I have concerns about how we use and see water baptism.
John the baptist set the table on this topic.
John answered them all, “I baptize you with[a] water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with[b] the Holy Spirit and fire.
In Acts, many people are baptized with the Holy Spirit and many people are baptized with water. One time when the Apostles baptized people with water into the name of Jesus, they people received the Spirit near the time they got baptized with water. See it here. It is not really certain which came first actually.
Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues[b] and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all.
In others it is clear that the Apostles baptized people with water after they believed. Ephesians 1:13 clarifies a lot.
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
We receive the Holy Spirit when we believe. That is the big event. It leads to Baptism by water as sign of our faith.
Let’s Mitigate Concerns About Water Baptism
I know some churches baptize infants with water. The Bible does not indicate any time that was done. I do not dare to do that. I plan, arrange, and baptize people who believe. There is a command in Matthew 28:18-20 to baptize others but no command to baptize with water.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
There is only this one Bible passage and no others. The Bible and especially the Gospel of John implores people to believe. It does not implore us to be baptized with water, though people are baptized with water throughout Acts.
Peter in Acts 2 does say whoever believes and is baptized will be saved. Mark 16:16 says as well, but Mark 16:9-end was not in the original book Mark wrote, so I do not accept.
Some people talk about their water baptism as he key point in their spiritual journey. I grew up main line Lutheran, and we all would list our infant baptism and high school confirmation as proof we were good with God. The Bible does not mention infant baptism nor confirmation. I could never teach that is from God. Baptism by water certainly can be life changing but is not necessarily.
Water Baptism is a Gift
The Bible is not super hot on water baptism, so I do not say infant baptism is wrong though I feel it is more like superstition.
We personally baptized our kids with water at age 5 , 17 and 14. Well the younger two are scheduled and should happen soon. My wife and I did not feel a need to baptize our infant kids with water just in case they died. Water cannot save them. God can, and we trust Him. We did not go in for such superstition or trying to somehow manipulate God to get my kids in because they had water though not yet the Holy Spirit. I refuse to treat God that way.
Water baptism is a gift to us showing how much God cares about baptism via the Holy Spirit and faith. It is not a graduation and not a checking of the box. May we not get caught up in the form when God cares about the real. See also What is Baptism According to the Bible?