By baptism we confess our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and testify of our death to sin and of our purpose to walk in newness of life. Thus we acknowledge Christ as Lord and Savior, become His people, and are received as members by His church. Baptism is a symbol of our union with Christ, the forgiveness of our sins, and our reception of the Holy Spirit. It is by immersion in water and is contingent on an affirmation of faith in Jesus and evidence of repentance of sin. It follows instruction in the Holy Scriptures and acceptance of their teachings. (Rom. 6:1-6; Col. 2:12, 13; Acts 16:30-33; 22:16; 2:38; Matt. 28:19, 20.)In this experience the new believer wonderfully experiences God through the symbol. It’s a mystery. I experienced the immense meaning of dying, of being buried, of being resurrected to a newness of living. God impressed upon my spirit a soul-cleansing watershed, as it were. Then I arose out of the water with a new expectation for my life. It’s a transforming experience in which the heart opens to the supernatural presence of God—a presence that anticipates and allows for new possibilities in one’s life. It marks and celebrates the movement from slavery to sin to freedom in Christ. It marks the birth of a new heart, receptive to a new outlook, new values, new tastes, new desires, and new possibilities.