In an outward physical way, ritual submersion in water naturally symbolizes the inward cleansing and healing of the mind, heart and spirit from the defilement of sin (Ep 5:27), as well as any major paradigm shift that occurs when rejecting an old life pattern and embracing a new one (1Co 10:1-2), or finding a break through in our pursuit of holiness. (He 10:22) As we’re freed from the pollutions of the world (2Pe_2:20) and the bondage of sin (Mk 1:4), baptism is an organic expression of spiritual reality, as we gratefully acknowledge God’s work in our souls. (1Pe 3:21)
Confusion enters as we try to imagine Christ launching a new religion, giving us “an ordinance of the Christian church,” a rite to distinguish Christianity from all that came before.
In decoupling the Faith from Torah (Jud 1:3), taking it out of context, we pervert it. Claiming sacramental power in what God intended to symbolize metaphysical transformation (Tit 3:5), twists ritual washing into something His early Apostles, orthodox Jews, would never recognize.