepare a way" for Jesus.
What was that "way"?
John says his message is repentance. In fact he baptizes with water "for repentance". So repentance comes first.
Once we have repented... someone else comes... not the John the Baptist. Someone John the Baptist is not even worthy
to unlace His sandals. (... and yet later John the Baptist even baptizes Jesus!)
Acts 13:24; after John had proclaimed before His coming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.
Acts 19:4; Paul said, "John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus."
We think of John the Baptist was baptizing in water... and so he did. But his message was repentance. He baptized people into repentance.
Matt 3:11; "As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Mark 1:7; And he was preaching, and saying, "After me One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals.
John 1:15; John *testified about Him and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'"
John 1:27; "It is He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie."
The one who comes after John (Jesus of course) will baptize us with the Holy Spirit. But if John the baptist signifies repentance,
and Jesus can't come until after John has done his part.
If we haven't really repented, can we really even come to Jesus? There is a thought that we don't have the power to overcome sin on our own. I totally agree with that statement. We have to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to overcome sin.
But while the Holy Spirit empowered us and is our "helper" ( John 14:16; John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16:7; )
The Holy Spirit does not make decisions for us. We still have free will. So we make a decision to repent. It is our decision.
This repentance "prepares the way" for Jesus. Just like John the Baptist "prepared the way" for Jesus.
One the way is paved so to speak... now Jesus and the Holy Spirit can move in our lives.