[Context: I am being baptized at Evangel Bible Church of Berkeley, on 10 October,2010, to exalt the Lord for His faithfulness!] In regards to salvation, baptism by water, the “removal of dirt from the flesh” (1 Pet 3:21), means nothing. In regards to salvation, baptism by the Holy Spirit of God, the regeneration and birth of a dead and wicked heart into newness of life, is everything. Indeed, nothing can add to the imputed righteousness and justification that I have before God the Father, purchased by the death and resurrection of God the Son. So, then, if baptism by water can contribute nothing to my salvation in Christ Jesus, why be baptized at all?
One answer: Jesus commands it. How can I, a sinful man bought by the blood and sacrifice of the Holy One of God, refuse the command of my Savior? This is how it’s supposed to be: He lovingly commands — I joyfully and eagerly obey. What’s more is that God says through His Scriptures that baptism is a symbol for the Christian being born again:
[Rom 6:4] 4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”
I have died to myself, and now I am risen to walk in newness of life, risen to walk in Him “who is [my] life” (Col 3:4). By His grace I will strive according to His power, to joyfully, humbly, and eagerly be obedient to everything that He says.
1 Peter 1:3-9