Baptism is mentioned several ways in the Bible. There is the baptism of repentance, the baptism of fire, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the baptism of Moses, the baptism for the dead, the baptism for the suffering, water baptism, etc. However, Ephesians 4:4-6 says there is only one baptism. Therefore, since the Bible is without error or contradiction, one must conclude that the one baptism is the baptism commanded by the Lord and the apostles and the one in affect today. This one baptism is water immersion in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and is plainly shown in examples throughout the New Testament where believers were converted. Water baptism was a commission given to the disciples of Jesus and has an ongoing relevance to the Christian leaders and Christian believers of the Christian church today.
Baptism is not a ritual. The baptism of water is an act of obedience that follows conversion to symbolically portray the washing away of sins (Brown). Peter confirms that this washing of regeneration involves baptism declaring, ...baptism now save you--not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience--through the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1Pet 3:21). Through baptism, there is a spiritual re-birth, not a physical re-birth, nor a physical cleansing of the flesh, but a cleansing of the conscience (Smithson).
Water baptism does not bring salvation. Salvation inspires the practice of baptism (Brown). Peter clearly stated this when he said, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized ¦ (Acts 2:38). The act of being baptized in water simply represents the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Water baptism calls for complete immersion instead of sprinkling. Jesus himself was baptized; He completely emerged in the river of Jordan (Brown). Paul's figure of baptism as a burial, along with Luke's account of Philip and the eunuch, confirms the New Testament usage