Hi David, I am enjoying your site.
Just a few comments about baptism that I feel are significant.
Paul writes 1 Corinthians 10:1-2
1 For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea.
2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.
Notice that they were baptized under the cloud - that was for 40 years - and that he says "under the cloud and in the sea" not "in the sea and under the cloud"
Perhaps a bit obtuse but I think we need to see that baptism has two distinct aspects to it.
I think that Paul was making the point that the baptism of Israel was not just in the Red sea as everyone thought - but from the time they entered the red sea to the time they exited Jordan
When Israel entered the red sea they were fleeing Egypt (much as we do- fleeing sin) looking over their shoulder in fear. When they left Jordan they were the advancing army of God.
Everything that knew (and loved) of Egypt had to die in that period.
Paul makes the point that in baptism we die to sin and then as we emerge we are alive in Christ ? awakened to a new life.
When Jesus spoke to Nicodemus in John 3 he says nothing at all about repentance or leaving sin behind. Nicodemus already knew the principals of seeking forgiveness and repentance from the law - Jesus emphasis is on being born again. This was something that he was exhorting Nicodemus to in his own time - not at some time in the future.
I hope you don?t mind me commenting but I think it is important to grasp these concepts too.
Love in Jesus, John