I love how Romans 6 brings out the beauty of baptism, and the power to live a Jesus filled life.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [in the likeness] of [his] resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Romans 6:1-6
So when we go under the water we are symbolizing our own death, as you stop breathing. When you come up out of the water it symbolizes the new life you have in Jesus. The old life, that you lived for yourself is done away with. The new life you now live for Jesus.
Years ago, I am told, a young couple attended some tent meetings in North Carolina where they both accepted Jesus as their Savior. After baptism, both both were eager to share the gospe. They both became missionaries and were sent to Africa. While serving there, the wife got malaria and died. The husband finished out his time there. When he returned to the states, his friends encouraged him, by telling him he should be proud of his wife he died in Africa. He told them his wife did not die in Africa. She already died in the baptistery years before, in North Carolina. We should all “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:11
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. Romans 6:12-18
When Paul says we are not under the law but under grace, some try to take that to mean that the law was done away with. This is impossible. If there is no law, we don’t need grace. Reading in the context, we clearly see that we are not under the condemnation of the law, as grace keeps us in harmony with the law. Grace gives us the power to obey the law of love.