We can never earn forgiveness for our sins, but we can receive forgiveness as a free gift from God, provided by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. It is available by faith to everyone who accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. We then express that faith by repenting of sin and participating in baptism.
Baptism is a physical act that represents the miracle of the new birth. It is a way of identifying with Christ in His death, in His burial and in His resurrection.
We are baptized because it gives us identification with Christ, it represents our new birth and it’s a command from Jesus. It also serves as a point of separation for us, a clearly defined moment when we can say, “I have separated myself from the life I lived before.”