Into what twofold association does baptism bring us? Gal. 3:27; 1 Cor. 12:13.
Have you ever heard anyone say, "I want to be baptized into Christ, but I don't want to be baptized into any church"? Yet as we can see from the texts above, to be baptized into Christ is also to be baptized into His body, the church. Baptism is the divinely ordained means of signifying conversion to Christ and adoption into the family of God (Mark 16:16; John 3:5; Acts 2:38).
This does not detract from the personal aspects of our communion with God (Matt. 6:6; Ps. 73:23-26). Such communion strengthens us for fellowship and corporate worship. When we are baptized, we confess Christ before the world, and He confesses us before the Father and His angels (Luke 12:8).
What is the spiritual significance of baptism? Rom. 6:3-13; Col.2:11-13.
We are baptized because we have been "crucified with Christ"(Gal. 2:20). "Baptism symbolizes the crucifixion of the old life. It is not only a death but also a burial. We are 'buried with him in baptism' (Col. 2:12). As a burial follows a person's death, so when the believer goes down into the watery grave the old life that passed away when he accepted Jesus Christ is buried."- Seventh-day Adventists Believe, p. 185.
But after His death and burial, Christ arose from the grave. And in baptism we arise from our watery grave to a new life in Him. Then the power that enabled Christ to arise enables us to live that life (Rom. 6:4). "This new life lifts us to a higher plateau of human experience, giving us new values, aspirations, and desires that focus on a commitment to Jesus Christ."- Seventh-day Adventists Believe, p. 185.
When people came to John to be baptized, why did he rebuke some of them? Why is repentance (sorrow for sin and a turning away from it) necessary? Luke 3:7-16; Acts 2:36-39.