“The ordinance of baptism by immersion in water should be observed by those who receive Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. It is a picture of the death of the sinful nature and of a new life in Christ.”
Baptism was not absolutely new in Jesus’ day. Ancient Egyptians, Persians, Hindus, Greeks and Romans had purification rites attached to their religious observances. Sometimes it took the form of a bath in the sea or was effected by sprinkling.
The Jews had many ritual washings and purifications attached to the Tabernacle and Temple worship. They also had “proselyte baptism“, the incorporation of Gentiles into Israel by way of circumcision and later baptism. It was merely a sort of ceremonial washing or cleansing.
Christian baptism was instituted with divine authority after Jesus had finished His work of redemption.
Baptism is a Christian ordinance and is generally practiced by almost all denominations and churches.
However there is a wide difference in mode and meaning given to it. Because of these differences, baptism may mean one thing to one church and an entirely different thing to another.