Look at what you’re doing in this process:
You make the decision you need Jesus in your life and you want a relationship with your heavenly Father so bad you can taste it, you go to one in authority such as a church leader. By doing so, you are dying to self. You will repeat the “great confession” made by Peter in the New Testament, professing to the world that you are a sinner in need of a Savior. That confession simply says, “I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, and I accept Him as my personal Lord and Savior.” At that point, you have given up legal and royal right to be your own person in favor of allowing God to lead you through Jesus and the Holy Spirit that will live in you. You change clothes into a baptismal robe or swimming gear, whichever or both, not just because you’re going to get wet, but because it was the burial custom of the people in the time of Christ to change the clothes of the people who had died into clothes they would wear to sleep in at night, usually a tunic or gown of some sort.
As you step into the water, you wil be greeted by the one chosen to baptize you. He at all times represents God, your authority. The “baptizer” will then speak words to identify what is being done, usually SOMETHING LIKE, “YOUR NAME, BECAUSE OF YOUR CONFESSION OF FAITH, THAT YOU ACCEPT JESUS AS BOTH YOUR LORD AND SAVIOR, I NOW BAPTIZE YOU IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, TO BE BURIED WITH CHRIST AND RAISED TO THE NEWNESS OF LIFE.” It is then that the baptizer will hold on to you with authority (usually the back of the neck and you hold onto their other hand which is covering your nose). The moment of baptism is a time you are submitting to the authority of Christ; you are at that moment dead to your “self.” The Bible says to “be” baptized — that means you must allow baptism to be done, not do it yourself. The one baptizing you is the one “burying” you. When he lowers you into the water, you are being buried just like Christ. When you arise, you will be reborn from your “tomb” – resurrected like Christ with the promise that you will someday be resurrected as well.
From that moment on, you will have the Holy Spirit living inside of you, and He will guide you from the inside. You are baptized and a fellow brother or sister in Christ. You have a new Father, new Lord, new Master, new family in Christ, and a new lease on life – literally!
That’s just the beginning of the journey.
Your spiritual walk does not stop after baptism – it begins. The rest of your life will be spent submitting to God through the power of the Holy Spirit and getting rid of your old ways in favor of new ways that you will learn. It will then be our responsibility as your church family to help teach you in the faith and how to live that Christian life in a world that doesn’t think too much of Christians. And you will be teaching us too in many ways; maybe not intentionally, but just because none of us have “arrived” and we’re all in the same process of cleaning out the worldly “stuff” so we can be cleaner, brighter, and better than each day before.